Green Coatings to Protect People, Buildings & the Environment
One of my passions is that I’ve always loved hanging out in nature, getting off the grid to center myself and connecting with the environment. So invariably it seemed to make good common sense to protect that environment. This thought process, combined with my chosen profession as a coatings expert, lead me to constantly promote the use of green, environmentally advanced/friendly coatings.
How do you identify these coatings? To start off, here is a list of the basic characteristics of green coatings:
Zero to Low VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds)
Did you know that some VOCs are known carcinogens? VOCs are released into the environment as a coating dries and cures, which contribute to greenhouse gasses that add to climate change/global warming. Research shows that some VOCs can cause chronic and acute health effects at high concentrations, while some may produce acute reactions in some individuals even at low to moderate levels. Children & the elderly are some of the more susceptible to the effects of VOCs.
No ODS (Ozone Depleting Substances)
ODs are substances that deplete the ozone layer & cause higher levels of UV rays reaching us on earth.
Green coatings have no harmful ingredients or side effects to people or the environment. In simplest terms, it is clean. But how clean do we need it to be? It should be clean enough that they can be applied in the presence of pregnant woman & children, but this claim should be backed up with independent, accredited laboratory testing.
Water is the main ingredient and it also cleans up with water.
A coating is biodegradable when it can breakdown and decay naturally in a way that is not harmful to the environment.
Those are the basic characteristics when considering green coatings. But do green coatings provide the benefits we get from other coatings? Absolutely! High quality green coatings can offer a whole lot more. These are some of the additional desirable qualities of green coatings:
High quality green coatings can withstand the test of time against natural & manmade elements and transform weak, susceptible surfaces into tough, durable ones that can now take a lot of abuse. Outstanding, long lasting performance means it can last for at least a 20-year life/service cycle and can to sustain attacks from rain, wind, sun/ultra violet rays, salt sea spray and other elements that can break down a coating. It can also tolerate repeated washing with a durable and scrubbable surface.
At the end of the coating life cycle, the products are simply recoated to cross-link bond, adhering with themselves for another life cycle. This means never needing to be remove or tear off a coating and have something that is easily restored, saving your from generating any unnecessary waste that may need to be transported & stored.
Class A Fire Rated
This is also known as the UPPIT Test, in which coatings are tested to ensure that it doesn’t support combustion and that nothing toxic is released in a fire. Having a Class A Fire Rated green coating on your buildings will not adversely affect the fire rating or building codes of the surfaces they are protecting.
Waterproof and Breathable
It is important for green coatings to support outgassing, allowing vapor to transmit through, and ensure that it will not trap moisture. But, it also needs to be waterproof so that it also does not allow the penetration of water due to rain, flooding & high wind events.
Extremely Flexible with Superior Elongation
Every building or surface moves. It expands and contracts, through heat and cold, and vibrates. If the coatings don’t move with that typical building movement, the system will crack and the integrity of your coating system will break down.
Most importantly, green coatings can turn an environmentally distressed property green by simply and safely managing hazardous materials in place, while stopping exposure to the people and the environment. This is especially important with properties that have asbestos, lead-based paint, PCB’s or other solid hazardous materials.