A Quick Guide to Building an Allergy-Resistant Home in Texas
Allergies are never any fun. As if the sneezing, itchy throat, runny nose, and possible shortness of breath aren’t enough, many symptoms of allergies also present as COVID symptoms, so you may feel like you need to test yourself even though you are sure it is just your allergies.
To avoid the hassle and give yourself relief, it has never been more important to stifle your allergies before they rear their ugly head.
Although allergies affect people all over the world in various shapes and forms, they can be surprisingly nasty in Texas–a state most outsiders associate with heat instead of pollen.
“In the hill country the mountain cedar gets extremely bad and then is followed by the oak pollen season. This usually lasts over 4 months and frustrates a lot of people that move into Texas.”
While we are still a few months ahead of the start of the November allergy season, it is never too early to start preparations, so keep reading for an ultimate guide for building an allergy-free home in Texas.
Lay the Right Foundation
As with all aspects of building a pristine home, creating an allergy-free structure starts with the foundation. Unsurprisingly, not all types of foundations perform equally when it comes to allergy resistance. Simple concrete masonry units are at risk of absorbing moisture, which may lead to mold and mildew infiltration within your home. Wood foundations treated with chromated copper arsenate (CCA) can eventually degrade and become compromised by rot and insects over time. As a result, it is best to choose a foundation material such as below grade ICF to help stand the test of time and remain impervious to all types of allergen infiltration.
Seal the Building Envelope
The building envelope is any aspect of the home that separates the untreated exterior from the treated interior. This can include everything from the framing to the insulation to the siding to the roofing–and much more. To create a truly allergen free environment, it may be worthwhile to apply a layer of liquid flashing before installing the siding as an additional layer of protection against allergen infiltration. The difference between an air barrier vs vapor barrier vs moisture barrier can be extremely subtle, so it is a good idea to research which type of system will be best suited for your home’s location.
Take Steps to Prevent Mold and Mildew
Among allergy sufferers, roughly 20% suffer from mold or mildew allergies. However, because the symptoms closely mirror those of pollen or pet dander allergies, these allergens are easily overlooked.
As mentioned, choosing the correct foundation and layering the building envelope with air and vapor barriers are great places to start to prevent mold damage in your home. However, you should also consider adding a moisture resistant paint to your wood siding, deck, exterior furniture, window trim, or any other area where moisture absorption is a threat.
Install Storm Windows
It is no secret that tropical storms can plague the coastal regions of Texas. However, even if you are building inland, it is worth installing hurricane grade windows nonetheless. Degraded windows are one of the most common points of air transfer in a home and can be the perfect place for allergens to be introduced. By choosing high-durability storm windows, your windows will remain impenetrable in the face of 250 MPH winds and projectile impact of up to 100 MPH, ensuring the level of airtightness necessary for keeping allergens on the exterior.
Use Easy to Clean Materials
Everyone recommends frequent cleaning when it comes to keeping your home allergy-free. The reality, though, is that most people simply don’t have the time to clean as often as they should.
While there is no magic formula for kicking you into cleaning mode, and self-dusting houses have yet to be invented, you can give yourself a leg up by building with materials that are easy to clean. For example, choosing hard flooring surfaces such as polished concrete or engineered hardwood eliminate the need for dust-provoking vacuum cleaners, while nonporous countertops such as quartz or solid surface reduce the risk of mold formation and can be cleaned with nothing more than a wipe of the rag.
Go the Extra Mile to Make Your Texas Home Allergy-Free
Although it may not immediately come to mind for people moving into the state, Texas has a particularly nasty allergy season that runs from early November through late January. Fortunately, allergy sufferers can mitigate the effects of allergens with the proper planning and home construction. Laying the correct foundation, sealing the building envelope, preventing mold and mildew accumulation, installing storm windows, and using easy-to-clean materials are some of the best ways to ensure that allergens never enter your home, allowing you to enjoy your Texas property allergy free!
We would love to talk to you! We can help you achieve economies of scale with our vast knowledge of insulated concrete forms, and bring your dream building to reality in short order with our acclaimed designs of sustainable, energy-efficient facilities, and turnkey capabilities.