Improving the overall appearance of your home or business is important, but many property owners have additional questions about what those remodels could mean for the environment. From finishes to material sourcing, each item you choose to put on the property has an impact on your health and on the quality of the environment. In fact, the statistics regarding the indoor air quality in our buildings are staggering.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) completed research that demonstrated that there are two to five times more pollutants in our homes than in the great outdoors. In our frenzy to complete projects quickly and on extremely small budgets, we’ve often traded our health in the process.
Because of the possible long-term ramifications of choosing flooring that isn’t good for the environment or our health, consumers are rightfully becoming more concerned about the products they choose. They want to know exactly where things come from and how they can benefit their property while lessening their personal impact on the environment.
All of this information begins to beg the question about whether polished concrete could be a healthier alternative to popular flooring choices. If you’re concerned about whether your flooring is going to be environmentally friendly, you should take a closer look at what it can really offer in comparison to other flooring products.
Concrete may already be a part of your property
Sourcing the materials for flooring is one of the biggest issues for finding products that are environmentally friendly. Some of the most popular products contribute to a long cycle of waste and shipping costs that are slowly deteriorating any potential benefits the flooring itself may have. One of the most popular examples of flooring that may not be as environmentally as it’s thought to be is hardwood flooring.
Top manufacturers may try to outsource the production of their materials to other countries overseas that have lower labor costs. In exchange for these lower labor costs, the flooring must now be shipped across the ocean at least once. The travel costs and fuel resources that make this transfer possible can eat into any potential benefit the product had. Unfortunately, you will also generate a lot of waste from cut pieces during the installation itself.
On the other hand, concrete is often readily available and comes directly from your property.
In many cases, the foundation of your home or business is already on a concrete slab. You can save money when you utilize the area that is already available to you. By making good use of the products installed in your home, you’re automatically using an option that is more environmentally friendly than something shipped from another country or even a local factory.
This is a simple yet effective way to lessen your impact on the environment.
Finishing concrete uses very few chemicals
Many people imagine the process of polishing concrete to be akin to that of finishing hardwood floors. You may envision the toxic odors, noxious fumes, and harsh chemicals that are used to seal the surface of the wood. Fortunately, polishing concrete requires very little in terms of a chemical compound.
The shine of the concrete is actually produced by sanding the surface with a variety of grits ranging from more abrasive to an extremely fine version. Much like sanding a piece of wood, the concrete becomes smoother as your experienced contractor moves through this process. When the surface becomes smoother, the concrete slowly develops more reflective qualities.
Your contractor may apply a sealer to help protect the concrete from spills and penetration of liquids, but this is the only chemical component necessary.
In contrast, other flooring types are often laden with harsh chemicals that can cause serious long-term effects on your health. Cheap carpets may be full of volatile organic compounds that cause serious issues for your long-term health. By breathing in these indoor air pollutants, you could be putting yourself at risk for more symptoms such as nasal congestion, sore throat, headaches, and more.
Not only are you preventing the indoor air from becoming polluted with contaminants when you install concrete flooring, but you are taking great strides in improving your own physical health.
Concrete doesn’t need to be replaced very often
One of the other major advantages of concrete is its durability. On the surface, this may appear to be just another benefit of installing concrete floors over other types but it also contributes to its eco-friendliness. By opting to install polished concrete flooring first, you will have a floor that lasts for decades without needing to be replaced.
The long lifespan means that you’ll purchase fewer materials over these years and contribute less waste to the environment. You’ll also have fewer chemicals on the property and less off-gassing from new flooring that may have harmful VOCs in the finish or production. With a durable flooring choice, you’re making a decision that will give you long-term satisfaction and contribute less waste to the environment.
Many other popular types of flooring will wear out over the years. Carpet will become worn and threadbare while wood floors are likely to become dented and scratched. Eventually, these latter two flooring styles will need to be replaced because they simply aren’t as durable as concrete.
Overall, the durability of concrete is one of the key components that can minimize your property’s impact on the environment.
Property owners who are interested in making choices that lead to an environmentally-friendly atmosphere will want to consider using polished concrete for their flooring. Many homes already have access to concrete floors, it uses very few chemicals, and it does not need to be replaced as often. Because of these inherent attributes, polished concrete can help to lessen your environmental footprint while simultaneously increasing your health.
The choice should be fairly obvious. If you want to choose an environmentally friendly floor, concrete should be a top contender for your home or business. Contact TCF West today to find out how we can help!