Why Choose Low VOC Flooring Products?
We all know that we should be concerned about the quality of indoor air in our homes all year round. Especially with spending so much time inside our homes, it is safe to say that the quality of indoor air gets more and more important topic we should all focus on. VOCs are the main contributor to poor indoor air quality. However, VOCs are all around us and it is impossible to live our lives without them no matter how many eco-friendly and sustainable purchases we make and how many "green" items and products we use. However, you don't need to live a life without VOCs in order to be healthy and enjoy better indoor air quality. All you need to do is decreasing the content of VOCs around you and this is not that hard as you may expect it to be.
What Are VOCs?
VOCs or Volatile Organic Compounds can be found in everything around us, they exist in nature too, they are found even within our own bodies. VOCs exhibit high vapour pressure at ordinary room temperature. As a result, they emit chemical particles into the air we breathe through vapours or gases. This process is referred to as "off-gassing". Now, off-gassing is what could potentially affect our health and well-being. Sure enough, there are many products and items we know for sure are creating off-gassing and we do our best to stay away from these and not allow them in our homes. Things like varnishes, turpentine, and what not we store in our garages or somewhere else far from the household and the main living space are popular producers of VOCs and off-gassing.
However, what really surprises us is the fact that most of the household items and products we believe are totally harmless and impossible to affect our health are actually creating off-gassing too, releasing significant amounts of VOCs into the air. And when this all happens between the closed space and the four walls of a room, it is safe to say that the effect of off-gassing is even bigger and stronger. Anything comprised of synthetics and treated with products such as paint, glue or adhesive, sealants, finishes, different coating and more can contribute to the overall off-gassing of our homes.
Think about it, most of the items and things around you in the room right now are exactly contributors to the off-gassing process - your flooring, your furniture pieces, the countertops, upholstery, mattresses, electronic devices and all the rest. Even smaller items play their part. Once all of these items coexist in one closed space like a room, the effect of off-gassing is definitely something worth considering a lot.
Why You Should Care?
VOCs are not just something from the science textbooks, they literary affect our lives and organisms on an everyday basis. They significantly affect the quality of indoor air and by this, they have a strong impact on our health too. This is especially noticeable for people living with asthma, migraine, and other breathing issues, as well as elderly and young children. Depending on the level of VOCs the indoor air has, off-gassing can be a trigger for different health conditions or worsening existing ones such as allergies, respiratory problems, eye, nose, and throat irritation, nausea, and more.
What to Do About It?
Thankfully, there are many simple solutions and household remedies to help you decrease the content of VOCs in your home's indoor air. First of all, always ensure good ventilation in your home. Even during the colder months, make sure to open the windows daily and allow the flow of fresh air to get into every room. Another important thing you want to do is turning off all electronic devices while you are not using them. You can always take advantage of different fans to make the air circulate as often as possible, so make sure to use exhaust fans in the kitchen and the bathroom, and other fans for more airflow and circulation.
Another method to help you limit emissions is using a dehumidifier. Another thing you want to do is replacing items in your home that contribute to VOC levels with alternative items made out of natural materials. While this is pretty easy when it comes to smaller and affordable items, it is particularly challenging when it comes to bigger items and features of your interior. No one has the budget to spend on a new floor or new furniture pieces just to start living a more sustainable and "greener" life. However, these are good reason to start saving your money for some upcoming projects.
Having a real wood floor installed in your home is one of the smartest investments you can do not just in terms of appearance, durability, and lasting power. Real wood floors are naturally hygienic and being a natural material, wood is definitely a safer and healthier choice. Always make sure to purchase your new wooden floor from reputable suppliers and retailers who can provide you with proof that marks the product as certified for low or no content of VOCs.
Otherwise, it will be pointless to invest in a floor made out of natural materials, however, manufactured in a way that adds VOCs to the structure. Avoid wood flooring products that contain VOCs and cause significant off-gassing such as some adhesives, wood floor stains, finishes, sealants, and even some maintenance and cleaning products. Always opt for the most natural alternative you can choose from. Finally, make sure to invest in a wooden floor manufactured in a way that the use of VOCs is eliminated throughout every part and step of the manufacturing process.