If you have ever applied a concrete sealant to your driveway, sidewalk, or patio, you’re likely familiar with its strong and unpleasant odor. While this smell is not deadly, it can be overwhelming and irritating.
But what can be done about it? In reality, there is no surefire way to eliminate the odor from the concrete sealant. Though, you can do a few things to minimize its impact.
As we continue this blog post, we will explore what triggers the smell of concrete sealant and offer tips on reducing or eliminating it. Now that we’ve got the basics down let’s get started.
What Can We Do About Odor From Concrete Sealant: 7 Ways
There are a few things you can do to eliminate the odor and enjoy your fresh, new concrete. Here are 7 tips for eliminating concrete sealant odor:
1. Use a Dehumidifier
Humidity is one of the main causes of bad odor in concrete sealant. When the concrete sealant is first applied, it is liquid. As it dries, the water evaporates, and this can cause an increase in humidity levels.
This can cause the sealant to emit an unpleasant odor. To eliminate this odor, you can use a dehumidifier. Dehumidifiers work by removing moisture from the air, which can help to reduce the amount of humidity in the sealant.
This will help to eliminate the bad odor and keep your sealant smelling fresh. To use a dehumidifier, simply place it in the concrete sealant’s room and turn it on. The dehumidifier will do the rest, and you will notice a difference in the smell of your sealant in no time.
2. Let it Ventilate
One vital but often neglected step in finishing a concrete basement or other indoor space is ensuring proper ventilation during and after the concrete sealant process. Concrete sealant emits strong fumes that can irritate the lungs, and if not properly ventilated, these fumes can linger in the air long after the job is done.
Besides causing respiratory problems, the fumes from the concrete sealant can also cause nausea, headaches, and dizziness. The fumes can react with other chemicals in the air to create new and potentially more dangerous compounds.
For all these reasons, it is essential to ventilate an indoor space before and after the concrete sealant is applied. There are a variety of ways to do this, such as opening windows and doors or using fans to circulate the air. Whichever method you choose, be sure to let it ventilate.
3. Clean or Replace Your Air Filters
If you have an HVAC system, it’s important to clean or swap out your air filters regularly. Dirty air filters can restrict airflow, leading to many problems, including making your home smell terrible. If you notice an unpleasant odor coming from your concrete sealant, it’s likely due to a build-up of particles and grime on the filters.
By keeping your air filters clean, you can help eliminate odors and keep your home smelling fresh and clean. Generally, replacing your air filter every three months or so is best. If you have pets or live in a particularly dusty area, you may need to replace them more frequently.
Fortunately, air filters are inexpensive and easy to find at any hardware store. So there’s no excuse not to keep your home smelling its best.
4. Remove Yeast Growth
Yeasts and fungi love to grow in damp, dark places, and concrete sealant can provide the ideal environment. Aside from being unsightly, growths like fungus can also cause bad smells in your home. If you suspect that mold or mildew is causing the smell, it’s important to remove it as soon as possible.
It can cause all sorts of health problems, so it’s best to nip them in the bud before they get out of hand. There are a few different ways to remove it from concrete sealant, depending on the severity of the problem. You can usually just scrub it away with a stiff brush and some soapy water for light growth.
You may need to use a commercial fungus remover for more stubborn growth. Once you’ve removed the mold, you should also take steps to prevent it from returning. Make sure to keep the area well-ventilated and dry, and consider using a mold-resistant sealant. You can keep your home free of mold, mildew, and bad smells with a little effort.
5. Use Essential Oils
Essential oils are a great way to freshen up any room in your house, including rooms that smell like a concrete sealant. Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to a diffuser and enjoy the fresh, clean scent. The essential oils help eliminate odors, and they can boost your mood and provide other health benefits.
Some of the best essential oils for eliminating odors include lemon, lavender, and peppermint. Simply pour several drops of each oil into your diffuser for a refreshing scent. If you don’t have a diffuser, add the oils to a spray bottle filled with water and mist the area.
For best results, be sure to use high-quality essential oils. Cheap knock-offs might smell nice, but they won’t do much to eliminate odors. If you use quality essential oils, you’ll smell a difference in the room right away.
6. Bring in Some Plants
Bring some plants if you’re looking for a way to eliminate odors from concrete sealants. Plants do not just look great, but they can also help purify the air in your home. Certain plants are especially good at filtering harmful toxins and pollutants, so they’re excellent for homes with stinky smells.
Spider plants, bamboo palms, peace lilies, aloe veras, and Boston ferns are all excellent choices for odor-eliminating plants. Along with these plants helping to improve the air quality in your home, they’ll add a touch of nature and beauty. So to get rid of those pesky concrete smells, bring in some plants.
7. Try Baking Soda
Lastly, if all else fails, you can always try using baking soda in place of sealant. Just sprinkle some baking soda on the affected area and let it sit for a few hours before vacuuming. You may need to repeat this process a few times before the odor is completely gone but eventually will disappear.
Along with its odor-eliminating properties, baking soda is also non-toxic and safe to use around children and pets. If you want a natural way to freshen up your home, don’t forget the power of baking soda.
What Causes the Odor from Concrete Sealant?
Let’s explore a few theories about what might have caused the strange, unpleasant odor.
VOCs to Blame
VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, are a group of chemicals that easily become vapors or gases. Concrete sealers, paints, cleaners, and adhesives often contain VOCs. When these products are applied to concrete, the VOCs are emitted as fumes. The longer the sealer cures, the more VOCs are released, which is why that newly sealed driveway tends to be quite pungent.
The EPA regulates the VOC content of most products, including concrete sealers. In general, water-based products have lower VOC levels than solvent-based products. Even water-based sealers can release fumes while they’re curing. The positive aspect is that the smell should dissipate within a few days to a week, provided you take some steps to speed up the process (more on that later).
Chemical Reactions Aren’t the Only Culprits
If your home is located in an area with high humidity, you may notice that the odor lingers longer than expected. That’s because high humidity slows down the curing process and prevents the VOCs from evaporating as quickly.
Can you seal the concrete after a certain amount of time?
After you seal your concrete, the curing process begins. This is when the chemicals in the sealer react with the oxygen in the air to form a hard, protective surface. Depending on the temperature and humidity, this can take between 24 and 48 hours. During this time, you need to keep people and pets off the sealer so it can cure properly.
Once the odor sealer has cured, it will be durable and long-lasting. If you don’t give it enough time to cure the concrete sealant, it will be less effective and more likely to peel off and spread odor. So if you’re wondering how long you should stay off concrete when it’s sealed, the answer is at least 24 hours, preferably 48 hours. By waiting a little longer, you’ll ensure that your concrete sealer has the best chance of lasting for years.
Is Concrete Sealer OK to breathe?
It’s not as black and white as it seems. It depends on the type of product used and the area’s well-ventilated during application and curing time. There are ways to minimize your risk of exposure by taking precautions during application (such as wearing gloves and a respirator) and ensuring that the area is well-ventilated afterward until the toxic fumes have dissipated completely.
Inhaling concrete sealer vapors or fumes can cause respiratory issues or sensitization. If you have any concerns about health risks associated with exposure to cured concrete sealer, you can always have your floor professionally stripped and resealed with a VOC-free or low-VOC product for peace of mind.
Can you deodorize concrete sealant to remove its odor?
The answer to this question is yes, and you can deodorize the area. It is important to note that the process may not be entirely practical, depending on the type of sealant and the extent of the odor. It is vital to ensure adequate ventilation before starting the process, as inhaling fumes from the sealant can be harmful.
To deodorize concrete sealant, first, mix a solution of one part vinegar and one part water. Next, use a brush or sponge to apply the solution to the sealant. Allow the solution to sit for several minutes before rinsing it with clean water. If the odor persists, you should repeat the procedure or try a different method.
How long does it take for the concrete sealer smell to go away?
The fact is that most sealer smells will eventually dissipate on their own. In most cases, it will take anywhere from 24 to 48 hours for the smell to completely go away. Sometimes, it may take up to a week for the smell to dissipate completely.
To help speed up the process, you can try opening up all the doors and windows to allow for better ventilation. You can also try putting out bowls of white vinegar or placing activated charcoal near the affected area. With a little patience, the concrete sealer smell will eventually go away.
Get Rid Of Odor From Your Concrete Sealant
No one wants their home to stink, least of all, from something as mundane as a concrete sealant. In fact, with just a little bit of effort, you should be able to get rid of that pesky smell once and for all. Try one or more of the above methods and enjoy your fresh-smelling home again.
To avoid concrete sealant smells, choose a low-VOC or VOC-free product in the first place. These products don’t off-gas as much as their standard counterparts, so you’re less likely to be left with a lingering smell.
We hope this article helped you learn how to remove the odor caused by the concrete sealant. If you have any other questions or would like to share your tips, please leave a comment below. Thanks for reading this far.