VOCs in flooring can be dangerous to you and your family’s health. While you shouldn’t sacrifice style and design when selecting your new home floors, you should consider all your options and pick them with care. Here are some things homeowners should be aware of regarding VOCs in flooring. If you need professional advice and installation for your residential floors, call RPS Carpet and Flooring Wholesalers.
What are VOCs?
VOCs stands for “volatile organic compounds” and usually is a categorization of harmful gases. Chemical gases emit from certain objects over time, as a result of its natural breakdown or releasing compounds that were used in its manufacturing. Some common examples where you may have encountered VOCs in your life include the fresh paint smell or new car smell. Some building materials, including flooring, emit VOCs, which can build up in unproperly ventilated homes. Long-term exposure to VOCs can cause people to develop health problems, including asthma, headaches, respiratory infections, allergies, and even cancer.
Where Are They Found?
Synthetic carpets and rugs are made with dangerous human-made materials that emit VOCs, such as benzene. Additionally, when it comes to overall indoor air quality, carpeting, in general, can trap a lot of dust and irritants if not regularly cleaned. If the carpet gets wet, mold can grow in that moist environment. Inhaling mold spores can be just as dangerous as VOCs.
Hardwood can be easier to clean and maintain, but it can also be a source of household VOCs in flooring. While wood itself is non-toxic, the chemicals used to treat or stain the wood boards can emit dangerous gases like formaldehyde.
Another source of VOCs in flooring comes from the adhesives used for installations. Glues and adhesives contain dangerous chemical compounds, like formaldehydes, ethylene vinyl acetate, and cyanoacrylates.
What Are My Options?
When choosing your flooring materials, opt for choices that specifically are labeled as no to low-VOCs. Natural fiber and low-pile carpets are best. Some natural fiber carpets include cotton, wool, jukes, and sisal. Hardwood floors are still a viable low-VOC option for your home if you choose pre-sealed woods or woods treated with water-based polyurethane instead of other chemical lacquers. Ceramic and linoleum flooring both do not emit toxic gases. Additionally, when installing the floors, use tack strips rather than adhesives to secure carpet flooring. If necessary, use low-VOC or water-based adhesives when installing your floors.
RPS Flooring is Here to Help
Is your home or commercial building in need of new floors? RPS Carpet and Flooring Wholesalers has over two decades of experience providing residential and commercial flooring throughout Maryland. Give us a call, or come and visit our showroom to check out our expansive selection. For tips, tricks, and to see what we have been working on, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.