How long before a refinished hardwood floor is safe? - Mothering Forums

How long before a refinished hardwood floor is safe?

Toposlonoshlep's Avatar Toposlonoshlep (TS)
09:10 PM Liked: 31
#1 of 4
06-12-2012 | Posts: 377
Joined: Jan 2010

I fell in love today.......with a house. It's this amazing duplex with a sun room and an organic garden and beautiful everything in our price range and they want us to move in July 1st. The only problem is that they just refinished the floors and it was pretty darn fumey in there today when we walked through. I didn't think to ask whether it was water or oil based finish though. I have a three year old who plays mostly on the floor and a 2 month old who will be crawling on those floors in a couple months (if she's anything like her brother anyway...). So now I am sitting here trying to figure out the least bitchy approach to this floor dilemma. I know oil based varnishes can offgas VOCs for like YEARS, whereas the water-based tend to not have as may to begin with and cure quicker. Oil varnishes CAN be cured quicker by turning the house into a dry sauna basically, then airing out. Thankfully it is hit as hallelujah right now and I still have two weeks before we move in. 



SO. When do you think it is safe? Are two weeks enough? Should I call the landlord and ask what varnish was used (or will I then be the crazy lady..?)? Should I ask them to close all the windows for a week to let the stuff bake, then ask them to open everything to air out? I don't want to scare them into thinking I am an uptight crazy tenant. I REALLY ant this house. But the floor scares me.



theresa1's Avatar theresa1
10:39 AM Liked: 24
#2 of 4
06-13-2012 | Posts: 93
Joined: Nov 2007

I think it is fine to call and say you would like to know what type of floor finish they used because some are better for crawling babies. I would! You could also call and say you have a few questions and include the floor finish question as one of them if you want it to be a little more subtle.

Toposlonoshlep's Avatar Toposlonoshlep (TS)
02:22 PM Liked: 31
#3 of 4
06-13-2012 | Posts: 377
Joined: Jan 2010
Hmmmm... So now it gets a bit more hairy...They offered us the house and along with other questions I did ask about the varnish. It's VOC compliant oil based.... I have read that oil based finishes can offgas for YEARS...If I ask them to bake it by closing all the windows then airing it out, do you think it will be safe for my kids?
Toposlonoshlep's Avatar Toposlonoshlep (TS)
03:04 PM Liked: 31
#4 of 4
06-13-2012 | Posts: 377
Joined: Jan 2010
I should also mention that although it was oil-based polyurethane it said "350 VOC compliant" on the label. What does that mean? Good or bad?
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