Renovating the bathroom can be an extremely rewarding task if you put in the hard work, and can also save lots of money by cutting out bathroom fitters. Renovation projects are often bad for the environment with the prominent use of industrial chemicals and adhesives and more electrical use than usual from the use of various power tools. If you’re ready to tackle a DIY bathroom renovation project but want to ensure you aren’t damaging the environment with the work you’re doing, then there are a few steps you can follow to ensure your remodelling project is as green as possible.
Generally, the aim of bathroom renovation is so the finished bathroom is different in appearance than it was previously. This often refers to a colour change too, meaning the walls, ceiling and woodwork will require repainting and emulsioning. Some paints and emulsions can be toxic to the environment and emit vapours which are harmful to the o-zone layer. In order to prevent this from happening you should opt for emulsions and paints which are free from VOC’s as these are the chemicals within regular paints that are toxic.
When renovating the bathroom, that old flooring will need ripping up and replacing with a new, more attractive and durable flooring. This may be a seemingly innocent task (although it will require considerable effort!) However, if the flooring has been in place pre-1970 then you need to be particularly careful that you aren’t dealing with a flooring containing asbestos. Asbestos was used in floor tiles in the past, predominantly in the 1960s, and if disturbed can be potentially hazardous to human health. If you’re worried your flooring may contain asbestos then arrange for an asbestos survey on your home.
If you’re changing your wall coverings then now is a good time to check if you have cavity wall insulation. Cavity wall insulation can significantly increase the energy efficiency of your home by reducing the amount of heat lost through the exterior walls. Plus, it’ll keep you a lot warmer when soaking in your new bath!
Power tool usage can eat up a lot of electricity and you may even notice an increase in your bills whilst undergoing your DIY task. Alternative, renewable energy options are worth considering if you’re renovating the whole house and are a green way to use electricity.
If you’re dedicating yourself to your DIY project there may be times when you work after sunset. Solar powered lanterns – which charge throughout the day whilst sunlight is present and release light automatically when darkness falls – can be a convenient portable lighting option for you to use whilst renovating your bathroom. Not only are they really eco-friendly, they also aren’t reliant on electricity so if you have to turn the electricity supply off in your home to complete a job you still have a source of light! Whilst on the subject of lighting, why not replace those old light bulbs with energy-saving alternatives?
Written by Stephanie Staszko on behalf of Branded Bathrooms and Energy Save North West who install cavity wall insulation for homeowners. You can follow Steph on Twitter @StephStaz for more eco-friendly home posts.