When it comes to interior and exterior decorating, you are bound to find yourself buried in current trends and new terms dominating the industry. It is usually the case especially for those just starting to lay the groundwork for research for their home's painting project. As you shop around for brands of paint and the numerous colors and sheens available, you may have stumbled across terms with which you are unfamiliar: low-VOC and zero-VOC paint. So, what exactly are these types of paint?
What is low-VOC and Zero-VOC paint?
Volatile Organic Compounds, usually known as VOCs are potentially hazardous emissions found in some solvent paints. The compounds easily evaporate and react with the air to form invisible vapors. They can cause irritation to the eyes, throat, and mucous membranes when inhaled. VOCs are considered environmental hazards, and that's why paint companies strive to manufacture brands of paint with little or no VOCs. Low-VOC paint refers to paint with negligible amounts of the compounds, while zero-VOC paint is paint that has no traces of these compounds in its chemical composition.
Are low-VOC and zero-VOC paints less efficient?
The absence of VOC in paint does not reduce its efficiency or appeal. VOCs are found in the solvent that helps keep the paint in liquid form. Manufacturers substitute them with other safer compounds that facilitate the paint's drying process. Most of the low-VOC and zero-VOC paints on the market today are durable, cost-effective, and produce little or no hazardous fumes that are harmful to humans and the environment.
Are the paints odorless?
The low-VOC and zero-VOC label does not imply that the paints have no smell. Most of these paints still emit an odor until dry. The type and intensity of the smell vary in different types of paint. The key here is to choose a brand of paint whose smell you can tolerate. If you are particularly sensitive to the odor, you may need to check for paints with an incredibly low amount of these compounds, as the composition varies among brands.
Caution when using low-VOC and zero-VOC paint
The main reason for using low-VOC or zero-VOC paint is to reduce the emission of hazardous compounds in the air and avoid associated health issues. However, if you use a conventional color tint with your paint, you will be defeating your intentions. The typical colorants used in tint paint can contain higher levels of VOC and can accelerate the levels of the compounds in your paint. Go for tint paint with equally low VOC levels for the best results.
It is essential to consider paint with lower levels of hazardous compounds for your home's painting project. It conserves the environment and also keeps related respiratory complications at bay.