Still smell an odor 2 weeks after last coat

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Q: We had our entire home painted and our hardwood floors refinished three weeks ago. My four year old and my 11 month old and I have been out of the house since the project started. I’m wondering if it is safe for my girls and I to go back home?

The house is very well ventilated most of the time yet I still smell an odor (of the oil base poly). Is two weeks since the last coating safe for us to go back home? I’m mostly concerned for my daughter’s health as they are younger, I feel like it will be okay for me. Thank you in advance.

A: Any solvents in these coatings have left the film within 24 hours. This is how polyurethane coatings dry, by solvent evaporation. So, letting in a lot of fresh air should take care of any vapor.

Are you sure you aren’t smelling paint?

Related Q: My hardwood floors were sanded and refinished 2 months ago. The smell is still kinda bad, but what worries me is that everything that is left on the floor picks up the strong smell. What could be the issue?

A: If this is just a polyurethane finish, I can’t even guess why you are having his issue. The general solvent in oil based finishes is simple mineral spirits and sometimes a tiny amount of kerosene. The finish dries by solvent evaporation so if your floor is dry it is because the solvent has left the film. Do you know exactly what finish was used on your floor?

Follow-up: Thanks for your answer. Yes, it was oil poly and after 2 months it is still smelly. Any suggestions? I’m going crazy!

A: Can you give me the name of the product exactly because these coatings don’t keep off gassing forever. The solvent is gone in a day or less.

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