When it comes to choosing the right grout sealer for your next project, there are numerous variables to consider. From the quality of the sealer to the amount of dry time it will add to your project, our goal at H2O Barrier Technologies is to provide the perfect sealer for grout. We carefully considered each one of these variables when we engineered our unique line of products. Beyond the basics, it is also important to consider the VOC content in a grout sealer before you use it. Before you can really place any value upon choosing a low VOC content grout sealer, you need to first understand why VOC content matters. Read on to learn more about VOC content and how this will affect your next home improvement project.
The Breakdown Of VOC
Odds are good if you have done any home improvement project, you have heard of or read about VOC content on labels. VOC is an acronym standing for Volatile Organic Compounds. Although we associate the term “organic” with pleasant things, it is important to note the more foreboding term “volatile” preceding this seemingly natural compound. So what causes this organic compound to be termed volatile? Simply put, VOCs are compounds emitted as gases from different types of liquids (and in some cases even solids). These gases are comprised of an array of chemicals. Unfortunately, many of these chemicals being released into the air are extremely harmful and can cause both adverse short-term and long-term health effects.
Where VOCs Are Found
VOCs are not limited to grout sealer. In fact, a large array of products you might use in a home improvement project contain VOCs. Beyond just home improvement, these compounds are also found in common household cleaners. Some items which you likely encounter on a frequent basis which contain levels of VOCs include the following:
- Disinfectant cleaners
- Air fresheners
- Aerosol sprays
- Nail polish and nail polish remover
- Moth balls
- Spot removers
- Paint stripper
- Electronic cleaners
- Many office and craft supplies, such as glues, permanent markers, and photographic solutions
- Certain upholstered furniture
- Some varieties of carpets
- Dry cleaned clothing
As you can see, VOCs are found in a huge array of both liquids and solids. This leads us to the next consideration. What effect do VOCs actually have upon the quality of the air you are breathing?
The Effects Upon Your Health
Although it would be ideal to avoid VOCs entirely, the reality is every home will wind up with a certain amount of these harmful compounds in the air. The question is then, how much do VOCs actually affect our health? Unfortunately, VOCs can be harmful to both short-term and long-term health. Some of the symptoms you might experience if you are exposed to high levels of VOC include the following:
- Headaches and nausea
- Nose, eye, and throat irritation
- Allergic reactions, such as a skin rash
- Loss of coordination
Beyond symptoms, what effect does exposure have upon your health? You can cause damage to your liver, kidneys, and even your central nervous system through exposure. Not only can VOCs damage your health, they can also cause cancer in your pets.
The amount you are affected by these compounds has largely to do with the concentration of the pollutants in your indoor air. Sadly, through testing the EPA’s office of research and development, “found levels of about a dozen common organic pollutants to be 2 to 5 times higher inside homes than outside, regardless of whether the homes were located in rural or highly industrial areas.”
How high the levels are in your home will depend upon how many products and items in your home are emitting VOCs. This is where low VOC content comes into play. Finding products with low VOC levels is particularly important during home improvement projects when you might be using numerous products producing VOCs.
At H2O Barrier Technologies, we are committed to providing safe, environmentally friendly products. That is why when you shop our grout sealers online, you will find our products adhere to Low VOC content regulations. All our aquaTIGHT™ products have a neutral pH (7) solution that is also non-flammable. The components of our products are chemically stable. Not only are we committed to a low VOC, our products are also low odor, which makes application much safer for your health.
Tips For Handling VOC Products
We hope that you implement as many low VOC content products as possible in your home improvement endeavors, and beyond that, in your day-to-day life. The following are some extra tips for lowering your exposure to VOCs:
- When you are using any product that will emit VOCs be sure to use proper ventilation
- Always read the labeling on the products you use and strictly adhere to their precautions and instructions for use
- Discard of product containers after use (it is best to not store products that emit high levels of VOCs even if there is still some product left, try to purchase the exact amount you need to prevent the need for storage)
- Look for natural alternatives to household cleaners containing high levels of VOCs
Remember, all aquaTIGHT™ products are carefully crafted to be safe for the environment, and this includes our commitment to low VOC content levels. Next time you are on the lookout for grout sealers, be sure to check the labeling and opt for a safe product like ours. Check out our array of grout sealers and additives here. You do not have to sacrifice the effectiveness of a product for your health and safety.