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Renovating

renovating shadeThe CMHC has some great tips on renovating for energy efficiency. You'll find a brief summary below, followed on the next 2 pages by detailed case studies for different house types in various climate zones.


But first, let's review some basic safety tips:

  • During any construction work toxic chemicals should be avoided.

  • Children and pregnant women should stay away from areas being renovated, to avoid being exposed to potentially harmful substances. A child is developing and all their organs, brain, lungs etc; organs are all growing/developing from 0 to 6 years old and thus they should not be exposed to renovation dust and toxins/ airborne particulates below the age of six. Pregnant women should follow these guidelines too thus, paint and renovate the house BEFORE the mom is pregnant.

  • Control and contain all dust. Seal off the rest of the house from the renovation site with plastic sheeting and duct tape and close heating and cooling vents, particularly in older homes (built before 1978), renovation dust can contain high levels of lead, which is toxic to the developing brain.

  • Choose less toxic paints, finishes and glues. Look for products labeled “VOC-free, zero-VOC” or “low-VOC. Open the windows and use fans to bring in fresh air during and after use of these products. VOC is Volatile Organic Compound – which means airborne particulates. New carpet and new paint smells are all extremely toxic and can cause many aliments leading to asthma and other respiratory illnesses.

  • Keep your work clothes and shoes in a separate hamper, or in a shed or garage. Wash them separately from other laundry.

Tackling the Basics


Taking On The Bigger Tasks

Next: Renovating (Page 2)

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