Lingering Odor

Axil

Juvie Member
Beardie name(s)
Beebz
So I made a stand for Beebz
20230321_122831.jpg
it was stained Saturday with a water-based Low-Voc stain. It stayed in the garage until Monday and I wasn't able to smell anything in the garage so I moved it upstairs. It did stain my hands slightly on Monday so wasn't completely dry.

I've had heat lamps on the tank and two high power fans blowing over it since then, but there is still a slight odor. The odor is such that it doesn't bother me at all.

Is it safe to put Beebz in the enclosure? If not is there a timeline for how long it might take? If it's going to be more than a couple more days I might have to put the enclosure on thr floor temporarily, as he is over 12in long in a 18in enclosure and really needs to get out of there.

At this point I really regret staining the stand =/
 

CooperDragon

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
If there is plenty of airflow that will help reduce risks, but it's probably best to wait for it to dry completely and not have any remaining odor. If you have an alternative or can give him some time to run around outside the temporary enclosure it might be worth doing that for a couple more days just to be on the safe side.
 

Claudiusx

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
If you can still smell it, it's still putting off VOC's. I've used certain products that took nearly 3 weeks to fully cure, despite a time of 2-3 days stated on the product description.

Remember, reptiles have a much less advanced respiratory system when compared to humans. What might only cause a small effect to us can cause quite an issue for their system.

Warmth and airflow is what will help the most.

What product did you use? Typically, you need to seal over a stain, unless the stain specifically states it is a stain + sealer.

-Brandon
 

Axil

Juvie Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Beebz
If you can still smell it, it's still putting off VOC's. I've used certain products that took nearly 3 weeks to fully cure, despite a time of 2-3 days stated on the product description.

Remember, reptiles have a much less advanced respiratory system when compared to humans. What might only cause a small effect to us can cause quite an issue for their system.

Warmth and airflow is what will help the most.

What product did you use? Typically, you need to seal over a stain, unless the stain specifically states it is a stain + sealer.

-Brandon
I used Varathane Classic. Two full coats and some touchup. I've been running a lot of air over it, the house is only about 70 degrees though so it's not particularly hot. It is super low humidity though, hopefully that works in my favor.

I did not use a sealer. My understanding is the sealer is to protect the wood from water damage and I'm not concerned about that. I figured it would just take longer for the sealer to offgas than the stain. Is this not correct?

And yeah, the only reason I'm concerned at all is because she's a reptile, and her enclosure is directly on the stand. My daughter sleeps next to the stand, no issues.

So yeah if this can take another couple weeks I guess it's going to have to get dragged back into the hallway to sit. Moving it back to the garage isn't really an option as it's too big for me to move alone and my wife and I struggled to make it up the stairs together. Her being 5'2" makes carrying things together awkward :confused:.

I'm a little worried I won't be able to detect when the smell is gone outside of the smaller room.
 

Axil

Juvie Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Beebz
If there is plenty of airflow that will help reduce risks, but it's probably best to wait for it to dry completely and not have any remaining odor. If you have an alternative or can give him some time to run around outside the temporary enclosure it might be worth doing that for a couple more days just to be on the safe side.
The alternative would probably be the floor. Which will make things like feeding hard. I don't have another table big enough I don't believe.

It's still way too cold for him to have outside time. We've given him 20-30 minutes in the new enclosure to explore and get used to it the last couple days.
 

Claudiusx

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
My understanding is the sealer is to protect the wood from water damage and I'm not concerned about that.
The sealer provides a protective coating. You might likely continue to get the stain to rub off without a protective top coat. It's similar to painting a car. You have the base coat, but you need a top coat made for protection.

At this point, yeah applying a sealant might add some time to when your project will be ready, but in the long run it's the right way to do it.

-Brandon
 

Axil

Juvie Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Beebz
The sealer provides a protective coating. You might likely continue to get the stain to rub off without a protective top coat. It's similar to painting a car. You have the base coat, but you need a top coat made for protection.

At this point, yeah applying a sealant might add some time to when your project will be ready, but in the long run it's the right way to do it.

-Brandon
Yeah but my car is exposed to all sorts of harsh conditions. I don't put a sealant on my interior walls when I paint.

I guess my question is it a safety issue for Beebz? Or just a durability issue for my stand?

I was able to find an old folding table in the garage so I should be able to get that set up tomorrow and get him moved in as soon as I can blow any lingering fumes out the window.

Thank you for letting me know this could take a while, otherwise I'd probably have waited a lot longer before finding an alternative, assuming the odor would be gone soon.
 

Claudiusx

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
I don't put a sealant on my interior walls when I paint.
That is because paint is already a sealant....

Stain, unless it has additives, is not a sealant. It is simply a product that soaks into the pores of the wood. It does not create any exterior barrier on the product it is applied to. Because of this, it can continue to off gas for an exceptionally long time. As the microscopic top layer begins to dry, it pulls it's moisture from deeper like a wicking effect.

Applying some type of sealant will prevent this, once the sealant has cured.

I guess my question is it a safety issue for Beebz?
I answered this already in the post above.

No matter what you do (sealant or no sealant) you absolutely will have to keep your dragon away from it until you can no longer smell the stain or sealant. If you can still smell it, it is still off-gassing. And if it's still off-gassing, it's still releasing VOC's that are much more harmful to a very primitive respiratory system such as a beardies.

In my opinion, you'll have your stand ready for your dragon quicker if you seal it. But if you like the look of your stand better without the sealant, there is no reason (health wise for your dragon) that you can't just keep it unsealed and wait for it to finishing off-gassing, however long that may be.

Hope that makes sense.

-Brandon
 

Axil

Juvie Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Beebz
I think I understand, let me just walk this through.


No matter what you do (sealant or no sealant) you absolutely will have to keep your dragon away from it until you can no longer smell the stain or sealant.
Totally understand this part. If I can smell it, no good.

I was concerned there might be some safety issue with an unsealed stain i was unaware of even after it fully cured. Thank you for clarifying that's not the case.

This is what threw me a bit.
At this point, yeah applying a sealant might add some time to when your project will be ready, but in the long run it's the right way to do it.
Because I can't quite square it with this:
In my opinion, you'll have your stand ready for your dragon quicker if you seal it.
Is the takeaway that if I had sealed it as soon as the stain dried it would've been quicker. Or is it that the time for my stain to offgas is more uncertain, so I still may save time sealing the stand?

If it's the latter are there any options I can use to seal it indoors? I've used wax in the past for indoor furniture but I dunno if that will contain the vocs from the stain, or if it'll hold up with the heat lamps.
 

Claudiusx

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Is the takeaway that if I had sealed it as soon as the stain dried it would've been quicker. Or is it that the time for my stain to offgas is more uncertain, so I still may save time sealing the stand?
Both, if that makes sense lol. Only because its an uncertainty on how long the stain will actually take to finish off-gasing, while sealants are more predictable due to eventually forming a protective layer that stops any future off-gasing.

If you're going to seal indoors, I'd go with water based again. It should cure quicker than an oil based.

That being said, I don't want you to feel like I'm telling you that you HAVE to seal it. The only thing you really have to do is keep it away from your dragon if its still smelling. A slight smell is ok, especially since it's not your dragons actual tank but just the stand, but if you leave it in a room and come back a few hours later and the whole room smells like the product, it's still much too strong for your dragon.

-Brandon
 

Axil

Juvie Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Beebz
Both, if that makes sense lol. Only because its an uncertainty on how long the stain will actually take to finish off-gasing, while sealants are more predictable due to eventually forming a protective layer that stops any future off-gasing.

If you're going to seal indoors, I'd go with water based again. It should cure quicker than an oil based.

That being said, I don't want you to feel like I'm telling you that you HAVE to seal it. The only thing you really have to do is keep it away from your dragon if its still smelling. A slight smell is ok, especially since it's not your dragons actual tank but just the stand, but if you leave it in a room and come back a few hours later and the whole room smells like the product, it's still much too strong for your dragon.

-Brandon
Thank you. That answers all my questions. I'll probably let it sit in the hall a week and see if I can still smell it. If so I'll seal it and be done with it.

I'm not attached to the color looking exactly how it is now. If I'd had my way there would've been no stain but I was assured by the wonderful women in my life that would be too ugly and a stain was required :ROFLMAO:

The chicken coop I built is covered in flexseal. It's ugly as hell but indestructible. Kinda sums up my design philosophy.

It's a faint odor now, but I can detect it when I enter the room. That's the odd thing, the smell when I enter the room is the same as when I place my nose against the thing and sniff. Faint, but definitely there.

Thanks again for the help. My plan of opening the window every few hours in 40 degree weather to "see if it was done yet" was starting to get me in trouble, and a new plan was definitely required!
 

xp29

BD.org Addict
Photo Comp Winner
Beardie name(s)
Zen , Ruby ,Snicker Doodles, Sweet Pea, Sinatra
"The chicken coop I built is covered in flexseal. It's ugly as hell but indestructible. Kinda sums up my design philosophy"

A man after my own heart lol, i am very much not artistic, but if you want something that will survive a nuclear attack I'm the man for the job 😎😎😎
 

Axil

Juvie Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Beebz
"The chicken coop I built is covered in flexseal. It's ugly as hell but indestructible. Kinda sums up my design philosophy"

A man after my own heart lol, i am very much not artistic, but if you want something that will survive a nuclear attack I'm the man for the job 😎😎😎
Right?

And to be fair I  do appreciate the beautiful things other people can make. I just don't prioritize it in my own work as it will be ugly anyway. Couple that with aesthetics generally requiring some sort of compromise in durability, functionality, etc and I end up making a lot of ugly stuff.

I like concrete measurable things. Building things to an exact length, exact angle, etc I understand. Instructions that include words like "lightly", "evenly", or "carefully" drive me nuts. I do not have a tool to measure "evenness" :mad:

Thankfully my wife fills in these gaps pretty well and can beautify my projects that are deemed to require it, and veto designs that her skills can't salvage. Like apparently it's not acceptable to use exposed PVC for hydroponics in the living room. Who knew?

I even have issues with "lightly" dusting Beebz calcium powder. I'd much rather be dosing by weight or volume. I keep meaning to figure that out. If I ever find good metrics I'll post them for others impaired in the understanding of subjective terms.

And thanks for calling in the experts to pull me from my latest Dragon keeping fire.

*edit* also, if you highlight text in a post you get a quote button to clip out sections of a post rather than quoting the whole thing. Learned that in this thread, awesome feature
 
Last edited:

xp29

BD.org Addict
Photo Comp Winner
Beardie name(s)
Zen , Ruby ,Snicker Doodles, Sweet Pea, Sinatra
Yup same boat, i build it the girlfriend makes it pretty lol.
The one exception is my rockhounding, she'll help me collect material then it's left to me, BUT after its tumbled and pretty all the sudden it's hers again lmao 🤣.
 

Members online

No members online now.

Latest resources

Latest posts

Latest profile posts

Pearl Girl wrote on moorelori1966's profile.
i feel so sad reading your about me 😢
Clapton is acclimating okay I think. He's quick as lightning so I'm not sure how much I should bring him out of his house yet. He's not at all interested in his salad though. I wonder if I should change what I'm giving him. Least he's eating his crickets.

Things to do:
Buy calcium powder
Material to raise surface for basking spot
Scenery decals for back of tank
Taking my beardie for a walk
Hi everyone, I have a question please. I have a thick branch I got from outside. It has been in freezing temperatures so I know that it is insect free. I took it off the ground and sat it up during a night we got down to 15 so the entire thing would freeze. Well tonight I put white vinegar all over it too cleanse it since it won't fit in my oven. Do I need to rinse with water tomorrow or is it fine left alone dried?

Forum statistics

Threads
155,769
Messages
1,254,367
Members
75,898
Latest member
Mrs.trail22
Top Bottom