How to Choose Safe Drywall and Insulation
You spend most of your time indoors (about 90 percent according to statistics), so you want to make sure that the air you are breathing is safe and healthy. Unfortunately, many building materials contain toxic chemicals that leach into the air over time. This can leave you feeling sick and tired (literally!). There is good news — building manufacturers are making plenty of safe materials that you can use during your next renovation; making it easier to breathe before, during, and after that big remodeling job.
What You Need to Know About Insulation
When it comes to protecting your home from high heating and cooling bills, insulation may be your most important ally. After all, keeping your home as tight as possible can only help to maintain its interior temperature and keep your home energy efficient.
But, have you ever considered the cost to your health caused by the insulation lining the inside of your walls? Maybe you are considering the use of spray foam instead of using rolled fiberglass insulation. Before spraying, be sure to check out these potential dangers:
- Developing respiratory problems. According to the EPA, “homeowners who are exposed to isocyanates and other spray foam chemicals in vapors, aerosols, and dust during or after the installation process may ‘run the risk of developing asthma, sensitization, lung damage, other respiratory and breathing problems, and skin and eye irritation.'”
- Toxicity. Spray polyurethane foam can help increase a home’s energy efficiency, but be careful who you hire to install it. If the foam is not mixed properly, it can become toxic after drying.
- Allergies. Due to off-gassing, spray foams may induce allergies in people who are sensitive to certain chemicals.
Considering the risks of many types of insulation used during home renovation projects, what should a concerned homeowner do? The experts at Quality Craftsmen recommend using safer fiber products like cellulose and loose fiberglass. Here’s why:
- Fiberglass. Modern fiberglass fibers contain 40 percent recycled content, making it greener than many other products. While in the past, fiberglass insulation may have been linked to skin irritations and allergies, more modern methods that blow loose fiberglass pieces straight into wall crevices have helped take away those concerns.
- Cellulose. It’s a very safe material consisting of shredded, fluffed up newspaper that is 85 percent recycled material. Additionally, it contains borates, which are a safe fire retardant that also stop mold and pests from infiltrating your walls.
“Dangerous” Drywall Concerns Homeowners
If your home was built or remodeled between 2006-2008, there is a chance that it could contain dangerous drywall materials imported from China. Following a rash of storms (including Hurricane Katrina) in 2005, drywall manufacturers in the United States couldn’t keep up with the high demand for product, so many builders began importing materials from China. Unfortunately, much of the drywall brought in contained radium, a radioactive phosphorous-like substance. This has resulted in an increase in respiratory problems nationwide (including lung cancer). The only real remedy is to replace the deadly drywall.
So how can you tell if your home is infected with this dangerous material? There are two easy ways to check:
- Do you notice a sulfur smell in your walls?
- Is your wiring corroding prematurely? Outward signs of this could be electronics and appliances that die prematurely.
While most of this dangerous drywall came into the country between 2006 and 2008, the only truly safe drywall was made before 2005 or after 2016, when the United States began regulating the manufacturing of these products. We recommend using Sheetrock and DRIcore products.
Quality Craftsmen Uses Only the Safest Building Materials
With so many chemicals infiltrating the building industry these days, you want to be sure that your builder is using only the safest materials on the market. Quality Craftsmen understands how important it is to keep your family safe, which is why we are a Certified EarthCraft Builder and Green Builder Certified Company. In addition, we specialize in dust-free renovations, using a unique air cleaning protocol during all of our renovation projects. This not only keeps dust low during your next remodel, but also keeps the air clean and healthy during the entire process.
Are you ready to start planning your home renovation project? As a Certified Aging In Place Specialist, we help homeowners throughout the East Cobb area to update their homes for the changing needs of their families. Call us today for more information or to schedule a consultation!