Across the paint and coatings industry, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) define a large group of chemicals that are released into the air by different coating systems during the curing and drying process.
Depending on the level and extent of exposure to VOCs, the health effects can range from eye, nose and throat irritation, allergies and exacerbation of respiratory diseases to central nervous system damage.
In response to the latest regulations that limit the amount of VOCs to 250 g/l for flat finishes and 380 g/l for glossy paint systems, many paint manufacturers have developed water-based paint products that are low in VOCs. Commonly referred to as low- and no-VOC paints, these products allow us to reduce and even eliminate exposure to toxic chemicals in our homes and workplaces.
Tampa Painters Explain Low- and No-VOC Paint Systems
At a very basic level, paint contains solvents, binders, pigments and additives. When paints are applied to surfaces, the solvents evaporate while the binders, pigments and additives dry to form a solid and durable film.
Unlike conventional solvent-based coatings, which continue to emit volatiles long after they’ve dried, water-based paints contain much lower VOC concentrations that are released into the air within the first days after the application.
Thanks to some manufacturers who have pushed the VOC levels even lower, Tampa painters can find nowadays a wide variety of paint products labeled “low” or “zero” VOC. Improving indoor air quality and reducing urban smog, these paints benefit everyone, including healthy people as well as those who suffer from different health conditions.
Tampa Painters Consider Low-VOC Paint a Good Choice in Florida’s Weather
According to industry experts, weather conditions characterized by warm temperatures can increase the drying rate of paint systems. This leads to higher amounts of VOCs being released into the air. In addition to affecting the indoor air quality, volatiles also react with other chemicals in the atmosphere, causing air pollution and smog.
To protect both indoor and outdoor environments, our Tampa painters recommend low- and no-VOC water-based coatings for most residential, commercial and industrial applications. As an example, Benjamin Moore’s Eco Spec WB, Zero VOC paint from AFM Safecoat, Bioshield natural paints, Sherwin Williams’ Harmony and Acro Pure from Miller Paint are just some of the paint systems that can be used in order to deliver the quality our customers deserve and expect.
Additionally, the latest generation of low- and no-VOC paints includes non-toxic additives with antifungal and antibacterial properties. These paint systems are typically used to prevent mold growth along with bacteria build-up, which is particularly common in healthcare settings, kitchens, bathrooms, indoor pools, spas, etc.
Since low- and no-VOC coatings have quick drying times, are odorless and don’t release volatiles once they dry, a freshly painted area can be put back into service as soon as the paint film dries completely. Consequently, using low- and no-VOC paints can reduce downtime, which is a great advantage especially in commercial and industrial painting projects.
Providing more benefits for relatively the same material and labor costs as conventional paint, low- and no-VOC coatings aren’t just a good choice from an environmental perspective; they also offer excellent all-round performance, similar to traditional coatings. What’s more, these paint systems can be found in all sheen levels and colors, for both indoor and outdoor applications.
To choose the right coating system for your painting project in Tampa, Jacksonville or neighboring areas in Florida, please visit our Contact Us page today to request a free painting consultation.