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Does Flooring Affect Comfort and Indoor Air Quality?

17/11/2021

Yes, flooring can affect indoor air quality as well as our overall comfort and wellbeing. That’s because floor materials, adhesives and finishes might be emitting volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can harm our health. In addition, the floors might be accumulating dirt and allergens which is why regular cleaning and maintenance is crucial for maintaining good indoor air quality.

The role of flooring in indoor air quality

Any floor covering system has its own advantages and disadvantages. Thankfully, the disadvantages can still be minimised or eliminated through professional installation (and the choice of quality flooring material, adhesives and finishes in the first place).

For example, new carpets might off-gas significant amounts of VOCs for a few days. To address that potential problem, professional installers properly ventilate the area for at least three days before letting the customers occupy and stay in the area. Another option is to let the new carpets “air out” somewhere else before bringing them into the site. Professionals also choose low-VOC emission products to begin with. Moreover, they also do sequence installation where VOC-emitting materials are allowed to dry first completely before installing any carpet. That’s because carpets can act as a reservoir for those substances and then emit them later.

Aside from proper installation and choice of material, regular cleaning and maintenance is also important. It’s especially the case with carpets that may accumulate dirt, dust and allergens. It can even get worse because high moisture levels might promote mould growth. To prevent that, effective moisture control is a must and that spills are cleaned right away (the liquid might become a starting breeding ground for microbes).

For other types of flooring such as timber and vinyl, there are also concerns about VOCs and indoor air quality. Thankfully, these concerns can also be addressed through proper installation and good choice of low-VOC materials, adhesives and coatings. Further, professionals can use the smallest amounts of adhesives necessary (just enough to meet the manufacturer’s specifications). This further reduces the risk and exposure to VOCs.

If you have questions and concerns about flooring materials and installation especially if you’re planning to have new flooring done in your home or building, contact us today. You’ll benefit from our decades of experience, competent advice and a range of quality products and services.