You probably do not often think about how the materials your home is built from may be detrimental to your health. Many homeowners are unaware that certain building materials can contain VOCs, or volatile organic compounds. When custom home building, consider using low VOC materials that will result in a healthier home environment.


Paint is not all made the same. When choosing paints, there are many varieties, brands and types available. Paint is perhaps the biggest and most immediate culprit for releasing VOCs, as it covers much of the surface area of a home. The highest risk for VOC emissions with paint tend to be while the paint is being applied and drying, with gradual reduction over time. When choosing paint, look for low-VOC options with less than 50 grams per liter of VOCs.


When deciding on flooring for your custom home, you may decide to stain and finish hardwood flooring. Similar to wall paint, stains and wood finishes can also contain a high amount of VOCs, which can slowly emit over time. Thankfully, there are options and products available with low VOC emissions.

Another consideration with flooring is with the use of vinyl. Make sure the vinyl flooring you choose is phthalate free, as well as to use a glue that is low VOC or VOC free.

Adhesives and Caulk

Adhesives and caulking used for finishing various aspects of your custom home may also contain high levels of volatile organic compounds. When choosing these materials, make sure that they contain 70 grams of VOC per liter or less. If you are putting any tile products, make sure that any grout, mortar and sealant products are also low VOC or VOC free.

Following these suggestions and being aware of building material choices can help to make your custom home a happier, and healthier place.

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