Health / Guides

Polished concrete floors and counters
Paints, finishes and natural coatings

Finishing concrete floors with silicate densifiers

...healthiest floor: just use the densifier of your choosing and no further sealers, as most sealers will contain some level of VOCs (volatile organic compounds). Many densifiers have no VOCs; they will seal the floor, so additional sealers aren't absolutely necessary. A surface sealer will also wear out and require re-ap...

Frost in Attics: What causes Attic Ice? How to Fix it?
Roof assemblies - renovation

Why is there frost in my attic? Is ice in roofs a problem & How do I stop it?

...health concerns, but mostly to the very high Green House Gas emmissions from spray foam blowing agents. However 2020 has seen great news about the reduced global warming impact of spray foam, as several manufacturers switch to less harmful blowing agents, read more here . Now you know all about frost in att...

The importance of Cleaning HRV intakes
HRV and ERV

How to keep your HRV clean and operating efficiently

...Health Canada’s recommended safe levels. Despite having an air exchanger for the upper living areas, the natural stack effect of warm air rising means that air from the basement will find its way to the upper floors. Three weeks ago I had a new HRV system installed that is dedicated to the basement to reduce the rado...

custom kitchen renovation by River Woodworks
Kitchens

Formaldehyde-Free Green Kitchen cabinetry for a Non-toxic Home - Price Comparisons

...health will be great, and the price will probably be a pleasant surprise too. Market demand is such that as more people demand healthier and more eco-friendly building materials, the cost comes down considerably. 'Eco' products are mainstream now, so they are consistently becoming more affordable and easier to find. ...

Green cleaning products
Healthy indoor air quality

6 easy steps to detoxify your home

...health , a good ventilation system is still preferable. If you have a natural cleaner recipe or home detox tip to share, tell us about it in the comments below! Find out other ways to maintain healthy homes and safe indoor air quality such as choosing safe paints , how to make your own natural paint , and learn abo...

“The perfect lawn” comes with a very heavy environmental cost!
Landscaping

Which are the best bee-friendly & Eco-friendly alternatives to grass lawns in backyards?

...healthier than one barely out of the ground and your backyard will benefit from being lush. Keeping a healthy lawn attracts insects and helps biodiversity Maintaining an Eco-friendly lawn If choosing ground cover like thyme or a traditional grass lawn, avoid chemicals. Whether you chose a ground cover like ...

Slab-on-grade construction technical guide
Slab on Grade

Slab-on-grade technical guide

...healthier and more durable house. For a detailed guide on choosing between a Slab on Grade or a Basement for a home foundation see here , but we'll give conclusions below. Typically, the construction of a single family home in Canada & North America starts with a poured concrete footing followed by an 8-inch thick fo...

Basement Design for walls prevents mold & midlew when renovating & finishing
Healthy indoor air quality

Basement renovations: How to prevent mold when finishing basements

...health problems - that's why we don't want mold in our basements! Specifically we can prevent damage to buildings and building contents in the basement areas, save money and avoid these potential health problems by controlling moisture, where humidity in the air condenses, and by so eliminating mold growth. Quick F...

Vancouver's first laneway house
Tiny house

Vancouver 's laneway house movement is increasing urban density

...health and safety standards would be met, while increasing their tax base and promoting greater housing options for residents. Not everyone is a fan of urban densification; if ever the term 'not in my backyard' was applicable to a resistance, this is it. It's often hard at first to watch your neighbourhood add new ...

HEPA filters & SMART Air Filters catch airborne dust, pollen, allergens, viruses
Healthy indoor air quality

Buying guide for home air filters in furnaces - HEPA, SMART or Regular?

...health and lead to - or aggravate existing - respiratory issues such as asthma. What is also of importance in considering current events, is whether certain filters can stop airborne coronaviruses from circulating in our heating systems - and while COVID-19 apparently has only a limited longterm airborne presence - t...

How to Choose between an HRV and ERV system
HRV and ERV

Choosing between an HRV and an ERV

...Health Canada recommendations for optimum indoor air quality © Health Canada How much fresh air is enough? It is very difficult for humans to detect low levels of contaminants in their air , even when they represent a health hazard. An ideal home ventilation system would include sensors that could detec...