In a newly built property, it is common for the indoor air to feel irritating and having an unpleasant odour. This is due to substances that are spread (emitted) from the building materials and products such as terpenes from wood, solvents from paints, various substances from adhesives, varnishes, joint compounds, cleaning and polishing agents, etc. Over time, the emissions usually subside and the discomfort disappears. But in other cases, emissions are a nuisance or even a health hazard that must be remedied. For example:
  • Chlorophenols used in wood impregnation can be converted into chloroanisoles, which give off a strong, mold-like odour.
  • Wood preservatives such as creosote and other tar products contain malodorous and harmful polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH).
  • Substances in floor adhesives used for gluing plastic mats on concrete floors, as well as plasticizers (phthalates, TXIB, etc.), can be released or broken down into e.g. various alcohols depending on the glue and plasticizer.
  • Microbially affected material can release various substances in gas phase (mVOC) and solid phase (toxins, proteases, etc.).
Often the emission problems are moisture-related. During remediation, it is important that the materials are dried, but it is equally important to remember that the new substances formed do not disappear during drying, but remain in the construction and risk continuing to spread into the indoor air. It is worth pointing out that the emissions cannot always be detected by measurement even with advanced chemical-analytical methods. An existing emission problem can be revealed by the indoor air having an unpleasant smell or occupants simply feel bad from staying indoors.