Our houses are where we spend much of our time and build many of our memories; the growing trend of going green in the home – now entrenched in the real estate market and unlikely to diminish – affects even the paint we use in our residences. Whether hiring a professional painter to touch up your home’s interior or tackling a furniture rehab on your own, deciding to use eco-friendly paints is a smart decision.
Traditional paints potentially pose several hazards, chief among them are the harmful fumes the chemicals used to make the paint emit. Our homes, despite our efforts, are not ideally ventilated, and the paint we use in every stage – wet paint, drying paint, aging paint – emits toxins into our air. These are lumped together and labeled volatile organic compounds, and many studies have shown them to be cancer causing; inhibit proper respiration; and they can cause dizziness and extreme fatigue.
For these reasons, one of the biggest benefits of eco-friendly painting is the health benefit. While it’s thought to be most dangerous while the home is being painted, these VOCs can continue to affect you and your family’s health as long as they’re in your home.
Low-VOC paints are common on the shelves of home improvement and paint stores. There are EPA regulations to standardize these more water-based paints, and some low-VOC paints even incorporate agents that help prevent moisture buildup, mold and residue within the home – an added benefit.
Today, we can see the benefits of green painting even more as the natural paint market continues to grow and offers products that are completely natural and safe to use within the home. Paints made from plant dyes, clay, milk bases and lime washes are all great options when planning an eco-friendly painting project.
If you’re planning to paint the exterior of your home, be aware that different chemicals may have been added to your paint to make it more weather resistant and durable. Because the outdoors are more spacious and proper ventilation is less of a concern, you don’t have to worry about fume buildup as much; however, there are several companies that specialize in eco-friendly outdoor paint.
Discuss your options with your professional painter, especially if you have children and pets in the home. While it takes a bit more research and can increase the cost of your project, green painting offers long-term benefits that make the rewards worth the extra effort and investment.
The Paint Doctor is a licensed, fully insured and proven painting contractor. For more information or an estimate, call us at (404) 524-8283, or click here to send us an email.
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