Any suggestions for getting rid of lingering VOCs after the offgassing item has been removed?


Any suggestions for getting rid of lingering VOCs after the offgassing item has been removed?

Asked by mary loughran

After closing on a 5 year old home, I noticed a pine/wood odor that attached itself to my clothes and made me sick while in the home. I didn't move in and have spend the last year trying to isolate the problem - which finally appeared to be from the wood floors (1/2 the home) applied with either Chinese glue or incompatible mixed glues. 4 months ago the floors/glue were completely removed and tiled over. The carpeting in the rest of the home was deodorized. I cleaned and painted the walls in the affected room with Safecoat products about 6 weeks ago. I can no longer smell the odor although it still attaches to items like plastic bags left in the house and I get a headache and irritated eyes if I am in the house any length of time. Would installing a Pure Air Filtration Unit or a ERV get rid of the lingering VOCs? Any other suggestions? I would like to move in but don't want to put myself further in the red if I end up having to disclose and list the home for sale.

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Scott Grieves, CPM, CEA's picture


This sounds like a tough one with a few variables that should also be considered in warm climate.

A fresh air damper would help--- ERV. Check with your local air-conditioning company if your A/C and duct work can incorporate this upgrade. Many new high efficiency homes add this feature for health reasons because the home is too air-tight.

Consider reducing the relative humidity in the home below RH 50%. Upgrade the thermostat to check this. You also some might consider an Aprilaire cleaner or a TRANE CleanEffects. These added measures I believe would help.

If it was explained to a potential buyer that the home has a fresh air-cleaning system, or a separate system from the HVAC which is suggested on FGBC (Florida Green Built Coalition) version 9 check list under health may help sell the home over others in the area. Sorry to hear about this type of problem, unfortunately it effects many homes I have reviewed here in Florida.