Painting is a great way to refresh the look of your home or business, but certain steps must be taken to prevent adverse environmental effects. There are definitely right and wrong ways to paint when it comes to environmental stewardship. Many exterior painters in Roswell, GA, have adopted environmentally friendly practices. These practices are recommended for anyone who undertakes painting projects.
This first precaution happens during the prep phase before the actual painting starts. If you have an older home, there is a good chance that your home was painted with a lead-based product at some point. By scraping and sanding, you’re releasing lead contamination into the air and soil. Some control measures include moistening surfaces while sanding, laying down drop cloths to capture debris and vacuuming sawdust and chips.
Commonly referred to as VOCs, volatile organic compounds have a significant adverse effect on the environment. These compounds are released into the air as paint dries. Then, they contribute to the creation of ozone, which can result in the formation of smog in urban areas. The presence of ozone produces ill-health effects for many people. To minimize these effects, painters can choose low-VOC paint formulas.
These paints have a solvent carrier that can cause adverse environmental and health effects. Typical oil carriers include linseed oil, petroleum distillates and glycol ethers. These solvents are toxins when released into the ecosystem. Additionally, brushes and rollers used for applying oil-based paints require the use of turpentine or mineral spirits for cleaning. These solvents pose their own environmental hazards. Oil-based paints are also higher emitters of volatile organic compounds. Water-based paints are considered to be safer, don’t require solvents for cleanup and are more environmentally friendly with less emission of VOCs.
Paints and solvents require appropriate handling for disposal. If dumped on the ground, the chemicals in paints and solvents can run off and enter wetlands, ponds, lakes, and rivers. If placed in regular garbage pickup, paints and solvents can contaminate landfills. Inappropriate disposal is illegal and ethically wrong. These products should be disposed of at a site designed for hazardous materials or a recycling center equipped to take them. Professionals who offer exterior paint jobs in Roswell, GA, use the most appropriate methods of disposal.
Accidental spills will happen, so it’s best to have a cleanup plan ready to go. Even though it’s an accident, the negative consequences of chemicals entering a storm water drainage system are just as bad as intentional dumping. A good cleanup plan includes supplies for a dry cleanup. Never spray a spill with a hose, which helps spread the contaminants and increases the chances of them reaching drainage systems.
Painting does wonders to renew the appearance of a property. When you do paint, you’ll want to use earth-friendly practices that are gentle on the environment. Every responsible painter in Roswell, GA, has an obligation to do what’s right.