Is My Home’s Indoor Air Quality at Risk?
When building materials like wood floors, plywood and resins; furniture; and carpeting off-gas, formaldehyde (and other chemical) concentrations can reach dangerous levels.
But Formaldehyde is not the only chemical you need to worry about. There are thousands in use and new ones being developed every day. Most of which are not tested for health effects.
How Long Does It Take To Off-Gas?
Formaldehyde is a colorless flammable gas that quickly breaks down in air making it difficult to detect. It can take years for new building materials to totally off-gas.
The tough part is that as one material off-gases, other materials re-absorb that gas to release it again later.
It’s a vicious cycle that periodic whole house venting will not adequately address.
Frequently Asked Questions
Many folks have (or develop) sensitivity to molds and chemicals that are immediately noticeable. Other times it takes longer as we age and our immune systems start to decline. Everyone is different. But when one room in your home gives you such immediate discomfort there almost always a hidden microorganism to blame. Better bring in a mold specialist.
Actively growing molds have a distinctive musty aroma associated with their life cycle. Picture walking into a basement and what aroma is typically associated with that environment. If you smell smoke, there’s almost always a fire. A pro would help you determine what is going on with that aroma.
It’s not unusual to have become so de-sensitized to the aromas associated with your home after living there for decades. Many times folks new to your home will notice the unusual aroma and mention it to you. You should hire a professional and investigate this further as things are not as they always seem to you.
Best way to remove odors is to remove the source. But odors are often absorbed by surrounding building materials and can be difficult to address. To address those areas can use a deodorizing treatment such as a biocide, hydroylation, ozone, etc. It just depends on the type of odor and how long it ahs been around.
A musty smell is often a sign of a larger moisture challenge. Manage the moisture and the odor often dissipates as well.