Paint technology has advanced significantly, leaving homeowners with numerous choices when it comes to formulations. In the past, oil paints were the most popular and only readily available option for users. However, today there are latex paints, also known as water-based paints, for interior and exterior use. Latex paint rivals oil-based paint in versatility, durability and performance. As you consider painting your home's exterior, note these benefits of choosing latex over oil paints for your project.
Low VOC emissions
Oil-based paints contain high levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These compounds or solvents dissolve the components in the product, making it easy to apply. Once the paint dries, the solvents evaporate, allowing the paint to dry. As the compounds evaporate, they emit strong odours that can be toxic to humans.
Most latex paints have a low VOC content. Some products have no VOC, meaning they do not have solvents in their formulations. In the place of organic compounds, latex paints use water to dissolve the components. These paints perform as well as oil-based ones but emit few or no toxic fumes.
Better product formulations
Exterior paint wears out fast due to various problems such as moisture damage and mould and mildew growth. Traditional oil-based paints have low resilience to mould and mildew. Thus, they are more likely to require mould treatment and regular touch-ups. Modern latex paints come with advanced formulations to tackle common problems such as mould, mildew and moisture.
Latex paints contain fungicides that kill mould and mildew spores before they can grow. The paints also form a waterproof film that prevents moisture infiltration. With no moisture to thrive on, mould and mildew cannot grow on your exterior walls. Therefore, your paint can last many years, even when it is exposed to unfavourable conditions. Glossy latex paint also holds up well in dusty environments and is easy to clean.
One drawback of oil-based paints is yellowing, a natural phenomenon in oil-based paints. As the paint dries, it reacts with oxygen in the air to harden. Over time, this process can cause yellowing. Yellowing affects walls that receive little or no light during the day. The discolouration can be pretty conspicuous, especially if you've used white colours.
Latex or water-based paints do not yellow, even when used on walls that receive little sunlight. They dry up through evaporation and do not react with oxygen to facilitate the drying process. Water-based paints retain their original colour years after the application.
Latex paints have many benefits over oil-based paints. Keep this in mind as you buy products for your exterior painting project.
To learn more, contact an exterior painter.