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Can You Sleep in the House After Polyurethane? (Explained)

Polyurethane has the ability to change the appearance of wooden floors by enhancing them with a glossy finish while protecting them and prolonging their lifespan. But safety must be maintained throughout the application process and even after it has dried.

Can you sleep in the house after polyurethane?

After polyurethane has been applied inside the house, it is best not to sleep there for a minimum of two days. But it is advised to stay away for 5 to 7 days if possible. This allows the fumes and smell of polyurethane to disappear. Doors and windows can be left open to help air it out faster.

The fumes released from polyurethane tends to linger in the air for quite some time after it has been applied inside the house and even after it has dried. Also, the pungent smell can cause headaches and nausea, making it hard to be around for an extended period of time.

That’s why, it is advised to find accommodation elsewhere right after the application of polyurethane. After the first 2 days, most of the fumes and smell would have disappeared but to be on the safer side, it is best to wait for 5 to 7 days before moving back in.

The process of airing the house out can also be sped up by turning on the fans, leaving the doors and windows open or turning the heat up inside the house.

Can you sleep in the house after using water based polyurethane?

It is possible to sleep in the house after using water based polyurethane, as it dries quickly. It takes around 2 to 3 hours for the water based polyurethane to dry completely.

Therefore, recoating is possible on the same day. But the main reason why it is safe to live after the application is, water based polyurethane is less toxic than the oil based one and the smell diminishes way quicker.

This makes it habitable hours after the polyurethane has been applied and dried.

Can you sleep in the house after using oil based polyurethane?

It is best to avoid sleeping in the house after oil based polyurethane has been applied to the floors even if there are other rooms available.

The oil based polyurethane becomes safe after it has finished drying and curing but during that process it can release harmful fumes and toxins into the air by evaporation. This process is known as off-gassing.

And breathing these fumes and toxins overnight can be detrimental to our health.

Is it safe to stay in the house after polyurethane?

It isn’t safe or smart to stay overnight in a house that had its floors newly coated with polyurethane. The fumes and toxins linger in the air as they are being released while the polyurethane is drying and curing.

It is best to wait till they have disappeared and you will be able to know this for sure when the accompanying smell also disappears. This can take anywhere between 5 to 7 days. However, once this happens you can go back to living in the house, it will be completely safe.

Are polyurethane fumes harmful?

Polyurethane can be harmful, especially for people who already have diseases associated with the respiratory system. This occurs because polyurethane is a petrochemical resin that has isocyanates commonly known as respiratory toxins.

This is mainly released in the air right after the application of polyurethane and when it is breathed in by humans for a prolonged period of time and not treated on time, this can cause severe asthma and other breathing problems.

How long do you stay out of the house after polyurethane?

After polyurethane has been applied to the house, it is best to sleep elsewhere for the first 2 days at the very least. This way you ensure that you don’t breathe in the harmful fumes and toxins as you sleep.

Also, during that time make sure to wear socks while walking on the floor around the house as the polyurethane has been freshly coated over them.

What happens if you breathe in polyurethane?

As mentioned above, it is harmful for our body if we breathe in the fumes released during off-gassing. It causes changes in us that are not positive and therefore, should be avoided.

  • Polyurethane fumes aren’t odor – less. So, when people smell it for a longer period of time, this can cause headaches, nausea and vomiting.
  • Breathing problems are one of the most common issues that these toxins and fumes tend to aggravate in people. This includes coughing, shortness of breath followed by asthma and other breathing problems if left untreated.
  • The fumes can also cause throat and eye irritation in many people.

How do you get rid of the polyurethane smell fast?

Most people want to get rid of the lingering smell of polyurethane as no one wants to smell that every time they breathe. It can be sped up by following a few well planned steps.

Wash and clean:

After the polyurethane has dried completely, clean out all the excess material and tools you used from the house. It is best to wash and clean them, then move them to the place where you want to store them.

Open all the windows:

Now, open all the windows in the house. This helps with air circulation and the smell will dissipate due to the increased air flow and sufficient ventilation.

Set up a box fan:

If possible, set up a box fan in the open windows and leave them running for the day. This helps the fume move out of the house with the air as it circulates and gets rid of the smell molecules by rounding them up.

Run an air purifier:

As a final step, you can run an air purifier after doing the above mentioned steps to completely dispel any contaminations from the air.

How long does polyurethane fumes last?

Polyurethane fumes usually dissipate after 5 to 7 days of applying it on the floors. But in some cases the smell lingers around for about a month. And the best way to get rid of this is by airing out the house regularly till it goes away and using an air purifier.

How long does water based polyurethane off gas?

Water based polyurethane usually off gasses for around a few days after application. They initially emit the strongest fumes for the first 24 hours as the polyurethane is begin applied and also as it dries and cures.

Will polyurethane fumes harm my child?

Polyurethane is known to harm children more than adults as their immune system is much weaker than ours.

This makes them more prone to have nausea, coughing, shortness of breath and vomiting when they come into contact with polyurethane and smell it for long periods of time.

This is why, it is best to keep children away from houses where polyurethane is being applied or drying.

Is it safe to use polyurethane indoors?

Polyurethane is safe to be used indoors but to ensure that some precautions need to be taken while using it. The room it is being applied in should be well-ventilated weather via an open window or a fan.

This allows air to circulate in the room and also carry away the fumes being emitted during the application of polyurethane.

Final Thoughts:

It is highly advised to sleep in a house after polyurethane has been freshly applied to the floors to avoid breathing in the fumes and toxins overnight while sleeping. It is okay to start living in the house after 5 to 7 days as it allows the fumes to be dissipated from the air due to circulation.