A Healthier Alternative

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When used indoors, traditional adhesives don’t mix with modern, energy-efficient homes. Instead consider the water-based options.

September 01, 2001

When used indoors, traditional adhesives don’t mix with modern, energy-efficient homes. Not only are all petroleum-based solvents used in adhesives flammable, but the vapors threaten the health of you, your employees and your clients. Mix that with airtight energy-efficient houses, and you have a problem airing out a house filled with hazardous post-construction fumes. The airborne pollutants can linger long after the job is completed, and if your client is sensitive to indoor air contamination, this can spell big problems.

Instead consider the water-based options. "It makes good sense," says Tom Moore, field superintendent for Semmes & Company Builders in Atascadero, Calif. "We always use water-based products inside when there is a good substitute."

When the water-based substitutes first entered the market, they were not as dependable as petroleum-based adhesives, but manufacturers have since raised the quality to an acceptable level. Water-based adhesives are usually available on the shelves alongside your old favorites. Just be sure to check the label to verify they are tested to the same standards, and ask for recommendations from other remodelers who have used the product.

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