care with voc fumes

Avoiding VOCs when painting

One of the most common forms of home improvement is the task of repainting, particularly at this time of year when warm weather and a lack of rain reduces any timing issues. However, there are many people who find this task difficult due to the fumes that paint can give off.

The main health concerns with paint fumes relate to “volatile organic compounds”, (known as VOCs), which are solvents that vaporise into the air as paint dries and which have been known to make some people quite dizzy or even nauseous. Higher exposure levels are believed to have even more serious consequences, such as kidney damage.

One feature that is easy to look out for is that paints are generally classified as solvent-based or water-based. Solvent-based coatings generally contain between 30% and 70% VOCs by weight, whilst most water-based coatings contain between 5% and 10%.

In Europe, ‘natural paints’, modified zero VOC acrylic and low VOC urethane paints have been in use for over twenty years. The good news for anyone planning a paint job at home is that there are now several different brands of paint available in Australia that have either low or zero VOC content.

One Australian company that is known for its zero VOC products is eColour. Its products are available online if you have trouble finding it in your local paint store, (particularly as many of these paint retailers are owned by specific competing paint brands).

Well known paint brands like Taubmans, Dulux and Wattyl promote that they have products that are low in VOCs. However, it is worth checking the individual product you plan to use as this can vary from one type of paint to another.

Another important tip if you are thinking of repainting this Summer in preparation for a property sale in 2020 is that it is worth getting some independent advice from one of our Advocated BEFORE you start spending money on paints, brushes and ground sheets. This can not only include what colours are popular with buyers in your area, but also whether a fresh coat of paint will make any difference to your potential buyer at all.

You can give the friendly Customer Service team at Ian Reid Vendor Advocates a call on 9430 0000. You’ll also find lots of helpful real estate tips in our free booklet, Fatal Real Estate Traps Exposed, so be sure to get a FREE copy while you’re here on our website.