Almondia – Bautipps Die Bauherrenberatung

healthy living

Do you, like so many others, suffer from headaches, irritation of the mucous membranes, frequent sneezing, clearing your throat, nausea, dizziness and exhaustion?
Is that why you are already taking medication, but cannot explain the cause of your symptoms? Researchers have discovered that many allergic reactions can be triggered by pollutants in the home. These results seem even more relevant when you consider that we spend around 90% of our time indoors, the majority of it of course in sensitive sleeping and resting rooms in our personal living environment. There are many dangers lurking in your own home that affect your health and that of your family be able. What these look like in detail and how you can avoid pollutant-related diseases is explained below by Stefan Schindele – an expert in building biology at Baufritz .

the essentials in brief

  • Many health problems are caused by pollutants in your home.
  • You can prevent this risk even before you move in by choosing the right products when choosing your building materials.
  • In everyday life, it is also worth taking a few precautions and, above all, ensuring sufficient ventilation in order to live healthily.

Proper ventilation and a good room temperature

Always ensure high air quality in your rooms. You should air every room in the apartment several times a day. In winter, a few minutes to a quarter of an hour are enough. In summer, you can also ventilate longer. The basement is an exception. You should only air this in the mornings and evenings when the outside temperatures are cooler, as otherwise there is a risk of mold growth due to moisture.

With regular cross ventilation or automatic ventilation support with heat recovery, ensure that CO2, pollutants or even radon, which occurs in rocks and floors and can escape through joints or cracks in basement and ground floor rooms, are adequately ventilated.

Basically, the right room temperature is between 19 and 22 degrees Celsius. Even in winter you should not overheat the room, as this increases air pollution due to the increased concentration of pollutants and dust and your mucous membranes dry out more quickly.

Mite bites & Co.

Almost every third German suffers from an allergy, with mite allergies being particularly common. In the case of possible symptoms such as swelling of the mucous membranes, blocked or runny nose, irritation of the throat and conjunctivitis, special caution is also required because the mite allergy can lead to asthma when there is a change of floor (change from the upper to the lower respiratory tract).

So what can be done to prevent it from getting that far in the first place?

Mites feel particularly at home in high humidity and then usually nest in textiles such as bed linen, carpets or upholstered furniture. The best way to evict your unloved roommates is to keep the bedroom dry, dust-free and cool, air the bed linen during the day and otherwise wash it regularly at 60 degrees.

Incidentally, the allergy is not triggered by the mite itself, but by inhaling its excrement. So wipe the apartment with a damp cloth more often – this removes dust and mite droppings most effectively and the radiant floors are a nice side effect.

Avoid pollutants in the air from furniture and floors

In old buildings, non-volatile pollutants such as wood preservatives from coatings or impregnations, plasticizers from floor coverings or PAHs from adhesives can be problematic.

In addition, all building products used to contain asbestos. If you discover a mold infestation, do not take this lightly either, but seek advice from a specialist with regard to finding the cause and remediation.

Formaldehyde, which is often emitted from older furniture or used in synthetic resins to glue wood chips to laminate panels, is also dangerous. However, since it cannot permanently bond with the wood chips, it continues to escape as a gas, in the worst case even 20 to 30 years after the floor was laid or the piece of furniture was bought. Formaldehyde has an acrid smell and is irritating to mucous membranes and eyes. Even worse, the World Health Organization has classified the chemical compound as a carcinogen.

Floor coverings and carpets as a health risk:
These often contain pollutants in the form of solvents, plasticizers or heavy metals, which are released when you run and can get into the air and then into the respiratory tract. The reason for this is usually surface treatment or PVC plastics in the coverings.

Wool carpets, which have often been treated with moth repellents, can also pose a problem and can therefore become a risk factor, especially for children playing. With newer furniture, you should make sure that it does not emit any volatile pollutants from oils and varnishes. The “natureplus” label offers a high level of security when evaluating building products. Strict requirements for health compatibility and ecological quality must be met here. Shortly after purchase, new furniture often gives off unpleasant smells, which are not necessarily poisonous per se. Nevertheless, it is advisable to let the furniture dry out for a few weeks to a month in a room where you do not sleep.

The odors should be gone after this period. If this is not the case, the goods can be returned.

“Bad” furniture can often be identified by its smell – but how can you find the right ones right away? In general, you should prefer waxed or oiled solid wood furniture when buying. It is also worth taking a look at the FSC seal, if there is one, for you and the environment!

So what should you pay attention to to avoid pollutants in the air?

  1. The masking of holes and free edges of chipboard is a sensible and inexpensive measure to reduce the load. In the case of large-area emitters, such as furniture rear walls, however, technically correct implementation of such measures is difficult. Here a replacement of the corresponding piece of furniture can be cheaper.
  2. When selecting wood-based materials (particularly chipboard), pay attention to low-emission products (E1). Formaldehyde emissions are now often reported.
  3. Solid wood, 3-layer, blockboard or blockboard, as well as plywood or wood fiber boards are often the lower-emission alternative to chipboard or OSB boards.
  4. Ensure good room air: keep the humidity low, ventilate frequently and also use natural pollutant absorbers such as lime plaster or plants.

So keep these final expert tips in mind to create the healthiest possible home for you and your family:

  1. When selecting building materials, pay attention to low-emission and tested products.
  2. Do not use assembly foams, fibrous insulating materials, solvent-based paints, varnishes, adhesives, etc.
  3. Make sure your rooms are well and hygienically ventilated.
  4. When furnishing the equipment, make sure that the surfaces are as natural as possible in order to prevent electrostatic charges and not to disturb the ion ratio.
  5. When choosing your cleaning agents, pay attention to low-emission products.
  6. Do not store any paint or varnish containers or thinners in the building.

Basically, it can be emphasized that you have the chance to do a lot of things right from the start, especially with new buildings. The effort for this is often low, but the effect is immense. When selecting building materials, you should not focus too much on one side, so that no risk factor is overlooked.

Try the above advice yourself at the next opportunity – perhaps you can soon save yourself one or two trips to the medicine cabinet or even to the doctor.

Autorin Sarah Völkl

Sarah Völkl hat Architektur studiert und ist seit Jahren das Gesicht von a better place. Mit ihren Videos ist sie bei YouTube vielen Personen schon länger bekannt. Sarah teilt Ihr Wissen jetzt auch bei den Bautipps von Almondia.

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