Tailored Living (Burnaby, Coquitlam, Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows, BC)

Your Home, Tailored to the Way You Live

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Are Harmful VOC’s Lurking in Your House?


skull-1426813_960_720VOC exposure on an individual level can be difficult to control, and fortunately, you probably don’t have to worry too much about getting sick from exposure if you don’t work with VOCs every day. However, if you feel like it’s important to do your small part in limiting the amount of VOCs that come into your home and get spread into the surrounding environment,

1) If possible, avoid using products containing VOCs. This is not always going to be possible, but there are more and more products coming into the market that are VOC-free. Opt for those whenever they are available.

2) Take the right precautions when using products containing VOCs. Proper ventilation is face-mask-98640_960_720number one on the list. For example, if you are painting your home’s interior, open the windows so that VOC fumes don’t accumulate indoors. Crack the bathroom window open if you’re painting your nails or removing nail polish. When using household cleaners, use the least amount that is needed to do the job effectively. Wear a mask while painting or working with other VOCs, particularly if you must be exposed for more than a few minutes.

3) Get to know the names of the types of VOC’s you are likely to run into when purchasing household products. Here’s partial list of some of the most common ones:


* Formaldehyde (yes, the same stuff they use to pickle biological specimens for preservation)

* Acetone

* Ethanol

* Carbon Disulfide

* Butanal

* Terpenes

* Toluene

* Dichlorobenzene

* Benzene

4) Opt for products with labels that say “No VOC’s” or “VOC-free.” If the label doesn’t say, check the list of ingredients to see if any of the above chemicals appear.

Why Does Tailored Living Care About VOC’s?


Copper-1000x750 premier one elements

PremierOne Elements flooring in “Copper”

Tailored Living is committed to doing its part for both the environment and for its customers. When it comes to VOC’s, we don’t want them in our products. Because VOC’s are commonly found in floor coatings (something Tailored Living works with frequently), we made sure they didn’t go into any of our exclusive, proprietary-blend garage floor coatings. Tailored Living’s PremierOne® Floor Coatings are VOC-free and create a permanent chemical bond with concrete floors. This super-strong bond means you won’t have to worry about your floor peeling. Not only that, but it will protect and preserve your concrete, which will increase its life span.


One of the best things about our PremierOne® Floor Coatings is that they’re not just aesthetically beautiful; they’re also practical. They won’t chip or fade, and they are ultra-stain resistant. In fact, the glossy finish repels stains and spills of all kinds, including the things you commonly keep in the garage, like gasoline, motor oil and cleaning fluids. Spills wipe up easily with a dry cloth, and the sealed barrier will not allow liquids of any kind (including water tracked in by tires) to penetrate to the concrete below.

At the end of the day, you get a garage floor that is protective and made to last for many years. Not only that, but you can feel confident about keeping harmful VOC’s out of your home and away from your family and even make a contribution to keeping the air clean and healthy.


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Are Toxic VOC’s Lurking in Your House? (Part 1 of a 2-part series)


Perhaps one of your 2017 New Year’s resolutions is to be more environmentally-aware, going beyond recycling household trash to make a difference. Well, here’s another one to add to your ever-growing list of bad chemicals and substances to watch out for: Volatile Organic Compounds (“VOC’s”). As the name suggests, these are organic (carbon-containing) chemicals that have a high vapor pressure at room temperature. In layman’s terms, VOC’s evaporate from the solid substance in which they are contained in the form of gases. They can be found in all sorts of things, including items found in most every household: cosmetic products (i.e. nail polish), cleaning solutions, paint, degreasers, automotive fluids and many others.


A VOC is not, in and of itself, an “ingredient.” That is, you won’t be able to look at the ingredient list of a particular product and assume that because “VOC” isn’t listed that the product doesn’t contain any. Actually, there are many different ingredients that are considered to be VOC’s. One example that is familiar to most people is formaldehyde. However, there are a number of other common ones as well. Unless you happen to have comprehensive knowledge of every kind of VOC, you might have a hard time telling which products have them and which don’t.

Here is one simple way, though, that even young children can detect the presence of a VOC in a product: by using your nose. VOCs almost always have very strong, unpleasant, chemical-like scents. If it makes your eyes water, your throat constrict or your head hurt when you catch a whiff of it, it likely contains one or more VOC’s.

What are the Risks?

cleaning-932936_960_720.jpgVOC’s are not considered to be “acutely toxic.” That is, smelling them or coming into contact with them will probably not cause immediate illness (although some may cause burns when in contact with skin). However, the effects of exposure to VOC’s can be cumulative. This means that they can build up in the human body and, if not expelled, can cause illness down the road, including certain types of cancers.

People who are most at risk of suffering the cumulative effects of VOC’s are those whose work involves daily exposure to them, such as painters (house painters and artists alike), nail techs and hair stylists and even, surprisingly, bakers (VOC’s are by-products of yeast fermentation). Occasional exposure (such as painting your nails at home) poses minimal to negligible risk, as long as proper handling procedures are followed.dough-943245_960_720.jpg

Unfortunately, VOCs are also harmful to the environment. In the atmosphere, VOC’s wreak havoc by forming poisonous particulate matter (i.e. smog) or combining with nitrogen oxide (a greenhouse gas) and forming ozone close to the ground. For this reason, many countries are researching ways to reduce the use of VOCs and restricting industries’ production of them.

Great, now what?

In our next blog, we’ll tell you how to spot VOC’s in common household products and how to get around potentially-harmful exposure. You’ll also find out how Tailored Living is helping reduce their use.