With modern home building and houses that don’t quite “breathe” like they used to, it’s important for painters to know the modern technologies available to limit VOC’s emitted by paints. Consumers also need to be aware, both of the dangers and the new advances in paint technology. This is an excellent 3 part article on what’s available and what to look for. Enjoy!
Over the years, builders have come up with new and innovative ways to seal walls, windows and doors in the home. While we’ve become better at sealing out the exterior elements, we’ve also sealed in everything, from aldehydes to mold and mildew and even unpleasant odors. Fortunately, coatings have been created to address some of these healthy home challenges.
Why Airborne Compounds Pose a Problem
A variety of factors contribute to poor indoor air quality. Aldehydes, such as formaldehyde, are volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can be found in plastics, synthetic resins, upholstery, carpet and pressed wood. Higher formaldehyde levels tend to be found in newer homes or homes with recent construction. The Centers for Disease Control notes that people who are sensitive to formaldehyde and are exposed to it over a longer period of time are more likely to have symptoms such as sore throat, cough, scratchy eyes and nosebleeds. Mold and mildew growth causes staining, rotting and bacterial odors. For people with mold sensitivity, molds can cause nasal stuffiness, throat irritation, coughing, eye irritation and skin irritation. Odors from pets, cooking, smoke and other sources may not pose direct health problems, but they can make indoor spaces smell unpleasant.
Advanced Coating Technologies and Healthy Homes
Paint coating technologies have evolved to deliver greater benefits and make contractors’ jobs easier. Any contractor can apply the new generation of high performance coatings (which meet the most stringent VOC regulations) while delivering a smooth, durable finish. Available in a wide array colors, these coatings can match any décor to keep spaces visually pleasing and address healthy homes issues.
But this new generation of coatings does more than look good and deliver high performance. Through extensive research, Sherwin-Williams has created a paint that reduces airborne concentrations of formaldehyde and other aldehydes by almost 50 percent. Some advanced coatings help combat odors. For example, Sherwin-Williams’ Harmony Interior Acrylic Latex Paint features odor-eliminating technology that helps reduce common indoor odors from organic sources such as tobacco, pets and cooking. Finally, many of today’s coatings contain anti-microbial agents, which inhibit the growth of mold and mildew on the paint surface and inhibit the growth of bacterial odors.
The Science Behind the Technology
While this new technology may sound like science fiction, it’s actually everyday chemistry at work in the home. Odor-eliminating technology deconstructs carbon molecules, neutralizing and dissipating odors. Then, a unique formaldehyde-reducing technology, also in Harmony Paint, helps transform airborne aldehydes into water molecules and harmless inert gas, reducing these VOCs from potential sources like insulation, carpet, furniture and fabrics.
This type of high-performance paint can provide a number of benefits for homeowners concerned about creating and maintaining a healthy home. It also offers competitive advantages for painting contractors, including driving business, reducing costs and providing advanced durability, all while offering long-lasting protection, meeting the most stringent environmental standards and providing your customer with beautiful results.
Related article: Part I – Healthy Homes: A Marketing Tool for your Business