Polyurethane can be the best chemical substance to finish renovating your home. It can make everything inside your home become glossy, flashy, and neat. But the question now for most individuals who do home renovations and improvements is can you sleep in the house after polyurethane? Does it contain health hazards and environmental hazards that can cause health problems?
Well, truth be told, any chemical or synthetic substance can really pose health risks when left unattended and ignored. One should have proper knowledge of what these substances can bring to one’s health especially if we are talking about polyurethane. When doing some projects that use polyurethane, remember to evacuate the area after doing the finishing stuff. Inhaling the said chemical substance is dangerous and how much more if you sleep together with the scent of it.
In this article, we will discuss more the effects and things to do concerning using polyurethane. Absorbs this knowledge because it will surely help you prevent unprecedented circumstances that may bring from using this chemical substance. Without further ado, let’s start!
What is polyurethane?
In a typical home, whether you live in a rural or urban area, you will encounter polyurethane products that are used in the everyday setting especially when it comes to general renovation and home improvement. It is one of the most used synthetic resins that are readily available on the market.
Scientifically, polyurethane consists of two chemical components which are polymers and urethane. These components are integrated together to create a mixed product that can be utilized in many forms since it can add safety, durability, and stability when applied to other home improvement products such as laminated floorings, walls, and furniture. Aside from that, these substances are heat-resistance and won’t easily be melted away when heated.
Can you sleep in the house after polyurethane?
Polyurethane is a popular material that is used as finishing products for furnishing but as with any chemical substance, using these products can be considered toxic. Upon applying polyurethane, the finished product should be treated until it can be cured and ready to use. Depending on the application, polyurethane can be used as varnishes, adhesives, sealants, foams, and even paints.
Thus, if you plan to use polyurethane in a room in your house, it is recommended to stay away for at least two days for it to be cured so that there will be no lingering scent that comes from the substance. You shouldn’t ignore the harmful effects of polyurethane because when you apply it, polyurethane will diffuse into the air for the first 24 hours making it toxic to inhale and harmful to the body. What’s worse is that if you are using oil-based polyurethane. Water-based types can also be toxic.
Is using an oil-based polyurethane more toxic than using water-based polyurethane?
Both types of polyurethane are actually toxic but they differ only in the strength of their toxicity. Water-based polyurethane products are usually less toxic because they only emit a low odor or scent and these can dry fast compared to oil-based polyurethane. It will take only two to three hours for it to dry and thus it is best to apply it to multiple coatings to make the best finish. On the other hand, oil-based polyurethane emits a stronger scent that is very toxic to inhale. Inhaling it within an hour will make you dizzy and that would be very uncomfortable to bear.
As recommended by the manufacturers, it is not safe to expose yourself to these polyurethane products because of their toxic nature. Whether you use either of the polyurethane products, never ever sleep inside a room after applying them on particular surfaces inside your home by all means.
How long will it take to use the room back after polyurethane has been applied?
As previously mentioned, fumes from polyurethane are highly toxic and can be a problem when inhaled for a long duration of time. That is why you need to stay out of the specific room after you applied polyurethane. Wait for at least two days for the fumes to settle and diffused and as much as possible do not enter the room within the first two days. If in any way you want to enter the room for monitoring, wear a face mask to avoid inhaling the polyurethane directly. And if possible, stay away from that room for 3 to 6 days after the last coating to make sure that it is safe to live on.
How long can polyurethane be cured and dried?
Applying polyurethane inside the home is an easy thing to do. However, the results will vary on several conditions such as the drying time and curing time. Drying time refers to how long does polyurethane takes to be dried and be ready to apply the next coating. In most circumstances, it will take 1 to two hours for it to be dried thoroughly depending on what polyurethane to be used. The curing time, on the other hand, talks about the total duration of time for the applied surface to finish drying, and be usable. This will often take several days to be done.
If we compare oil-based polyurethane with water-based polyurethane, oil-based are somewhat thicker in terms of application and it will take at least a day for it to be dried and apply the second coating. While water-based polyurethane will only take 2 hours of drying time. Concerning curing time, oil-based polyurethane takes longer than 30 days to cure and because water-based polyurethane dries faster, it will take a shorter duration of three days minimum for it to finally be cured.
Are polyurethane harmful and toxic?
Yes! These chemical substances are considered harmful and toxic when inhaled for longer durations. Polyurethanes are made from isocyanates-respiratory toxins that can be a tick to the respiratory system. In most cases, these chemicals are very efficient for finishing woodworks and other surfaces. That is why these are good for home innovations and renovations.
What makes these substances toxic is that they are volatile organic compounds. When released into thin air, these products will diffuse in the form of toxic gas. For that, every application of polyurethane needs to be fully cured so that it can be considered safe. Keep in mind also to wear protective gear when applying polyurethane to your home.
If ever you have breathed in polyurethane for so long, it can trigger skin, eyes, and nasal irritation and health complications. It will result in vomiting, dizziness, headaches, and breathing difficulties. Some studies show that prolonged and longer inhalation of polyurethane causes asthma and lung damage. Lastly, these products can cause cancer in pets, so keep your pets away from inhaling these products.
How to remove harmful polyurethane smell fast after applying?
There are numerous strategies to fend off the odor after the application of polyurethane inside your home. In this way, it will easily restore a fresh and clean environment fast in the rooms or areas affected by polyurethane. Here are some methods you can do to get rid of the harmful scent faster:
The first thing that you should do to remove the harmful polyurethane smell is to ventilate the room by opening all the windows, doors, or exit ways to naturally let fresh air inside and let the harmful smell exit outside. As much as possible, apply polyurethane first thing in the morning so that you can let it the whole diffuse to remove the harmful odor. Keep the exit ways open as long as you like to fully drain the smell.
Filter the smell using fans or an air purifier
One conventional method to get rid of the harmful smell of polyurethane is to use an electric fan to ensure airflow. It will drive the odor away fast and make sure that the electric fan is facing toward the windows or doors to let it blow away the smell outside. Another product that you can use is an air purifier. Running an air purifier inside the room will catch air particles from the polyurethane to banish these volatile organic compounds from the air. The air purifier’s role is to neutralize the odor from polyurethane. Keep it open until there will be no smell lingering inside.
There are typical methods that you can utilize in order to remove the smell and one is by using absorbents to remove the harmful scent coming from the polyurethane. There are some that you can make by using products coming from your kitchen. For example, onion and lemons. Onion and lemons are often used to absorb toxins and underlying odors such as polyurethane. You can set it up in a bowl full of water and leave it open inside the room where you’ve applied polyurethane.
Aside from that, you can get activated charcoal or baking soda to remove the odor. These handy products are efficient in removing odor from polyurethane. Just spread some into a container and leave it open for the whole day. Replace them regularly as needed. You can also buy cat litters or vaposorb granules. These can be bought at your nearby stores. Sprinkle some evenly after the last coating and it will do the odor removal for you effectively.
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Doing home innovations and renovations is not that complicated to do but it needs to be done with safety precautions. Polyurethane might be a great addition to your home but it can also cause health hazards if ignored abruptly. That’s why staying away after the last coating of polyurethane is the thing that you should do to avoid these health hazards.
Never ever sleep in the house after applying polyurethane and instead wait for it to be cured fully. Ventilate the room afterward and get some absorbents to quicken up the process. Use protective equipment such as gloves, masks, and goggles when applying polyurethane in your home. In that way, you will keep your family safe from danger from polyurethane and especially your pets.