There is a growing trend for green building and it seems to be adopted by some condo builders. Eco-friendly lifestyles are promoted in builders’ marketing materials like never before. Cleaner air ventilation, water saving plumbing, energy efficient lights and appliances are features that consumers welcome . Construction materials such as flooring and paint are chosen for their reduced VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) properties. The average Canadian spends more than 80% of their time indoors, so paying attention to Indoor Air Quality makes sense. There are some misconceptions about painting a condo and the effect on Indoor Air Quality. Whether painting a new building or an occupied one, common sense and basic facts should be taken seriously.

Painting in a building

Most condominium buildings’ ventilation systems are inadequate and in most cases, non existent. When painting inside a building, most residents can smell the paint as fumes travel from unit to unit. Air gets circulated through electrical outlets, gaps around pipes, behind walls and ceilings. Some of the low quality builder’s grade paint should never be used in condo buildings. Better quality, low pollution paint should be used during the building of a condo building. A value priced paint job in a condo building is preferable. Just because latex paints dry fast it does not mean it is harmless. Cheap builder’s paint can take days, even weeks to cure. Off-gassing continues for days after the paint has dried and until the paint cures. When construction is running late, some owners move in before the painting is completed. Main areas like hallways are painted last and the smell of paint lingers for many days. The doors and trim are painted with inexpensive enamel paints that off gas more than usual. To make things worse, cold weather makes it impractical to keep windows open for extended periods of time.

Painting in an occupied building

VOC are substances found in paint and are harmful to everyone.  They are more harmful to pregnant women, young children, and people with respiratory issues. Property managers are well advised to provide early notice to condo owners when painting a condominium unit or hallways and common areas. It is also within the rights of condo management to ask the Painting Contractors about the paints they use. It is also within their rights to demand zero or low VOC paints. Contractors should be asked to provide Technical Data Sheets and Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS). That information is easily available and can be obtained from any coatings manufacturer.

Ecopainting Inc. is an eco-friendly Painting Contractor in the Greater Toronto area. Through the use of zero VOC paint and our environmental policies, we work to minimize the impact our painting may have on our customers Indoor Air Quality. We think that a responsible contractor should be 100% responsible about their choice of materials. Feel free to check some reviews from condo owners.

If you are a property manager or a condo owner needing a painting company, call 416 733-7767 to request a consultation.

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