Indoor Air Quality is One Reason to Live in an Old Home or Old Apartment Building
Apartment Building Built in 1916
Where to Live
Everyone likes living in a beautiful new house or new apartment complex. However, a few years ago I read that the air we breathe inside our homes and our cars is more toxic than the air when outside, standing on the corner of a high traffic intersection, breathing in car fumes. What is it about our houses that is making our air polluted? Here are some answers.
Plastic and Pressed Wood
New Home Air Pollution
Here are some of the problems with living in a new home. We breathe chemicals found in products used today in building houses. Wood containing formaldehyde can include cupboards, plywood, and chipboard floors. Wood used in walls could be full of pesticides. Plastic finishes (like window blinds), PVC pipes, and vinyl (polyvinyl chloride: PVC) flooring and roofing leach chemicals used in the making of these synthetic products. Most carpets are made from petroleum and treated with pesticides, bleaches, dyes, and other chemicals as well as anti-bacterial and anti-fungal agents, then made non-flammable with more chemicals.
Popular House Design 1913
Houses and apartment buildings built before 1950 were made without the chemical soup we find in today’s building materials and, generally, were more solidly built with heavier materials. Talk with any experienced builder to learn how, today, maximum profit is gotten from a minimalistic strategy for using building materials (fewer nails, wood framing, supports). Most homes, before 1950, were solidly built with stone, real brick, and chemical-free timber.
Buying an Older House
Buy Healthy Paints
Old Building Improvements
One of the concerns you should have when planning to purchase an older house is that improvements, made to the property over the years, may have compromised the health benefits. Be sure to have your home inspected for these possible additions.
- UFFI (urea-formaldehyde foam insulation) may have been installed in the cavities of the walls.
- Were chemicals added to treat lumber or for mildew control?
- What has changed on the house? Has the kitchen been updated with new cupboards or have doors been replaced?
- Check for asbestos, vinyl tiles, plastic surfaces, and foam-backed synthetic carpets.
PVC pipe is considered safer than lead pipe which was probably used originally. To help with water pollutants have a reverse osmosis water purification system installed under your kitchen sink. Nontoxic paint is now available to put on your walls.
Expenses of Buying Older Homes
Unlike a newly build home, an older house will probably need some work done on it: wiring, furnace, pipes, roof. If you are planning to purchase an older home, you should allow for these added future expenses when determining what you can afford to buy. If, for instance, you can afford a home worth $200,000, you may want to consider looking at older homes worth $180,000 to allow for future, unexpected expenses.
Thrift or Antique Shop
Adding Your Own Home Improvements
To continue to reap the benefits of living in a natural house shop for products made from natural, untreated materials. Antique or thrift shops and antique auctions are good places to shop. Be careful of finding furniture or materials that look old but were produced recently with just that “old look.” There are even stores that offer discounted older building materials like doors and fireplace mantels.
Older Homes and Apartments
Some perks of getting older homes are large pantry areas, spacious rooms, and high ceilings. The high ceilings give the impression of grandness, and if you live in a warm climate, the high ceilings will pull up the warm air, keeping the main living areas cooler.
By buying an existing, older home or moving into and older apartment you are reducing the destruction of natural land and preserving our ecosystem. Developers verbally paint pretty pictures of their new housing communities but fail to mention how much of the natural environment was lost in the building process or how many chemicals are used in the housing materials.
If you have been thinking of moving somewhere newly built, I hope this article will help you to reconsider.
- Change Anything with Paint. It is surprising how far a little paint will go, and how easily and inexpensively we can make our home, inside and out, look beautiful by learning a few simple tricks.
- Air Conditioning and Heating Services: Best Options and How to Get Them Companies are out to make money. Learn what you need to do to find a good company and how to judge the technician working at your home.
- Best Use of Passive Solar Energy for Any Home. There are lots of easy fixes we can make to most homes that would allow for a greater use of the suns free energy. Learn how your home can adapt.
- Selling Your Home with the Right Realtor. Choosing a Realtor to sell your home without doing the research is like choosing an employee without checking his job history. There are lots of things that separate a good Realtor from a bad one.
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