Home Improvement: Installing New Carpet
Though plush carpeting can be luxurious to your toes, it can be hard on your sinuses. Newly installed carpets made from synthetic fibers can emit "volatile organic compounds" (VOCs), chemically unstable airborne compounds that can produce headaches, fatigue, nausea, and nasal congestion. If you think you may be sensitive to VOCs, take the following precautions when buying and installing a new carpet.
- Go natural. Cotton and wool rugs and carpets generally do not produce VOCs.
- Give it some air. When you buy new carpet, ask that it be ventilated for at least 72 hours before it is delivered to your residence. Keep windows open for several hours after the carpet has been installed; use a fan to provide additional ventilation to the newly carpeted room.
- Use the "hook and loop" installation method. Installation adhesives can be a bigger source of VOCs than the carpet fibers themselves. Alternatives include physical fastening strips known as "hook and loop" strips, or dry adhesives like peel-and-stick strips.
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