A Safer Alternative
Health benefits in using Low-VOC products
Using Low-VOC products ensures a standard of indoor air quality that all buildings and homes should be required to have. As painters, you can contribute to making changes that are environmentally and socially responsible, to which your greatest impact would be to stop using conventional paint. The graph below not only shows the alarming amount of VOCs present in a conventional home but also brilliantly illustrates the longevity of those harmful chemicals. Where as, Low-VOC paints are at close to immeasurable levels only ten days after application.
In a comparison done between standard paints and coatings found in a common household and those products considered to have the lowest VOC content on the market, volatile organic compounds were reduced by nearly 90%. Not to mention the particular toxins and carcinogens that were eliminated from the home by not using conventional coatings. In total, the difference in the amount of volatile organic compounds found in a conventional home versus a Low-VOC home is the difference between a sumo wrestler and a two month old.
When added together, a home using conventional coatings could contain 244 lbs of VOCs at the height of its off gassing where as that same home built using materials with the lowest VOC content on the market would only introduce 12 lbs into the home.
You can paint over oil-based paints with water-based paints! With advances in water-based paints using waterborne alkyds, Low-VOC paints obtain the same durability and longevity that conventional paints have and can be applied on top of an existing oil. In order for the water-base paint to set and cure properly a binding enabled surface will need to be created by lightly sanding the existing paint. For proper adhesion, the sheen of the existing oil-based paint needs to be removed. Once removed, the water-based alkyd can set and cure for a finish comparable to its conventional counterpart.