Healthy building strategies and green living are becoming quite popular all over the United States nowadays. Whether it is San Francisco, California or Asheville, North Carolina, the real estate market for green living is quite popular and making use of eco friendly products during home renovation is becoming a standard practice. Even industry publications and educational websites feel that the air inside our houses is 2 or 3 times more contaminated than outdoor air and this is largely due to the toxins that are found in stains, paints and finishes.
Rick Braunshausen, a writer for Architecture Week, says that poor quality of indoor air is a very serious problem which a lot of engineers and architects try hard to rectify while working on both existing as well as new buildings. He added that the effect of these toxic agents is quite dangerous especially while it is being remodelled or painted. And while you can protect yourself from unnecessary stains using decorators dust sheets, how do you protect yourself against paints and finishes? The first thing you need to do is to learn about it.
Home’s that are safe from VOC’s usually have greener air
Many homebuyers and homeowners are aware of the dangers associated with lead paint. There is even a public safety alert on the US Consumer Product Safety Commission website. This alert explains everything you should know when it comes to lead based paints. Homes that are built prior to the year 1980 run the most risk of lead contamination. Also, while dealing with homes that were built before 1978, real estate agents need to provide a lead based paint disclosure form to homebuyers. You must either ingest or inhale lead paint in order to get poisoned and there are tests which can be done if you are worried about the lead content in your paint. You should also know that there are other toxic substances found in stains, paint and finishes, apart from lead which are just as dangerous for both animals and humans.
VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds) are usually found in solvent based paints and when they are used in enclosed areas can lead to a number of health related problems. Christi Graham, a writer for Healthy Home Plans says that the American Lung Association had reported that VOC’s can lead to a variety of physical conditions including skin and eye irritation, breathing problems, headaches, muscle weakness, nausea, kidney and liver damage, etc. She also said that VOC’s were 10 times higher when indoors as compared to the outdoors and this number also went up by more than a 1000 times when it came to new coats of paint.
Earlier, VOC’s were considered essential for paints, but the latest environmental initiatives have stated that low-VOC or zero-VOC stains, paints and finishes are a lot better for your health. These paints cause less damage to humans as well as to the Earth and are quite affordable as well as durable. And as the number of green products available in the market keep on rising, these alternate paints will only become more cost efficient, especially when it comes to homeowners that have children.
Tips For Painting the Interiors of Your Home
Living a green lifestyle can mean various different things to different people. But, using non-toxic paint is definitely a great first move when it comes to maintaining a healthier environment inside your home. And here are a few green living tips to help you with your next project involving stains, paints or finishes:-
1. Always use zero-VOC, low-VOC or natural paints. There are quite a few different paint companies which currently offer such non toxic paints for indoors. There are many alternative paint companies which specialise in these green products and there are even some mainstream paint producers such as Sherwin Williams that sell zero-VOC and low-VOC products for indoor use.
2. Ensure that there is enough ventilation when you are painting your home. Also, ensure to buy paints that have sealing properties as this helps in reducing outgassing. Remember that outgassing is the worst during the first 3 days. You can even consider placing large fans at doorways or open windows in order to avoid harmful fumes & even the smallest amounts of VOC’s.
3. You should compare the prices of various non toxic paints before making a decision. As green paint products are becoming more and more popular, their price will continue becoming more competitive as well. You can find out a lot about green paints on the internet and you can even purchase green paint products online.
4. Remember to choose the correct paint for your job. There are different types of paints which have different purposes in a home. For example, if you are looking at painting your bathroom or your kitchen then you need to get a paint which can withstand cleaning and scrubbing.
5. Buy sufficient paint for a job. Calculate the square footage of the rooms you wish to paint & purchase the required quantity of paint for that much space. This will ensure that there is no wastage and will also save you some money.
As time goes by, environmental concerns will only increase their popularity as green interior remodelling or renovation practices not only help preserve our planet but also keep us as well as our families healthy.