Renovating or building a home can be a fun yet confusing experience sometimes. Did you recently lay down fresh carpet and can't help but notice the strong smell? Is it safe to be around new carpet fumes for long periods? What are some ways to get rid of this intense odor?
We'll answer all of these questions below. Let's dive right in!
The new carpet smell won't be unsafe to be around if your space has good ventilation. In general, your new carpet will have a strong "factory" scent, likely because of the glue you used to secure it in place/the VOCs in your carpet's fibers.
Getting rid of this shouldn't take much more than a large fan, a few open windows, and some patience. The more flowing air, the faster the smell will dissolve.
As we start this post, we will cover all things new carpets and discuss how to get rid of the smell. Whether you're redesigning your place, have an allergy to the carpet smell, or need additional help, we're here to offer some insight. With that said, let's get right into this topic below!
Why Does My New Carpet Have A Strong Smell? Is It Safe To Breathe In?
One of the reasons a carpet will have such a strong smell at first is the VOCs that begin to rise out once it has been unrolled. On top of the carpet's chemical scent, the glue/adhesive you use to secure it also tends to have a strong odor.
Between these various smells, your house can quickly become irritating until you get rid of the chemicals and clear out your rooms.
According to Ecology Center, the "new carpet" odor is the 4-PC off-gassing. This process can cause eye and respiratory tract irritation and affect the central nervous system in severe situations.
Especially if you have asthma or a breathing issue, this mixture can make your space unbearable for the first 2-3 days post-installation.
Luckily, there are ways to eliminate the VOCs from your house's interior, including using fans, opening windows, and even plugging in an automatic fragrance device.
How Long Does A New Carpet Smell Last?
The smell could linger for a week or two, depending on how fragrant your carpet is. As we mentioned above, carpets have VOCs that will release into the air when you unroll them.
Furthermore, if you use adhesive to install your carpet, that can also create a chemical smell. Between the two, your room/home can quickly become overpowering and hard to enjoy.
Many experts claim that the new carpet odors can last multiple days, even with proper ventilation. They've been marinating for months, if not years, between the factory, shipping containers, and warehouses.
Therefore, it's a good idea to turn on a ceiling fan, turn on a box fan, and open enough windows to move the chemicals through and out of your home.
The worst thing to do here is to let the smells become trapped inside your house, which can make them stronger and stay longer.
How Do You Get Rid Of New Carpet Smell?
The best way to get rid of the new carpet smell in your house is by creating good ventilation. As we mentioned, the new carpet and adhesive VOCs tend to linger a few days post-installation.
So, if you turn on a few fans, open the windows, and let your space cycle out that bad air, you should be able to enjoy the space after a day or two.
According to the pros at Avalon Flooring, open your windows, turn on several fans on the high-speed setting, and face a few towards those open windows.
By doing this, you're creating a wind tunnel that can pick up the VOCs and swiftly move them out into the exterior of your home.
Additionally, you want to do this for 72 hours to ensure the chemical smell is completely gone.
If you don't have a box fan, we recommend purchasing one or turning on all the ceiling fans in your home (whether they're around the new carpet or not).
Comfort Zone 3-Speed Box Fan
This fan has three speeds, features 'full-force' air circulation, is corded electric, has high-performance blades, is perfect for industrial projects, and comes in black or white.
Will The New Carpet Smell Go Away On Its Own?
If you don't want to turn on your fan for days or keep the windows open, the new carpet smell should dissipate on its own. As we mentioned, ventilation will make the odors disappear faster, but that's not to say you always have to do something.
In contrast, as long as the air is circulating through your home, the smells will go away after a week or two. Even the air conditioning can help push the bad smells away from your carpet and outside, but this takes longer than opening windows/turning on fans.
According to Floor Coverings International, you might also want to sprinkle baking soda onto the carpet that is still smelling strong after many days, as it can absorb the odors.
Once your room smells better, vacuum the baking soda up, throw it in the trash, and you're done.
Another alternative to fans and windows would be placing bowls of vinegar around the carpet, as they'll absorb the scent and neutralize the space.
Should I Vacuum New Carpet To Get Rid Of The Smell?
Yes! It can be beneficial to vacuum the new carpet to help with the smell. As we covered above, new carpeting will have a chemical odor for the first few days/weeks, so vacuuming can help absorb them.
That said, a new carpet smell won't go away with just vacuuming. VOCs need to move through the air and out to the open environment to go away, so vacuuming can only do so much.
However, if you sprinkle baking soda around your carpeting, let it sit for a few hours, and then vacuum it up, that could make things smell better faster.
In general, vacuuming and regularly cleaning your carpet can help prevent odors. Since your carpet traps and holds smells, stains, and dust/dirt, grabbing a vacuum once a week is a good idea.
In addition, you might even want to invest in an iRobot or other robot vacuum to ensure your home always smells fresh and looks clean.
Does All Carpet Have A Chemical Smell?
Unfortunately, all carpets, regardless of type, will emit odors once unrolled and installed. Typically, brand-new carpets will come tightly rolled, which is why the smell releases into the air so quickly once you unroll them.
Therefore, you want to prepare for a strong scent from your new flooring, so we recommend grabbing a few fans, opening the windows, and even sprinkling some baking soda around.
The installation method you use will also play a role here. For example, if you use a low VOC adhesive, you can have fewer odors in your home, although this is normal for carpeting.
Luckily, many flooring glues have low VOC formulas, so finding one shouldn't be difficult.
Roberts 3095-1 Carpet Adhesive
This carpet adhesive doesn't have a strong odor, is compatible with foam, concrete, and rubber, is beige, should be used indoors, takes 24-48 hours to cure, and comes in a one-gallon container.
What Is The Best Way To Install New Carpet?
Depending on how thick your carpeting is, the installation method may be a bit different. Some people choose to have their carpet glued to the floor, while others use staples.
If you decide on staples, staple the carpet pad at the seams, alternating the staples, so they aren't next to each other.
The Home Depot recommends using a staple hammer to ensure your carpet is secured into the ground, although you won't need to deal with this if you hire a professional.
With that said, if you aren't familiar with stapling carpet but want to install it yourself, that's when glue can be helpful. Between the two, glue tends to be more for industrial spaces, although it's still popular among DIYers and professionals.
On top of that, you need to glue down the padding for your carpet regardless, so it's worth it to follow that same method for the actual carpeting installation.
However, glue might add to the smell problem after carpet installation, so stapling might be best in terms of overall scent.
Should I Hire A Professional To Install My Carpet?
If you're only installing carpet in a small space or room, it can save you money to do it yourself.
That said if you aren't familiar with how carpeting works or don't feel comfortable working with a staple gun or floor adhesive, contacting a professional might be the better decision.
One of the major drawbacks of having to install or re-install carpet is the cost. Typically, you can expect to pay a professional installer between $756 and $2,591, with the national average at $1,673.
Specifically, the cost per square foot of carpeting will set you back around $3.50 to $11, so this can quickly become expensive.
Again, every person has different price ranges, so you might find an experienced pro that isn't charging top-tier prices.
Whether you have carpet that needs to be replaced or you're building your home from the ground up, having that new carpet smell isn't always fun. Although the carpet smell in your house won't generally be unsafe, it can irritate you if you're sensitive to odors.
A few ways to eliminate the odors include sprinkling baking soda, vacuuming, opening windows, and using box fans around your carpeting. Luckily, the chemical smell should go away after a few days if you follow these suggestions.
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