If you’ve made the effort to install eco friendly wood floors in your home, you’re most likely willing to prioritize the health of your family and the preservation of the environment. When it comes time to seal those environmentally friendly wood floors or other furnishings made of natural wood, those same priorities may come into play. But what you may not realize is that your choice of wood finish could put both at risk.
Even when energy efficiency is a consideration, indoor pollutants can harm your home and the planet. If there’s improper ventilation or products containing toxic chemicals are used, your efforts could end up hurting the two things you were hoping to protect. In fact, the indoor concentrations of certain pollutants have actually increased in recent decades due to these factors. That’s why it’s so important to conduct thorough research on any product before bringing it into your home.
Why choose a non toxic wood sealer?
Clear finish wood sealers are meant to protect your floors and furnishings from excess moisture and other signs of wear or aging. But in some cases, these products can have an adverse impact on the environment. Clear finishes can contain high levels of VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, which contribute to air pollution and can even result in health problems for your family. In some ways, the VOCs found in clear finishes or sealers are actually more harmful than the ones you’d find in paints due to the fact that sealers may have to be reapplied in spots that see a lot of traffic. Some wood sealers even contain carcinogens (including arsenic!) and other serious toxins you don’t want anywhere near your home.
Starting your search for a non toxic wood sealer
Considering the information outlined above, many families will want to focus on using non toxic wood sealers in their homes. But what are the best options? Generally speaking, sealers derived from more natural materials (i.e., water-based sealers, linseed oil sealers) are going to be more eco-friendly than something like a varnish or a lacquer, which contain a greater concentration of synthetic materials. While synthetic sealers may be a bit more durable and able to protect the wood at a greater capacity, the trade-off here is that this often poses greater environmental and health risks.
When looking for a wood sealer, you’ll want to focus on products with low VOCs that are made from natural resources. There are all kinds of products available on the market, so you’ll want to do your homework by comparing ingredients, leading brands, and various pros and cons. In most cases, water-based or natural oil-based sealers are the best choice. However, some projects may require more durable finishes; in these cases, be sure to choose the finish with the lowest VOC content available.
If you need help selecting the right non toxic wood sealer for your project, we’re more than happy to make a recommendation. Contact us today for further information or browse our website to see our large selection of eco-friendly products for your home.