Installing new carpet is a great experience, especially when it’s done. What a relief! Once you get a real look at something that previously only existed either digitally or in your imagination, it’s time to start moving the furniture or decorating the walls to transform your room from a blank canvas into its intended form.
But you may notice a funny smell lingering in the air for the first couple of days. What is that new carpet smell?
New Carpet – Smells So Good?
That strange odor you smell wafting into your nostrils is the evaporation of stuff called volatile organic compounds, or VOCs for short. Do not worry; they aren’t harmful and definitely won’t cause any long-term health problems. In this case, the word volatile just means that the compound evaporates at a normal rate, meaning we can actually smell it. It’s similar to what you would smell in a new car, or in a room that’s been freshly painted.
Residential carpeting isn’t even the only flooring material to give off such a smell after it’s been installed. Vinyl plank flooring does the same thing. In the case of commercial carpeting, the smell is related to some of the components that make up the fiber of the carpet. In this case, it’s latex used to make the carpet’s backing.
So, The Smell Isn’t Harmful?
It is not. In fact, the EPA rated VOCs as one of the lowest contributors to poor air quality, well behind things that are already in your home, such as pet hair, dirt particles, dust, and more. In fact, having carpet installed will likely trap those particles, since the fibers in the carpet tend to hold onto them more than any other kind of flooring material (such as hardwood flooring). This isn’t a big deal; it just means you need to vacuum your carpet regularly to make sure these little bits don't build up over time.
As far as the latex goes, it’s a synthetic version not linked to any kind of allergic reactions. When people are allergic to latex, it’s because they have a reaction to the proteins found in the naturally occurring version.
How Long Will It Last?
In most cases, the smell should totally dissipate in a couple of days, no more than three. If you find the smell gets to be too much, open a window and enjoy some of the Nashville air. If it lasts longer than a week, you’ll probably want to contact the manufacturer or the people who installed it. In the worst case scenario, you’ll need to think about getting a new floor installed. The professionals at Ozburn-Hessey will be glad to help with this.
The strange smell that comes with new carpeting is part of the installation process and not something to be concerned about. It will go away in a couple of days, leaving you with a fresh new carpet waiting and begging to be filled with the new smells of your home.