Hardwood floors are beautiful but anyone who has been through a hardwood floor refinishing project knows just how difficult it can be-dusty, toxic and generally unhealthy. That’s why most homeowners vacate their homes during the process.
Fortunately, that’s changing, thanks in large part to companies with an environmental focus. For example, BonaKemi, whose Environmental Choice System™ featuring dust containment and waterborne finishes recently became the first system certified for indoor air quality by Greenguard. An industry-independent, nonprofit organization, the Greenguard Environmental Institute (GEI) works to improve public health and the quality of life through programs that improve indoor air. The Greenguard Certification program for low-emitting interior products establishes acceptable air-quality standards and testing protocols for indoor products.
Because homeowners want to be assured that their health is not compromised by the dust and toxic fumes associated with traditional hardwood floor refinishing, the latest dust-containment systems connect the sanding equipment to a high-powered vacuum, which extracts the dust generated during the sanding process.
But dust containment is only half of the equation when it comes to maintaining indoor air quality. Using an environmentally sound floor finish is the other. The most modern floor-finishing products are waterborne, which means they have no toxic fumes, are virtually odorless and nonflammable, yet feature superior durability over their more toxic counterparts.
“Refinishing hardwood floors with waterborne products and sanding with dust-containment equipment creates a healthier environment for not only the hardwood flooring contractor, but the homeowner as well,” said Marilyn Black, Ph.D., of Air Quality Sciences, a third-party indoor air quality-testing company that was part of the GEI team certifying the BonaKemi system.