In this new age of choosing sustainable building products, many homeowners are not only concerned with the health of our forests and communities but also the health of their homes. It’s no secret that many of the building products and everyday household products we use contain harmful chemicals, known as Volatile Organic Compounds. These chemicals can affect our air quality and overall quality of life. Wood is an excellent solution to these concerns, helping to create healthy indoor and outdoor environments. Here’s how wood can be used to create a healthy environment within our homes.
What are VOCs?
Volatile Organic Compounds or VOCs are gases that are emitted from certain materials. VOCs are found in many standard household products and materials and are often found in higher concentrations indoors. Cleaning products, cosmetics, paints, pesticides, and building materials all contain organic compounds that release into the air during use and even when stored.
The effects caused by VOCs can vary from person to person and depends on the overall toxicity of a specific product. However, immediate symptoms reported include eye irritation, headaches, and dizziness.
Reducing VOCs in Your Home
To reduce exposure to VOCs, it is important to evaluate the products you bring into your home. On a larger scale, you may also want to assess the building materials you are considering for your home, as many of these products we use to build our homes release VOCs.
One common way to reduce the levels of VOCs in your home is by choosing natural flooring options. Many man-made floorings, such as vinyl and laminate options, contain higher VOCs than natural alternatives, such as wood flooring or a low-VOC carpet such as wool.
However, wood does contain some level of VOCs naturally. Yet, unlike man-made chemicals, many studies detail how the chemicals found in wood can positively affect our nervous system, stress, and breathing.
Once you decide which low-VOC material will work for your home, it is also important to research and consider the type of finishing products you will use. Many adhesives, stains, sealants, and finishes will contain some level of VOCs, so looking into more natural products is a great option to limit those VOCs.
Marks Lumber’s circle sawn flooring does not require adhesives to apply. In fact, we recommend nailing the flooring down rather than gluing it, in order to minimize movement.
At Marks Lumber, you will find that we only offer unfinished Douglas fir flooring. This leaves you with the ability to choose whatever product you prefer for the sealant and finish.
We recommend using Bona Seal and Finish to help protect your wood flooring. You can learn more about the VOC levels of Bona products on their comprehensive website.
At Marks Lumber, we offer unfinished, circle sawn Douglas fir flooring, timbers, siding, and paneling to help you achieve a natural, healthy home. Contact Marks Lumber with questions or to place an order today.