How To Paint Your Home Without Impacting Your Indoor Air

Painting your Puyallup, WA, home is a fast and low-cost way to revamp the interior. When you want to change the look and mood of a room, painting offers a simple solution. However, many paints contain volatile organic compounds, which cause poor indoor air quality. Cleaning up the mess with solvents can make the situation worse. Here are some tips on painting your home without causing a negative impact on your indoor air quality.

Test for Lead

If your home was built before 1978, test for lead before painting. The local health department has lead-testing kits, or you can have someone do the lead testing for you. Chips or dust from old lead paint can build up around windows, baseboards, and door frames. When you sand those areas in order to smooth them or remove the old paint, the lead particles can become airborne. Breathing in lead particles is particularly dangerous for infants, children, and pregnant women.

Avoid Creating Dust

As much as possible, avoid creating dust when painting your home. Keep dry sanding to a minimum. Wet sanding is safer, but it can still generate dust. You could also mist the area that needs sanding. Just use a spray bottle with water. Allow the area to dry before you apply primer or paint. Breathing in dust particles could cause inflammation in your airways.

Choose the Right Paint

There are two categories of indoor paint, which are latex and oil. Latex paints include low and no-volatile organic compound options. Oil-based paints have more volatile organic compounds and will have a bigger impact on your indoor air quality. Latex paints can be cleaned with soap and water, but oil-based paints require specialty solvents that also contain volatile organic compounds.

Minimize Exposures

Try to paint when vulnerable members of your household are at work, school, or somewhere else. If there is no way to get vulnerable members out of the home, try to minimize their exposure by keeping the door shut or sealing off the area with tarps or plastic sheeting and tape. Use exhaust fans in the area where you are painting. If you have a breathing disorder, consider wearing an N95 respirator mask. It will help keep out nearly all of the particles, dust, and odors from sanding, preparing walls, and painting.

Increase Ventilation

Even if you choose a paint that is free of volatile organic compounds, all paints have some odor. The solvents you use for cleaning your paintbrush could also release odors. Increasing ventilation is important in keeping you safe and maintaining good indoor air quality while painting the interior of your home. If you have an attic fan, turn it on 24/7 while you are painting. These fans ventilate the hot air as it rises in your home, and fresh air comes in through your home’s passive vents. You can also run exhaust fans, such as kitchen and bathroom fans. Make sure fans are blowing the air out of your home. Keep the fans on for at least 72 hours after you finish painting.

Take Breaks

Give yourself frequent breaks when painting. Even with fans running and using paint that is low in volatile organic compounds, your home’s indoor air quality could still be impacted. Go outside for some fresh air. Take about 10 minutes of break time after painting for 45 to 50 minutes. If you feel dizzy, nauseous, or develop a headache while painting, stop immediately, and go outside for fresh air.

Use Proper Clean-Up and Disposal Methods

Once you’re done painting, seal the containers tightly. Place them in a cool and dark area. If you don’t plan on using the leftovers, dispose of the latex paint by pouring kitty litter into the can and closing it. Other types of paint should be dropped off at a hazardous waste collection center. You may be able to donate leftover paint to home repair and arts organizations.

Knowing how to paint your home without impacting your indoor air quality allows you to enjoy an attractive indoor environment without sacrificing you or your family’s health. At Puyallup Heating & Air Conditioning, we are proud to offer indoor air quality solutions that remove volatile organic compounds, odors, and particles from your home’s air. You can also count on us for heating and cooling repair and installation, Aeroseal duct sealing, and tankless water heaters. For more information about indoor air quality, contact us at Puyallup Heating & Air Conditioning in Puyallup today.

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