The short answer: To take advantage of a loophole in federal regulations.
Sealers that can only be purchased in quart size or smaller are solvent-based impregnating (or penetrating) sealers. To deeply penetrate the surface, a solvent is needed to push the sealant below the surface.
For years these solvents went unregulated but on September 11, 1998, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published the architectural coatings rule (63 FR 48848) under authority of Section 183(e) of the Clean Air Act.
In short, this rule limited the amount of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that manufacturers and importers of architectural coatings can put into their products. VOCs are carbon-based compounds released from certain solvents, plastics or rubber that combine with other gases in the atmosphere to form ozone which can adversely impact public health, the environment and atmosphere.
Many solvent-based sealers have never adjusted to meet this mandate so they can only be sold in amounts that keep the total VOCs below the legal limit. Sealer had to be placed in 4 separate quart containers to be sold as a “gallon. This is commonly called a “Contractor Pack”.
Why does it matter if the sealer you use complies with VOC regulations? The main reason to be within VOC compliance is it’s illegal not to be. Combining non-compliant sealer quarts into larger quantities – like in a pump sprayer is illegal. There are also some good practical and “green” reasons to use a sealer that is in compliance. You don’t have to wear a respirator. You can do big jobs with matching sized product. By using sealer that can be applied more than a quart at a time you save significant man hours on the job.
StonePro offers a hybrid solvent/water-based sealer that is compliant with this rule. Ultimate Pro Sealer, Porous Pro Sealer, Pro Sealer, Stone Gloss and Stone Pro Enhancer are available pints through 55 gallon drums.
StonePro sealers fall well below the limits of every district, city, county and state and country. Their proprietary hybrid carrier technology yields a unique solvent-based sealer that offers the highest level of protection and is V.O.C. compliant. With this unique solvent technology, you get the same penetration and protection of those with excessive levels of VOCs without the smell, hazard or liability AND you can buy it in sizes that match the size of the job. The best of both worlds.
Although the EPA set the federal limits, many states and counties have adopted even stricter guidelines that close the quart loop hole. California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington D.C. have all adopted even stricter regulations to minimize chemicals that adversely impact public health, the environment and atmosphere.
Although it is almost impossible to know which region has specific regulations, one thing remains the same – StonePro Sealers comply with regulations WORLD-WIDE.
For more advice, just contact StonePro’s Help Line at (866) 786-6310 or send a message.