A tile grout sealer is a chemical that may have some undesirable effects on your health. If you have a project that will require you to use a sealer, consider the following tips below to protect you and your family from the ill consequences of its chemical contents.
1. Research the Brand
Research the brand name of the sealer of choice. Know if the brand has been recalled for health reasons. Stay away from brands that have negative reviews from users.
2. Purchase a Brush-On and a Waterbase
It is easier and more convenient to use a spray-on sealer, especially if you are sealing a large tiled area. But this convenience comes with a price: fumes from a spray-on sealer can reach your respiratory tract more quickly as compared to a brush-on. Since a sprayer diffuses the chemical in vapor-like consistency, the chemical can travel in the air swiftly, which the user and the people within the area can inhale.
A waterbase sealer is safer than the solvent-base, although the latter has a faster drying time as compared to the former. But solvent as carrier of the chemicals make it more hazardous to health. It carries with it in the air some of the chemical compounds of the sealer.
3. Ventilate the Area
A grout sealer contains chemicals like propane and acetate so always provide proper ventilation on the working area. Open all windows, doors, and turn on the exhaust fan. Provide extra ventilation by placing an electric fan on the working area, with the fan facing the area being worked on and the nearest window or door.
When in an on-going project, make it a point to go outside the working area to get some fresh air and allow the chemical to evaporate.
4. Wear Protective Clothing
Wear goggles to protect the eyes and gloves and long-sleeved shirt to protect the skin from direct contact with the chemicals. Even with proper ventilation, vapors from the sealer can still go in the air and pose risk of inhalation. Wear mask to protect your respiratory tract from fumes.
5. Never Expose it to Heat
Always store the newly purchased sealer in a cool dry place. The chemical compound in a grout sealer makes it a very dangerous compound when it is exposed to heat. Heat can cause chemical reaction, with the sealer releasing fumes in the area. Fumes might just have a faint smell, and you and your family members might be inhaling the fumes without you noticing it at all.
These fumes are highly flammable. If the sealer is near a source of fire or even just a source of spark, it might start a fire.
It is best to throw away the remaining contents of the sealer or if you can, just use it all up in your current project. As much as possible, don’t store an opened grout sealer to ensure safety.