The primary purpose of a paint booth is to contain hazardous materials such as overspray and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) — preventing fumes, chemicals, gases and vapors from spreading into a shop or outside environment. In addition to protecting the environment, complying with local regulations and codes, and keeping your employees and facility safe, enclosing the painting process in a booth results in better quality paint jobs that are free of contaminants.
When it comes to choosing the right paint booth for your Texas body shop or collision repair center, it helps to understand the local regulations. Global Finishing Solutions (GFS) engineers, builds and manufactures paint booths that are designed to be fully compliant in all 50 states, including paint booths for sale in Texas. There are certain local, state and federal laws and regulations that govern paint booths in Texas. Here is what you need to know:
Body Shop Facility Requirements
When it comes to paint booth regulations for body shops in Texas, it is important to first consider the requirements of the facility itself, which include distance, height and airflow.
Body shops and collision repair centers in Texas must be located far enough away from certain facilities to prevent breathing hazards for the public. For instance, Texas body shops cannot be located within 50 feet of a residential area, home, park, school or medical facility.
For health and safety reasons, your business’ exhaust stacks must be 1.2 times taller than any building within a 200-foot radius. For a typical body shop in Texas that does surface coating, the height requirement is measured from the ground up. Exhaust stacks for these shops must be 1.5 times taller than the shop itself.
Body shops are required to funnel exhaust upward and out of the building. The exhaust flow cannot be blocked or restricted by cones or goosenecks. Since businesses with paint booths emit contaminants into the air, they must obtain authorization to operate in Texas.
Paint Booth Regulations
In Texas, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) regulates paint booth operators. Upwards of 6,000 body shops and collision repair centers in Texas are required to follow Paint Booth Regulations (PBR) 106.433, 106.435 or 106.436. Automotive and truck refinish, motorcycles and parts fall under PBR 106.436.
Without proper authorization from TCEQ, your business can be put in legal and financial jeopardy, including fines of $10,000 a day for every day you are out of compliance. Compliance issues could stem from the fumes emitted from your business, or it could be improper disposal of waste that calls attention to violations. Texas businesses that use paint sprayers are required to install a paint booth or completely enclose spraying areas within the shop.
Shop Volume Matters
How much paint you use on a daily basis is also a factor in compliance. If you use more than two gallons of paint in a typical week — which most automotive body shops do — you are required to enclose your painting process in a paint booth to control VOC emissions.
In Texas, “nonattainment” counties limit the amount of VOC content in the paints that you use for your operations. These limits may even apply if your shop is not in but located near a nonattainment county. Paint booth operators are required to phase out the use of solvent-based paints and replace them with safer, less polluting waterborne paints.
Importance of Distribution
Rather than gambling on field inspections, in which outcomes vary widely, a better option when selecting a paint booth is to choose a manufacturer and distribution network that is dedicated to ensuring their products are code compliant. A top-notch distributor should be well-versed in the latest versions of NFPA 33, as well as state and municipal regulations in Texas, and be comfortable working with building inspectors to achieve code compliance.
Your local distributor should help you create a safe environment for your business and employees by doing things such as:
- Recommending electrical service
- Advising on ductwork lengths
- Interpreting air quality laws
- Assisting with permitting
Like all capital equipment, paint booths are designed to be part of your business for a long time. As your business’ production rates rise, your finishing equipment needs to be able to keep up with the increased demand. Understanding the importance of code compliance and local support, GFS is proud to offer an extensive, experienced team of distributors throughout Texas and North America to assist you with initial purchasing decisions, as well as throughout the lifespan of your equipment and beyond.