You want to make house painting in Pleasanton as safe as possible while making your rooms look fresh, updated, and brand new.
Paint is a relatively quick, easy, and cost-effective way of transforming the look and feel of your home. Giving your interior walls a fresh coat of paint can work wonders, but the paints you choose may not always be safe. They may even contain certain chemicals that can harm health and the environment. These chemicals are called VOCs.
What are VOCs, and why should you worry about them?
VOCs are volatile organic compounds found in solvent-based and, in small quantities, water-based paints and coatings. VOCs help the paint dry faster and improve the quality of coating applications.
However, VOCs tend to release harmful gases that can be hazardous to health and the environment.
When the paint dries, it emits that disagreeable and often dizzying odor – primarily because of the VOC evaporation, also known as “off-gassing.” Those strong odors from these gases indicate that these chemicals are present, thus reducing the air you breathe, mainly when the paint is used indoors without opening windows to allow for proper ventilation.
VOCs do not only have one type of chemical but a composite of different chemicals, including:
Common health symptoms from exposure to VOCs
The health effects of VOCs vary widely depending on several factors:
- The type of paint used
- How long the individual is exposed to VOCs
- The individual’s age and pre-existing health condition
- The individual’s susceptibility to VOCs
VOCs have been proven to contribute to several health conditions, including:
- Eye irritation
- Skin irritation
- Nose, throat, or lung irritation
- Vision problems
- Kidney failure
- Certain cancers
- Asthma or other allergic reaction – If you or anyone in your family has asthma, VOCs are especially dangerous as they can be triggers.
Switching to low-VOC paints
Knowing the toxic horrors brought by VOCs, now you don’t want to apply VOC paints on your interior walls, especially in your children’s bedroom, playroom, or nursery room.
Contractors and builders are also looking for alternatives to VOC paints that have less impact on the health and environment without compromising performance and quality. The desire to keep clients and team members healthy is why low-VOC paints are becoming a significant demand.
What is low-VOC paint?
As the name implies, low VOC paint has low levels of VOCs compared to regular paints. They typically emit fewer odors and potentially harmful gases.
Benefits of low-VOC paints
Using paints with low levels of VOCs benefits the environment and your and your family’s health. If you have very young children or someone with asthma or other delicate health conditions, using low-VOC paints will benefit you and your family in many ways.
- Using low-VOC paints helps minimize allergy-causing toxins.
- Low-VOC paints help reduce contaminants’ concentration in the air, groundwater, and landfills.
- They are less toxic, thus causing fewer poisonous emissions.
- They emit fewer odors.
- They have a less adverse impact on the air quality.
- They are easier to clean with soap and water compared to other paints.
- They have excellent coverage.
- They dry quickly.
- They are non-flammable.
- They are less prone to yellowing.
Because such paints have reduced VOCs, they also tend to dry more quickly, and you may end up with a slightly rough finish because these paints have less time to “flow out.” To make up for this and achieve a smoother finish, you must alter your application method slightly.
What are zero-VOC (or VOC-free) paints?
Some paint labels claim that they are low on VOCs, but it doesn’t exactly mean that they are low in odor. They still carry that malodorous stink that potentially harms one’s health. Zero-VOC paint is another paint option that you might consider.
As the name implies, zero-VOC or VOC-free paints contain no VOCs or a minimal number of VOCs. Zero-VOC paints typically have fewer than five grams of VOCs per liter. Sometimes, adding color tints and other properties (like fungicides or mildewcides) to paint products requires some more VOCs. So, remember that even if the paint is labeled “zero-VOC,” it may still contain minimal traces of harmful chemicals.
However, one of the best things about zero-VOC paints is that they give off almost no smell, making them ideal for nursery rooms, children’s rooms, or playrooms.
There are excellent and dependable paint brands out there that offer zero-VOC paints. If you need zero-VOC paints for your next paint project, look for ones with no harmful properties, such as carcinogenic ones. Zero-VOC paints are made from natural raw ingredients such as water, plant oils, milk, plant dyes, resins, and natural elements such as clay, calcium, and talcum.
Green Seal standards for paints with VOCs
Green Seal is a non-profit organization that certifies products and services. It has developed a standard for paints, stains, sealers, and coatings. It even sets more stringent standards than the EPA for acceptable VOC levels in paint.
To meet the “Green Seal” standards, manufacturers work to get less than 50 grams of VOCs per liter. Green Seal specifies the VOCs limits below:
- Flat paint – 50 grams of VOCs per liter
- Non-flat paint – 100 grams of VOCs per liter
- Non-flat, high-gloss paint – 150 grams of VOCs per liter
- Floor paint –100 grams of VOCs per liter
It is recommended to compare paint labels so that you can find the applicable paints with the lowest available VOC levels.
Tips for buying low-VOC or zero-VOC paints
- Always request low-VOC or zero-VOC paints. Also, ensure that the coloring tints in your chosen paints are low-VOC or zero-VOC.
- Look for paints with the “Green Seal” symbol.
- Look for paints that contain raw natural ingredients and elements (mentioned earlier). These paints are likely to have minimal amounts of VOCs.
Custom Painting, Inc. protects clients and the environment.
While not all paint service companies encourage eco-friendly paints, Custom Painting, Inc. believes in providing a safe living space for our clients and protecting the environment. As advances in paint technology have significantly improved over the years, we have seen more development of environmentally friendly paint products that offer quality performance but at competitive prices.
If you need professional advice, turn to the house painting experts at Custom Painting, Inc. Our licensed and insured contractors will guide you in choosing the best quality and safest paints and applying them on interior walls in house painting Pleasanton. Contact us today for a free estimate!