Protect your rental home with safe flooring free from formaldehyde

Everyone has heard that formaldehyde is a bad thing, but far fewer of us realise quite how readily we come into contact with it on a daily basis.

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The chemical is almost always present and has been used in products for the home for years. It is found in some types of engineered wood flooring, paints, some fabric, and even wallpaper, so it could well be lurking in your rental property.  Normally your landlord will check the property between each rental.  This would be so much quicker with an Inspection app to check everything and keep it all in one place.  You can keep move in and out dates, notes on proposed tenants and a to do list. You can source these apps from sites such as https://propertyinspect.com/.

A natural product?

Formaldehyde does occur naturally, but that does not make it safe. In addition, it is not always dangerous, which makes it slightly more complicated. It’s a chemical that can be an irritant, even at low levels, to eyes and skin, and it can be particularly problematic for asthma sufferers. Vulnerable people, particularly the very young and the elderly, might be more susceptible to its effects. If you are buying engineered hard wood flooring, check that it conforms to national regulations as foreign-made products might not have such strict regulations.

It is difficult to lay blanket claims as to whether laminate is better or worse than engineered wood or solid wood as resins or glues used to finish products vary dramatically. It is possible to do home tests, though in a less-controlled situation, accurate readings become more difficult and a high reading might not even be down to the flooring.

Is it easier just to avoid wood and wood-effect floors altogether?

It seems that solid wood options do have lower emissions of formaldehyde, but it does cost significantly more. The cheaper laminates or engineered woods do vary much more, and it is certainly worth looking into levels more closely.

Ease the impact

If you think that some form of formaldehyde is likely in your home, you can reduce your risk by keeping windows open as much as possible to allow fresh air in. Don’t rely on an air purifier as they are likely to have little effect, and be sure to ban smoking in the home.  It may well be

For more information on formaldehyde in flooring, see Build Direct.

The next time you’re buying a flooring product, keep this information in mind so you can make a fully informed decision.

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