As you tackle your next home improvement project, be aware of good practices so you can keep your living environment as safe and healthy as possible. Here are several ways to help you minimize harmful odor and chemical exposure as you remodel your home.


First off, if your home was built prior to 1978, the paint in your home very likely contains lead. Lead dust is harmful, especially to children since their brains and nervous systems are more sensitive to its effects.

If your paint has lead in it, it must be removed properly and carefully by a certified renovator who follows lead-safe work practices. DO NOT scrape, sand, or burn the paint off yourself or you could release high concentrations of lead into the air in your home.


When repairing something that has been damaged, make sure you fix the underlying problem. If you simply cover up problem by making the surface look good and new, you’ll eventually run into the problem again in the future or the underlying problem will continue causing damage to your home that will be harder to fix later. Examples of common underlying problems include moisture and mold and structural damage.


To control or eliminate a mold problem, you must deal with the underlying issue—moisture. Mold can cause allergic reactions and serious health problems for many people. If you experience a leak or water intrusion in your home, make sure to completely dry the area immediately. Waiting even 24–48 hours can allow mold to begin to grow in damp areas. If your home is damp and musty, talk with a professional about mold removal and long-term moisture control.


Never disturb areas of your home that contain asbestos. If the area is in good shape (not damaged), it’s often best to leave it untouched so you don’t expose yourself and your family to asbestos-containing materials, or dangerous fibers will be released. If you need to remove or repair an area containing asbestos, be sure to hire a trained and accredited professional. 


Try to minimize the amount of dust you create while remodeling. You could mist surfaces with water before sanding or cover certain areas with tarps or plastic to keep dust contained while working.


Use proper ventilation as well to blow dust out of the home and to prevent it from spreading to other areas. Provide maximum ventilation to the area while painting or installing flooring (particularly carpeting) and continue to vent for at least 72 hours after completing the installation. Whenever possible, apply paint or finishes to materials outside before bringing them indoors. Roll out carpeting and allow it to air out for a couple days before bringing it into your home if possible. Many paints and flooring materials emit high levels of VOCs, which can cause serious health problems for humans and animals. 

For any home improvement services in Ames or Story County, call Cyclone Contracting! Our designers and contractors are experienced, knowledgeable, and creative. Let us know how we can help you create the space of your dreams!