We all know that paint comes in a variety of types, colours and ingredients – such as oil-based, water-based, latex, or low VOC paint. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are organic chemicals from liquids (and solids) such as paint, that vaporise at room temperature and enter the atmosphere (an occurrence known as “outgassing” or “offgassing”). It is this process that is responsible for that unmistakeable paint smell, commonly referred to as “paint fumes”, within a newly painted room.
When paint is applied inside a confined indoor space the concentration of VOCs can be up to ten times higher than outdoors. VOCs emitted from paint do dissipate overtime, after the paint dries on the wall but this process can take a while with most dispelling within the first six months after application. Minimising the number of VOCs entering your home interior atmosphere is always recommended.
How harmful are VOC fumes to our health?
Unfortunately, VOCs let off gasses that are harmful to people and the environment, which is why they are regulated by the government. VOCs are found in many paints and when you think about how many rooms in your house are painted and how many coats of paint you have applied, particularly on walls that previously boasted bolder colours, it will probably all add up to a significant amount of paint and in turn, produce a lot of paint fumes that can build up in the air of your indoor space.
The side effects from paint fumes can range depending on the level of exposure and the amount of paint fumes in the air. When inhaled, VOCs can contribute to some nasty health problems such as headaches, nausea, dizziness, and irritation to your airways.
How to eliminate paint fumes
Prevention is always better than cure, so it is important to try and use products with minimal amounts of VOCs whenever possible to minimise health effects. After painting a room, you will need to increase the air flow and ventilation within the space as much as you can. An air purifier can help speed up the dissipation process of paint smell in the air as they are specifically designed filtration technology that is capable of removing contaminants from the air to help improve the air quality in the indoor space.
Rest assured, we use Teknos for all paint and treatments for our timber products. Teknos is an extremely high-quality manufacturer of low VOC paints with sustainability at their core.
If we can help you with any home improvement project that you have in the pipeline, we’d love to chat with you. Remember, we are more than just a window company – we have our own in-house team of skilled builders and are able to offer a complete design and build service for large projects too. We manage all aspects of your project, including architectural design, planning, and all construction works, easing the burden for you. We work with our customers to ensure everything is perfect and the project runs seamlessly. We’ve undertaken a wide range of extensions, property refurbishments, loft extensions and other large projects across London and the Southeast. From ground works to plumbing, electrics to tiling, landscaping to decorating.