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Category Archives: Paint Safety

Low VOC Paint and Why You Should Use It

Painting your home with low VOC paints is absolutely crucial these days. Not only are they durable and long-lasting, but they are much less harmful to both you and the environment than normal, VOC containing paints. In this post we will explain what these mysterious VOCs are and the benefits of using zero or low VOC paint.

What are VOCs?

VOCs are Volatile Organic Compounds. More simply put, they are carbon compounds that can easily vaporize and lead to air pollution and cause serious health concerns when inhaled. Some common health problems linked to the inhalation of VOCs are asthma, headaches, respiratory diseases and cancer. Although VOC levels are highest during painting and as the paint is drying, some paints with high VOC levels can continue to give of toxins for up to several years afterwards.

Benefits of Using Low VOC Paints

Besides the obvious benefit of limiting you and your family’s exposure to harmful chemicals, low VOC paints have many other benefits. Since they have less added chemicals, they have much less of a strong “paint” odor which can hinder when you are able to safely move back into your home after a big paint job. Also, due to their lack of harmful chemicals, they are easier to dispose of and effectively minimize harmful waste going into the environment. They are just as, if not more, durable than their high VOC counterparts, so the choice when it comes to paints is really a no-brainer.

Choose a Painting Contractor that Uses Low and Zero VOC Paints

Here at Paint Denver, we choose to use only zero and low VOC paint because we care about the health and safety of your families and our employees. Learn more about our philosophy to provide the highest quality work with the least amount of impact to you and the environment,

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Why You Should Only Use A Painting Company That Chooses Low VOC Paint

Thinking of hiring a painting company for your next home improvement project? There are many things to consider as you make your final selection. Professionalism. References. All of this matters when choosing a painting company.

But there may be one thing more that you’ve never considered before.

What type of paint do they use?Why You Should Only Use A Painting Company That Chooses Low VOC Paint

Professional painting companies select and use all kinds of paint. Some choose their paints based on performance. Some based on color. But what about overall impact of the paint?

Paint contains three different types of chemicals: binders, solvents and pigments. The binders provide the ability to adhere to the surface you are painting. The solvents keep the paint liquid until its applied. And the pigments give the paint the color you desire.

Though all types of paints contain these three chemicals, not all paints are the same. In some cases, the paint manufacturer concerns itself more with profits and output rather that what goes in the paint. In which case the paint will contain more of the dangerous chemicals we are now finding out affect us in a variety of ways. These paints will contain higher concentrations of volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, which can harm us in a variety of ways.

Health Problems

Most VOCs are found in the solvents. Solvents are the part of the paint that keep it liquid for application and allow it to dry quickly once its applied. When paint is applied to the interior of your space, the VOCs will become a part of your indoor air quality as this process takes place. Which means it can contaminate that air not just for the short term, but in some cases for extended periods of time. Yes, that fresh paint smell might not be so good after all. VOCs have been known to cause a variety of health concerns, including respiratory problems. Low VOC paints use alternative solvents, often water based, which means they have lower concentrations of toxic chemicals. By choosing a company that uses low VOCs, you are safeguarding the health of your family or your employees.

Environmental Problems

Painting the exterior of your home or building still has its own repercussions. Depending on the size of your structure, the paint you use will still off-gas during the drying process. High VOCs will enter our environment during the painting process and often for years to come. We also face many environmental problems when paints are disposed of improperly. Imagine paint buckets with high VOCs continually contaminating both the air and water supplies as it sits leaking in a landfill.

Now that we are aware of the potential problems and damage high VOCs cause our world, why choose a paint company that uses anything but low VOC paint? If you hire us, you’ll be hiring a company that always chooses the lowest VOC paints, and cares equally about the footprint we leave in our environment.

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A Guide to Paint Thinners

Paint thinners are used to thin paint products, paint stains, or paint brushes. There are various types of paint thinners that are available in the market. The two major types or paint thinners are oil-based and water-based thinners. There is a big difference between them, and using the wrong type of paint thinner on a certain type of paint may not yield best results.

Types of Paint ThinnersA Guide to Paint Thinners

In addition to oil-based and water-based thinners, there are also various types of materials that paint thinners are made of. These include acetone, alcohol, lacquer thinner, turpentine, mineral spirits, and toluene. Aside from each type having a different composition, and toxicity, strength and solubility also varies.

Raw materials used for each type are also different. The common aspect about most paint thinners is that they can cause harm to the environment, so labels and directions for use must be read carefully. Proper disposal of paint thinners is also strictly advised.

Environmentally-friendly paint thinners

With paint thinners categorized as solvents, it is acknowledged that these materials can be harmful not only to the environment but also to you and your family’s health. For healthy alternative options that are good for health and the environment, citrus-based paint thinners are now being produced. Derived from essential oils of citrus plants and fruits, citrus-based paint thinners are considered as natural solvents and work the same way as petroleum-based solvents.

Another good aspect about citrus based paint thinners is that it is not as toxic or flammable as petroleum-based thinners making them safer for use in your home and office. Key ingredients used for these thinners are environment friendly, biodegradable, and organic. This means that disposal is easier while usage is safer.

Aside from thinning paints and cleaning brushes, citrus-based paint thinners can also be used as a cleaner and degreaser for homes and offices.

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Paint and VOCs – Questions and Answers

What are VOCs?

VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, are solvents that get released into the air as paint is applied to your walls and dries. VOCs are in many different every day household items, including carpeting, home furnishings, adhesives and cleaning supplies.

Why should I care about VOCs?

Paint and VOCs – Questions and AnswersReally there are two reasons. The first is that VOCs are harmful chemicals that effect our air, both indoors and out. To reduce our carbon footprints, we need to care more about the things we produce and the products we buy so we don’t continue to disrupt our world. And second, its not just the environment, its also your health. When harmful VOCs are trapped inside your home, they will ultimately have an effect on your overall health. They can cause basic health issues, such as headaches and dizziness. And when left for the long term, they can increase the chance of chronic illness, including asthma and even cancers.

Are low VOC paints the solution?

Yes, they are definitely a step in the right direction. However, take note that a paint that says low or no VOC can still have VOCs in them. The federal government caps the VOC content in paint at 250 grams per liter for flat finishes, and 380 grams per liter for other finishes. Those are government standards; some manufacturers have created their own policies and actually decreased the amount of VOCs even more. The only way to know VOC content is to read up on the product.

What about no VOC paints?

Yes, you can find paints that claim they are no VOC. But in many cases these paints will still have VOCs in them. Here’s why. Base paints often start out VOC free. But when any pigment is added at the point of sale, the VOC level can climb as high as 150 grams per liter. And because we all love to add color to our selections, your VOC levels will climb with it.

Anything else I should know about VOC paints?

Keep in mind that VOCs are in more than the paints. They can also be in the solutions you use to clean up after you paint. Remember, those harsh smells can mean harm to your health, so take care when using any products in and around your family.

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Can Interior Wall Paint Trigger Your Allergies?

Are you thinking about changing the interior paint of your home? Do you suffer from allergies? If you answered yes to both questions, you need to understand the effect paint can have on your allergies.

Can Interior Wall Paint Trigger Your Allergies?There are a number of chemicals used in paint during its manufacture. The result is paint that adheres to your wall and creates the beautiful look you want. However, those same chemicals do not always stay in the paint. They can be released into the air for many years after the paint has been applied to your walls.

The release of these chemicals into the air can trigger your allergies. For instance, when you walk into a freshly-painted room and immediately feel a tickle in your throat or nose, this is an indication of the paint fumes triggering your allergies.

The same thing can happen months down the road – or even years. If you are thinking about painting your home on your own, you may want to think twice. Professional painters know which paints to use to have the least amount of fumes present, both immediately and in the future.

Another reason you should hire a professional – besides the polished, finished appearance – is because your allergies may not be able to handle the process. Professional painters have the necessary equipment needed to protect themselves from the fumes. All you have to do is make sure you avoid the room until the fumes are gone.

As an allergy sufferer, you have to protect yourself from allergy triggers, including paint fumes. Discuss your allergy problems with your painter and let him help you choose the least harmful paint for your walls.

Even if you suffer from allergies, there is no reason why you should not have a beautiful, freshly-painted home. You just have to take a few extra precautions and leave it to the pros. Contact Paint Denver today and talk with our experts.

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