Indoor Air Quality
Healthy Living and Breathing
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indoor air quality is one of the greatest health concerns in the nation. In fact, the number of Americans with respiratory ailments is steadily increasing. The latest statistics show that more than 50 million U.S. citizens suffer from allergies. As all of us spend significant time indoors, we need to consider designing homes and offices with proper consideration of the indoor air.
Why is indoor air so bad?
- Indoor pollutants such as formaldehyde emissions from carpets to fiberglass
- VOC (volatile organic compounds) in paints, varnishes, and other materials
- Uncontrolled air intrusion through the building envelope, including external pollutants, allergens and pathogens
- Excessive moisture transfer through the building envelope, resulting in condensation and mold
How can E:zero spray foam insulation help?
Firstly, zero emissions are produced by E:zero spray foam insulation systems. E:zero is made without formaldehyde, and does not contain any ozone-depleting substances. This is true for the entire range of E:zero foams, including the higher density varieties. Our spray foam is inert, meaning that the installed insulation foam will not react with anything. Spray foam is best described as a light-weight artificial wood.
The next major area of concern would be moisture intrusion through the building envelope, along with associated condensation issues and mold growth. One of the most important benefits of E:zero is the perfect air seal which prevents uncontrolled vapor transmission. Accordingly, even small air conditioning units can much more easily keep the humidity level down and drastically reduce the mold growth risk. This is a huge benefit for the home occupants=E2=80=99 health. Builders and architects love E:zero because mold-related litigation is virtually non-existent when homes are insulated with spray foam. Mold comes to life whenever there is condensation or if relative humidity levels stay above 60% for long periods of time. Spray foam makes it easy to manage the humidity level and thus helps avoid condensation. The drawing shows how this happens.
All buildings must be ventilated, and this applies to homes with spray-applied foam insulation as well. In this case, mechanical ventilation assures the proper air exchange. Since this is a controlled or managed mechanism, the air intake can be equipped with the proper filters for those who suffer from allergies. Another benefit of controlled ventilation is great energy savings. The ventilation can be run through a heat exchanger which recovers a high percentage of the energy contained in the air being replaced between inside and outside. Such ventilation is also very effective at removing other pollutants emitted from carpets, paints, and other sources.
Spray Foam does not emit anything, good or bad. It does not disintegrate, unlike fiberglass, nor does it shrink, settle, or crack. Spray polyurethane foam simply performs for the lifetime of the building without needing maintenance or upgrading.