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Zero and Low-VOC paints (Volatile Organic Compounds) are a big aspect of the push toward a more environmentally-friendly and sustainable existence. Indeed, it's a great area for the painting industry, and its industrial and commercial customers, to make a big impact. So, what do these businesses need to know when finding a painting contractor on the one hand, and finding the right eco-friendly paint on the other? 

Below, I'll give you a few things to think about, with the hope that when it comes to your next project, you'll know just what to do.  

Eco-Friendly Paint Technology

These types of paints have grown by leeps and bounds over the last few decades. In the past, eco-friendly paints just didn't have great durability. Not so these days. Low and Zero-VOC paint performance and aesthetics are operating at an exceptional level. Part of the reason for this evolution was customer demand. But, the work of legislative bodies and organizations like the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) pushing for higher standards for interior air quality and paint's effects on the environment, was also extremely helpful. 

As Steven Renvew, Sherwin Williams' Director of Marketing, said: “Advances in paint technology have allowed the creation of formulas that reduce or eliminate VOCs without reducing the durability of the products."

How Low and Zero-VOCs Work

Traditionally, VOCs are added to paint to help in the drying and curing processes. A paint's solvent contains the pigment and resin. As the paint dries, the solvent starts to evaporate, and the VOCs go with it. These compounds give an interior space that new paint smell. And, in a city like Los Angeles, VOCs can contribute to smog and aggravate certain individuals' allergies and other medical conditions. Not good. 

Low and Zero-VOCs have very few to none of these volatile organic compounds. The drying and curing process is not adversely affected; and, as noted above, the color selection and performance is of a high quality. They are applied in the same fashion as traditional, high-VOC paints, so don't worry about equipment and technique. 

Read the Labels

Green Seal and GreenGuard both offer great third party certification of environmentally-friendly paints. Green Seal certifies that a paint's VOC content is at 50 g/l or lower for flat paint, and 100 g/l or lower for non-flat paints. GreenGuard permits trace amounts of VOC’s in paints which it certifies. 

Finding the Right Painting Contractor

Obviously, if you know more about Low and Zero-VOC paints than a painting company, go with another contractor. Ideally, the right contractor should have experience in helping industrial and commercial businesses select the right colors and brands for Low and Zero-VOC paints. But, they should also be able to tell you exactly why these paints are right for your business, your community, and the world. 

If you have any other questions about Low and Zero-VOC paints, don't hesitate in getting in contact with Moorhouse Coating. 


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