Here’s something you probably don’t know: many of the popular flooring options can be a major source of air pollution inside your home. The materials in flooring can severely degrade indoor air quality (IAQ) and pose a health risk. Let’s explore the IAQ concerns of floors and related products.
Volatile Organic Compounds
Both hard-surface and soft-surface flooring can emit VOCs during installation. New carpets can produce VOCs for some time after installation. The chemicals used to finish new hardwood flooring also emit these noxious fumes for a while. Harmful solvents may be off-gassed during the installation of vinyl flooring.
Some floors even continue to emit harmful gases post-installation. For instance, some types of laminate floors tend to release formaldehyde, a pollutant that can pose severe health risks.
VOC emissions also come from the chemicals used on floors during maintenance, such as the waxes, strippers, and polishes commonly used to maintain hard surface floors like vinyl.
Carpet usually traps dust, dirt, pet dander, and other allergens. If you don’t clean it regularly, these pollutants can be lifted into your indoor air as people walk over the floor or during vacuuming and renovation.
How to Reduce the IAQ Concerns of Floors
To help boost IAQ, only consider floors and flooring-related products that have been proven to meet stringent chemical emission limits. Such products will have certification labels such as:
- Green Label Plus — this certifies carpets and adhesives with extremely low levels of VOCs.
- Greenguard — this label assures that a product designed for indoor use meets strict emission limits.
- FloorScore — the certification program identifies hardwood, vinyl, laminate, and rubber floor coverings as well as adhesives that meet stringent IAQ requirements.
Regular cleaning goes a long way to extracting trapped contaminants in your carpet and improving IAQ. Keep your carpet clean through daily spot removal, daily or weekly vacuuming, and periodic extraction.
IAQ concerns may not be the first thing you think about when choosing floors, but it’s essential to consider them to protect your family’s health. If you need help with improving air quality in the Dayton area, contact us at Detmer and Sons.