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Benefits of using water-based coatings

Benefits of using water-based coatings

Benefits of using water-based coatings

Why should I use water-based coatings over solvent-based coatings? Coatings have been used a long time to protect and enhance various surfaces, such as ceramics, natural stone, concrete, timber. There are two types of coatings: water-based and solvent-based. While both types offer benefits, water-based coatings are becoming increasingly popular because of their superior advantages over solvent-based coatings. In this post, we’ll discuss the benefits of using water-based coatings over solvent-based coatings.

1. Environmentally Friendly

Water-based coatings are environmentally friendly compared to solvent-based coatings. When a coating is water-based, it means water is used as the liquifying agent instead of chemical solvents, so it emits fewer Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). VOCs are harmful to the environment and human health. These compounds can cause respiratory problems, eye irritation, and headaches. The EPA provides an annual report which warns for the impact of VOC. So, by choosing water-based coatings, you chose for a more sustainable solution while reducing your carbon footprint.

2. Lower VOC-Content and Low-Odour

As mentioned above, solvent-based coatings contain high levels of VOCs, these agents are meant to evaporate via a chemical reaction with oxygen. Typically, moving air surrounding a solvent-based coating will help to speed up the reaction, reducing drying times. This is why solvent-base coatings have a very strong odour and why it causes air pollution. In contrast, water-based coatings have a lower VOC content, making them safer to use and less damaging to the environment. They emit less toxic fumes, which means less air pollution and a healthier work environment.

3. Durability

The quality of a coating is often determined by the adhesion to the substrate as well as the chemical and mechanical resistance of the coating. Some people still think that water-based coatings are less durable than solvent-based coatings. The reality is that premium water-based coatings often outperform solvent-based coatings. For example, the water-based Swiss GriP coatings are know for their outstanding adhesion to a wide range of substrates, while providing excellent chemical and mechanical resistance. So in many cases it comes down to the brand you choose. Therefore, as a ground rule, selecting a premium quality water-based coating will provide excellent durability while having less impact on the environment.

Benefits of using water-based coatings

4. Easier Clean-Up

Water-based coatings are easier to clean up than solvent-based coatings. You can clean your tools and equipment with water instead of harsh solvents. This will save you time and money. Additionally, the use of water reduces the risk of fire hazards and eliminates the need for special disposal of hazardous waste.

5. Better Colour Retention

Water-based coatings have better colour retention than solvent-based coatings. They resist fading and maintain their original colour for a longer time, even when exposed to sunlight and other environmental factors. This is also the case of transparent coatings. Because many solvent-based coatings are not resistant to UV, stabilisers are added. This is why many coating brands are advertised as being UV-stable. However, this means the coating is not UV-resistant and will still fade over time. So always try to use a UV-resistant coating as opposed to a UV-stable coating. The Swiss GriP Non-Slip coatings are UV-resistant, meaning they will not yellow or become brittle over time when exposed to sunlight.

How do I know I am buying a water-based coating?

Unfortunately, a larger number of coating systems advertise to be water-based while still containing a high amount of VOC. Therefore, it is important to do a final check before making your purchase decision.

1. Look at the label

Do not just look at the brand name and description on the label. The label may also provide information about the ingredients, VOC content, and if it is classified as a dangerous good. Always check the safety indications and identify the hazardous warning signs. For example if the coating has a safety symbol with a flame, it means the coating is flammable and definitely not a water-based system. More about safety indicators can be found via the Australian CASA.

2. Check the clean-up process

Water-based coatings can be cleaned up with water, while solvent-based coatings require special solvents such as spirits, acetone or other harmful substances.

3. Ask for the Safety Data Sheet

A Safety Data Sheet (SDS), formerly known as Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS), is a document that provides important information about the potential hazards and safe handling of a particular chemical substance or product. It will allow you to see if a product is a dangerous good. For example, it will show if a product is flammable, indicating it is solvent-based.

Manufacturers and suppliers of chemicals in Australia are required to provide SDS, in accordance with the Work Health and Safety (WHS) laws. The laws are enforced by Safe Work Australia, which is the national policy-making body for work health and safety in Australia. SDS must be readily accessible, either as a download on the manufacturers website or via email upon request.

Why should I use SWISS GriP Non-Slip?

Swiss GriP is a leading manufacturer of water-based non-slip floor coatings. Already in 1995, we switched our focus to water-based coatings, so we are proud to lead the way in more sustainable and more environmentally friendly coatings.

  • Swiss made: Premium quality non-slip coatings
  • Water-based: Non-dangerous, water-based coatings
  • UV-resistant:  Transparent, UV-resistant coating. For interior and exterior applications
  • Certified: CSIRO-certified in accordance to AS 4586-2013
  • Since 1995: Trusted by leading hotels, hospitals and aged care facilities
  • Active adhesion: Can be used on all surfaces


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