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How To Prevent VOC Off-Gassing in Your Home

Is your home safe from high levels of VOC off-gasses? Learn more about VOCs in your home, their effects, and how to minimize the rate of off-gassing.

How To Prevent VOC Off-Gassing in Your Home

Did you know that various items within your home reduce your indoor air quality? From your floors to your walls, volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, occur from a range of places, filling your rooms with toxic gases and poor air quality. VOCs leach into the air through a process called off-gassing. The high-grade or chemical-based products used in manufacturing evaporate over time. Too much VOC exposure affects people in different ways, including breathing difficulties, irritations, and heightened allergies. Although off-gassing is hard to fully avoid since chemicals play a huge role in many different products, there are ways to prevent overexposure. Here are a couple of tips on how to prevent VOC off-gassing in your home.

Control Humidity Levels

There are many reasons why high humidity levels negatively affect your health, including increasing the production of VOC off-gas. In high heat and humidity levels, the harsh chemicals in manufactured products, wall paints, and other items and building materials evaporate into a gas and release toxic airborne particles. Heat and warm room temperatures speed up the off-gassing process. Like with many chemical reactions, adding heat stimulates the chemicals into a reactive process, allowing them to change form and create new substances. Controlling your indoor humidity levels minimizes off-gassing and allows proper air ventilation to circulate and filter through your rooms.

Use Natural Cleaning Products

Have you ever felt light-headed after using a cleaning spray? It’s partially due to the VOC off-gases released from your cleaning product’s chemical solution. Many popular high-grade cleaning supplies use strong chemicals to clean and sanitize effectively. However, those same chemicals release VOC off-gasses. Opting for natural or homemade cleaning solutions reduces off-gases since they eliminate the use of strong chemicals. As a general rule of thumb, the easier it is to read the list of ingredients, the fewer chemicals and toxins they include.

Purchase Used Furnishings

New furnishings are a major culprit in generating off-gasses. From adhesives to stains and synthetic fibers, many furniture pieces include exposed components or contain industrial chemicals. Over time, the off-gases decline as most of the chemicals from manufacturing deplete. Purchasing secondhand furniture decreases the overall rate of off-gases in your home. They already have released most of their toxic fumes and contain very little chemical residue.

Avoid or Remove Wall-to-Wall Carpeting

Another main offender of off-gassing is wall-to-wall carpeting. The synthetic fibers that cover the main surface of carpets require an industrialized chemical reaction in order to come into existence. These chemicals create VOC off-gasses as they react to their new surroundings. Similarly, the adhesive used to install and bind the carpet also includes VOCs that release off-gas over time. Switching out entire floor carpets minimizes off-gassing in your home, and it also reduces other toxins that arise from the dust and other toxins that get trapped between the fibers of carpets.

Preventing VOC off-gassing in your home includes minimizing the number of chemicals or chemical-exposed products. Although you can’t one hundred percent avoid them, you can still reduce their occurrence. With fewer VOC off-gases in your home, the better your indoor air quality and the safer your home becomes.

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Last modified: June 6, 2022