Garage floor coatings can work wonders to improve the beauty and functionality of your home. However, you may be worried about the volatile organic compounds from them. Will this terrible smell last? Can you smell VOCs in your house, or only in the garage? What can you do to protect yourself from VOCs?
In truth, the answers to these questions vary a great deal depending on the type of garage floor coating you get and whether you’re DIYing your coating or hiring professionals to install it for you. When you have professional garage floor coatings installed, the risks of VOCs to your health are greatly reduced. However, if you DIY your garage floor coating, you’ll need to be very careful to take all the necessary precautions, PPE and all.
What Are VOCs?
VOC stands for volatile organic chemical compounds. These are emitted as gases, as from cleaning products. They’re composed of a variety of chemicals, some of which can have short- and long-term health effects. They’re more problematic in areas with limited ventilation, being higher indoors than outdoors.
Potential Health Impacts Of VOCs
Some of the potential health impacts you may experience with exposure to volatile organic compounds include:
- Poor indoor air quality
- Irritated eyes
- Irritated nose
- Irritated throat
- Difficulty breathing
- Damage to the central nervous system
- Damage organ
- Potentially cause cancer
- Potentially cause heart disease
A buildup of harmful VOCs can result in building-related illness or sick building syndrome. Symptoms of these include: headaches, trouble concentrating, brain fog, irritability, depression, dizziness, nausea, allergies, asthma, and irritated skin, eyes, nose, and/or throat.
Removal of VOCs often results in rapid relief of symptoms.
People with respiratory problems and people with heightened sensitivity to chemicals more susceptible to illness and irritation from VOCs. Talk to your doctor if you are concerned about the potential health effects of VOCs.
Regulations vary from state to state, as well as based on the type of application. What is acceptable in one state may not be in another.
In the floor coating industry, this is measured by the calculated mass of the VOC content relative to the overall volume of the chemical, most often represented in grams/liters or pounds per gallon. Generally, coatings with less than 50 g/l are considered low VOC.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, no federally enforceable standards have been set for VOCs in non-industrial settings. EPA, state, and local authorities control VOC regulations.
Can You Smell VOCs In Your House?
This depends on the VOCs in the floor coating itself. Typically, the closer you get to your garage, the more likely it is that you will be able to smell the VOCs. So, while you may be able to smell the garage floor coating near your garage door, the further away you get from it, the less you should be able to smell it.
Steps to help if you do smell them in your home include: increasing ventilation, increasing fresh air, keeping the temperature and relative humidity as low as possible/comfortable, and being careful using other products with VOCs.
Do You Want A Low-VOC Floor Coating?
If you DIY your floor coating, this is when you need to be the most concerned about the risks associated with VOCs. You’ll need to be very careful to ensure that you’re taking all the protective measures possible.
However, if you have a professional floor coating installed, you can worry less about your exposure to VOCs. This is especially true if you opt for a low-VOC floor coating, such as polyaspartic floor coatings. Low-VOC floor coatings are more environmentally friendly and safer to use, with less risk of harmful fumes/odors.
Bear in mind, though, that floor coatings can still emit VOCs after curing, and this can last anywhere from days to weeks.
However, with polyaspartic floor coatings, such as the kind that we here at Solid Garage Floor Coatings of Montana use, you have the least need to worry about this. We use RESINWERKS products. 90% of these floor coatings are odor-free, while the other 10% have minimal odor that doesn’t linger for weeks on end.
Low VOC Floor Coatings Near Missoula, Montana
Solid Garage Floor Coatings of Montana provides professional floor coating services to improve the beauty and functionality of your home while preserving your safety. To learn more about our floor coatings and the services we provide, please don’t hesitate to contact us today!