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Flashing, Sealants and Adhesives

 

During construction of a home, many sealants and adhesives are used.

Sealants

Sealants are used to provide weather tightness, but unfortunately have a lifespan signficantly less than the building. They are generally man made - solvent, water based or low VOC.

  • Select sealants appropriate for the task in terms of durability and flexibility.
  • Sealants must be carefully maintained and replaced at the end of their lifespan.
  • Use water based sealants, low in VOCs.

 

Flashings and Seals

External trims and flashings, applied correctly add significantly to the durability of a building. Omitting or incorrectly installing flashings generally leads to leaky buildings.

Wind seals and weather seals also signficantly reduce building heat losses. Using the appropriate seals around doors and window frames reduces the escape of warm air from the building or entrance of cold air.

 

Adhesives and Glues

Adhesives and glues are a common source of internal air pollution. They must be used stricly according to correct safety procedures, and with good ventilation.

Poor application practices can present a health risk to both the builders and inhabitants. This applies particularly to glues used over large areas such as flooring. The highest level of emmission occurs during application and immediately afterwards. There should always be an adequate rest period between use and occupancy.

Always use water based, low- VOC glues in preference to solvent based alternatives.

Recycling

Using glues and strong adhesive tapes often frustrates attempts at salvage or recycling on demolition. Mechanical fixings are generally the environmentally preferable option.

New innovative tape systems [velcro tape] can be used for wall panels to allow panels to be removed and replaced with ease. This is a consideration when families are expected to downsize in short term.

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