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The “New House Smell” and How to Get Rid of It

The Real Deal

Everything Real Estate in the San Fernando Valley
Monday January 4, 2021
The “New House Smell” and How to Get Rid of It

Everyone knows what the “new house smell” is in a general sense, but not many people understand what “new house smell” is specifically; nor do they understand how to get rid of that smell. Any strong smell can become obnoxious, and the scent of a newly constructed home is no different.

At its base, smells are caused by molecules in the air which your nose is able to identify, and in order to get into the air, molecules need to evaporate. The more “volatile” a molecule, the more likely it is that you will smell that molecule. Metals, for example, are not very volatile (take a whiff of your stainless-steel fridge, you won’t smell it). On the other end of the spectrum, adhesives are extremely volatile.

Throwing the word “volatile” around is bound to raise some concerns, but “volatile” is a term of art for molecules that evaporate easier than others. Specifically, there are significant safety concerns about so-called volatile organic compounds (“VOCs”). Things like paint and carpeting, in high quantities, have been linked to damaged nervous systems and cancer. However, these side-effects are a function of the particular VOCs toxicity or reactivity, rather than the fact that it is volatile (e.g., a banana has a pungent odor, or is highly “volatile”, but is harmless, but paint thinner is highly “volatile” and extremely toxic, which makes it dangerous). Modern homes are constructed with an eye towards reducing toxicity, so a new homeowner is safe.

Notwithstanding the fact that the “new home smell” isn’t inherently dangerous, it gets old fast; you’ve got to dilute that smell if you want to get rid of it. If you don’t have the luxury of staying somewhere else for a few days, open the windows and air the new smell out over a week or so to allow fresh air to circulate throughout the home.

At the Chernov Team we understand that knowledge is power, and knowledge of how to get rid of that new home smell is powerful knowledge indeed, at least for people who don’t want to live with that scent for longer than necessary. At the Chernov Team we know that whoever comes to the table most prepared leaves with the most, and the Chernov Team always leaves the table with the most.

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