High VOC levels after painting

Hi all, be grateful for some advice. Last weekend we found black mould in a room (caused by condensation). After cleaning the mould, we used a damp sealant spray paint and anti mould interior spray paint on the affected parts of the walls (ronseal brand). We did 2 coats of each, leaving 10 mins drying time between, in accordance with the instructions.

Our Dyson air purifier is showing VOC level 4 in the room (‘fair’). All other rooms in our 2 bed flat are showing VOC levels of 0. 

We have had the windows open in that room for a week, we have tried placing a fan towards the window, putting onions and vinegar out. When the windows are open the VOC level goes down to 0. But as soon as we close the windows it goes back to 4. This has been happening all week.

is there anything we can do to fix this? We have had to stay with our parents for the past week because the room in question is supposed to be our baby’s nursery. We can’t really move back until the VOC level goes down to 0. 

Would repainting over the affected help? We are getting quite desperate at the moment so willing to try anything! We just want to be able to use the room
again fairly soon. 

Comments

  • fwor
    fwor Posts: 6,799
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    Have you been heating the room during the last week? Typically the high VOC levels will be caused by solvents in the spray paints that you used, and the higher the temperature, the quicker they will vaporise and get released into the atmosphere (i.e. got rid of, as far as you are concerned). 

    Painting over the top with a water-based paint may help to slow the release, but it's inevitable that it will evaporate eventually, so heating is probably the best way to get it out of the way quickly.
  • Ectophile
    Ectophile Posts: 7,225
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    From experience, attempting to paint over fresh oil-based paint with a low VOC water-based paint is unlikely to work.  The paint won't stick, as oil repels water.
    Oil based paints do take some time to dry.
    If it sticks, force it.
    If it breaks, well it wasn't working right anyway.
  • Jonboy_1984
    Jonboy_1984 Posts: 1,191
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    There is a big difference being drying (to touch) and curing where it is fully dry all the way through. 

    Don’t know what it would be for with these products, but for artists paints it can be a month before some paint types can be sealed and the cooler the ambient temperature the slower the process. 
  • sxp842
    sxp842 Posts: 46
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    No we hadn’t been hearing the room very much over the last week, but we put the heating on all of last night and the levels are a lot better now. Shall we just leave the heating on with the windows slightly open?
  • daveyjp
    daveyjp Posts: 12,379
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    edited 2 December 2023 at 1:05PM
    A case of having access to too much data.   

    New paint smells, it won't harm anyone.  Use the room as normal and it will go.
  • Albermarle
    Albermarle Posts: 21,062
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    daveyjp said:
    A case of having access to too much data.   

    New paint smells, it won't harm anyone.  Use the room as normal and it will go.
    I thought that as well. The fact that an air purifer ( not a common item) says VOC is 4 ( 4 of what ?) does not necessarily mean there is anything to worry about.
    Probably I would play safe and not have a young baby sleeping in there just yet, but otherwise not something I would particularly worry about.
  • Eldi_Dos
    Eldi_Dos Posts: 1,505
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    daveyjp said:
    A case of having access to too much data.   

    New paint smells, it won't harm anyone.  Use the room as normal and it will go.
    I would disagree with that, smell is one of the first senses to develop,if the bairn does not like the smell from the paint it may not settle in the nursery.

    OP. Keep heating the room, if the wall was damp before painting it will take longer  to cure, so keep on heating and a bit of ventilation during the day.
  • ThisIsWeird
    ThisIsWeird Posts: 4,458
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    Can't you move in with baby sleeping in your own room for a while?
    It will take time, but as said both heat and ventilation will speed it up. Perhaps some heat and trickle-vent during the day with door open to the house, and no heat and full windows open overnight - with door firmly closed! So the drying is sped up and then fully flushed alternatively.
    When baby back in, leave room door open or ajar too, for a few weeks.
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