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5 Things to Do Before a Remodel or Renovation

by vscontent on July 14, 2017

What to Do Before a Remodel or RenovationWhenever remodeling the home, it’s important to consider indoor air quality, ventilation, and other common indoor air problems.

Some of the most common places to remodel are:

  • Basement
  • Attic
  • Bathrooms
  • Kitchen

When remodeling these areas, it’s important to anticipate and prepare for mold, moisture, and ventilation problems.

Here are 5 things you want to do before the start of your next renovation:

1. Test for moisture

By detecting moisture problems early, you will know whether you need extra sealing or ventilation. Moisture can easily lead to warped wood, damaged foundation, and mold. Conduct a moisture test before your remodeling project begins so you know what kind of humidity level you are dealing with.

The best way to tell if you have moisture problems in a particular area of the home is with a hygrometer, not a moisture meter which is designed to measure the moisture content in wood and other building materials.

If you get measure a Relative Humidity (RH) reading above 60%, you have high humidity and most likely moisture-compromised building materials or an air leak problem. Anything lower than 30%, and the air is too dry. The ideal humidity level is somewhere between 30% and 50%.

If you are remodeling your basement and humidity levels are too high, you may need to seal the foundation.

To avoid mold, bacteria, and other moisture problems, fix leaks and clean up spills immediately.

2. Schedule professional inspections for fuel-burning appliances

If you are using fuel to power your heater, ventilation system, or anything else, make sure you schedule a professional safety inspection form a certified HVAC technician. Carbon monoxide, known as the “Silent Killer,” is created whenever fuel is burned. Larger renovations almost always use fuel-burning appliances, such as backup generators. An HVAC professional will be able to check CO levels as well as recommend and install ventilation systems.

If you are adding a furnace, water heater, or generator, make sure that they are not enclosed. Always consult a qualified HVAC technician before running these new items. Any fuel-burning appliance needs proper ventilation and should be handled with care. Learn more about the dangers of carbon monoxide.

3. For add-ons, consider an HVAC zoning system

If you are busting at the seams and installing a new room or section of the home, ask your HVAC contractor about zoning solutions. Instead of running ductwork to the new area, you can use a separate zoned system, which uses no ducts. The add-on will have a separate temperature control. Learn more about zoned heating and cooling.

4. Fix insulation problems early

When remodeling your home, it’s a good idea to ensure proper insulation. Consider insulating both hot and cold water pipes before you enclose them. This will increase energy efficiency and prevent frozen pipes in the winter.

Keep in mind that there are minimum insulation requirements for remodeling.

Basement insulation is different from attic insulation. Consult a professional HVAC technician about proper insulation and ventilation before tackling any remodeling project.

5. Assume paint in homes before 1978 contains lead

You should assume that paint in home built before 1978 contains some lead. Lead-based paint is a harmful pollutant that can be extremely damaging to brains and nervous systems. For more information on lead safety, visit the EPA’s Lead Page.

In conclusion, you want to detect as many problems as you can before any work begins. Find and fix the underlying source of your humidity, insulation, and ventilation problems. Otherwise, the problem will simply resurface down the line.

When done properly, remodeling can significantly improve your quality of life. Make sure everything is safe and in good shape by scheduling a pre-renovation consultation with the professionals at Pacific Heating & Cooling.

Related Resources:

Call (253) 292-3995 to speak with one of our Comfort Specialists before remodeling your home.

Since 1984, we’ve been proudly serving our communities in Federal Way, Graham, Spanaway, University Place, Steilacoom, Sumner, Lakewood, Puyallup, Tacoma and Gig Harbor.

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