What Is New House Smell and How To Get Rid of It

by | Jan 14, 2021 | New Construction

Just like new-car smell, your new construction home may come with its own scent.

Many love the smell of a brand-new car, but there are those that dislike it as well. This can also be said about new-home smell.

Here, we break down how it is caused if it is safe to breathe in, and how to get rid of it.

What is new house smell?

Taking it back to Freshman year science class smells come from molecules in the air that the nose then detects.

The stronger the smell, the larger the rate that these molecules are evaporating at.

To get rid of new house smell, you will need some understanding of volatile organic compounds.

Also referred to as VOCs, these compounds have high vapor pressure and low water solubility. They are emitted as gases from solids or liquids.

These are the compounds that are released through the building materials, solvents, paints, and even cleaning products used to build your new home.

Volatile may seem like a harsh word, but it just means these compounds contain molecules that easily evaporate, causing a strong odor.

Is new house smell safe?

This depends on the toxicity of the substance creating the VOC.

For example, an apple and wood stain both contain VOCs but at different toxicities.

As long as building materials containing high VOC toxicities are used in moderation and the house is built with adequate airflow, new house smell is not dangerous.

A licensed and experienced professional contractor will know how to make sure any toxic VOC is limited to avoid overexposure. Additionally, increased safety measures have been taken due to the concerns of these toxic elements over the years.

Building materials and products are now made with safer ingredients that are low emitting.

How to get rid of new house smell

Some may like the smell, but others may be ready to get rid of it fast.

Like getting rid of old house smell, you will want to ventilate and let as much airflow through the house as possible for a few days. This allows the VOCs to spread out and escape the confines of your four walls.

A quick fix will entail going back to what we just learned about VOCs. Stronger smells evaporate at a quicker rate. We know that higher temperatures cause evaporation to quicken, so by turning up the heat and leaving your house for a day – you can knock that odor out in double time.

Also, be aware of the waxes, solvents, furniture, stains, and other products you bring into your home.

But know that even if you do not take these measures, the smell will wear off eventually just like a new car.