New Carpet Smell Is it Safe? (October 2022) Guide

Some people find the scent of new carpets is a pleasant memory of a recent home improvement. However, for others, it’s a bothersome smell that could render a space almost impossible to use. Whatever your feelings about it, a new carpet smell isn’t the most healthy air you breathe and it’s logical to eliminate it from your home as soon as you can. If you follow the correct method you’ll be able to rid yourself of the smell in one or two weeks or less, if not earlier.

What’s This Smell?

The smell of new carpeting is caused by the presence of chemicals that are known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The broad range of chemicals includes a number which are commonly used in the production of household items like vinyl flooring, paint and furniture made of pressed wood.

Volatile here is the term used to describe their ability to evaporate at the temperature of ambient. When a carpet is being installed, it gradually releases chemical residue, these chemicals are released into the air, where we are able to smell them. In the space of a few days or some weeks, the smells disappear and carpets no longer smell.

The VOCs responsible for the new carpet smells include the 4-phenylcyclohexene (4-PCH) and in lesser amounts the styrene. They are typically derived through the latex synthetic used in the backing of the carpet and also from carpet padding as well as adhesives that are used to fix the carpet in place during installation. The use of water repellents, dyes anti-static substances, and other chemical additives may also release VOCs in your residence if they were not completely removed during the manufacturing process.

Being safe around New Carpet

Carpets are among the most low VOC emission of all material used in the home You can also find carpets with low VOC levels and even without VOC in case you don’t want have to deal with the new carpet smell in any way. The adhesives and paddings have slightly higher levels of emissions, but because carpet covers an extensive area typically, it’s one of the primary sources of VOCs in your home.

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But, the amount of VOCs the carpet releases isn’t likely to affect a person’s health, and there’s no evidence of a connection between the 4-PCH compound and any negative health consequences. It’s safe in the event that you adhere to the instructions of the carpet manufacturer which typically recommend venting the newly-installed carpeted space for three days and then not using the space for the duration of that duration.

For people who are particularly sensitive or those suffering from health issues like asthma, VOCs may cause headaches, nausea dizziness, nausea and throat irritation. If you are experiencing these symptoms or aren’t a fan of the chemical smell, you should consider going to the extra mile to get rid of your air.

Cleaning Your Air of Carpet Smell

The first step to reduce the VOCs the carpet will bring in your house is to select an eco-friendly carpet that is low in VOC or low in VOC. Choose carpets that have those with the Green Label and Green Label Plus labels from the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI). They indicate that a carpet emits extremely low emissions. Carpets made of natural dyes and materials like wool, for example, in plant-dyed or natural colorsalso aids.

Ask your installer if they can use an installation technique that isn’t adhesive like floating installation. If that’s not possible you can ask them to use low-VOC adhesives. Before installing the carpet take it off and place it in a dry, well-ventilated space for a few days prior to. If you can, glue it to the floor so that it remains flat. This allows the carpet to release all of its chemical vapors in the vicinity of your home.

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If your carpet comes as part of an overall remodel task, be patient as you can before having the carpet installed. So that your carpet doesn’t be able to absorb VOCs from other substances and materials, for instance paint.

When the carpet is put in place After installation, air-condition the area in the maximum amount you can until you do not detect odors or smells, or for at minimum 72 hours. Unlock the windows and place ventilators inside the space that are turned to the maximum setting. Make sure that the doors to the room shut.

Following this, doing a thorough vacuuming could suffice to get rid of any smell that is still around. If not the case, apply baking soda to the carpet, and let it sit for at least 24 hours, and then vacuum once more. Baking soda will absorb some of the chemical fumes which are off-gassing.

If the odor is really strong steam cleaning may help by washing away any chemical residues that could be left behind in the carpet’s fibers. A basic steam cleaner that you can rent at a home improvement shop is a great start however, having an expert carpet cleaning service will make a difference.

To eliminate the new carpet smell that is lingering in the air, you can use using a mobile air cleaner that has an activated carbon filter that is able to capture gaseous air pollutants. There are also activated carbon filters specifically designed to be used in your air conditioning system. If you install one of these filters it is possible to use the A/C system to help ventilate the newly carpeted space more quickly. Air filters for fiber media, HEPA filters, and electronic air cleaners aren’t effective against airborne VOCs, therefore select your air purifier wisely.

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Some plants, like Boston fern as well as bamboo palm and English Ivy, reduce some VOCs within the air, making them beneficial additions to your home and could help reduce the smells that emanate from the newly-installed carpet.

If the carpet you just bought has a smell it’s likely that you have no reason to be concerned. The tiny amount of chemicals in that smell is not likely to cause you to get sick and it should disappear within about a week or so in the event that you properly air-condition the space. If the smell of your carpet makes you feel sick or is just unpleasant to walk around in, then the use of vacuums, cleaning with steam as well as using an activated-carbon air purifier will help you make your air cleaner.

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