It's that time of the year again when Haunted House designers are ordering our GPS Black Plastic Sheeting
that is fire retardant. Now more than ever, fire marshals insist that the black plastic sheeting be flame resistant in the even someone lights their lighter. This insistance on the plastic being flame resistant is happening not only in commercial places like amusement parks, but also at smaller venues such as fund raising events at local schools. Plastic sheeting when ignited makes for an "exciting" fire- meaning it burns like crazy! By using fire retardant black plastic, the plastic won't add to the fire as a source of fuel.
As you can see, that amazing thing called fire retardant additive transforms the highly flammable black plastic sheeting into a tame non-burning product. It's important to understand that fire retardant does not mean that it won't melt. It merely means it won't add to the fuel source.
When you order fire resistant black plastic, make sure you get the Certificate of Compliance (COC) which documents that your are getting the real deal. This certificate is what the fire marshal looks for.
Make your Halloween season safe for everyone, and use as many fire retardant products as you can in our haunted house.
Happy Halloween everyone!
GPS "Redline" Fire Retardant Strapping is just that....Fire Retardant! What does fire resistant mean? It means that when you hold a flame under the polyester strapping it will not catch fire and burn. It will not add to the fire source. Redline meets the requirements of the NFPA 701, "Standard Methods of Fire Tests for Flame Propagation of Textiles and Films, 2010 edition, (Test 1, Small Scale) for being fire retardant!
We have the documents to prove it! The U.S. Navy has specified fire retardant strapping for a wide variety of applications.
Why the redline you ask? Because this way when the product is in use, people can see that the strapping is the flame retardant version. This can mean a matter of life or death if the strapping is securing items from the ceiling. This strapping can secure pallets on trucks, item in the cavity of a plane or ship...and the list goes on.
How strong is the Redline FR Strapping? It outperforms steep strapping/ banding not only in strength but in fuctionality. When you cut steel banding it can snap and fly wildly from the pressure and seriously injurt people. The Redline FR Strapping can be cut with scissors, and wouldn't think of hurting a fly. It's just like cutting rope.
- How heavy is the FR strapping? The coil weighs 1/4 the weight of the streel strap coils.
- How is is disposed of? Unlike streel banding, disposal is as simple as tossing rope into the garbage. Just gather it up, and toss it out.
- Can it be re-used? Absolutely! If the piece is long enough, and nothing has been spilled on it, to compromise the FR additive, it can be reused. Just re-tension the strap and use it again!
- Forget workman's comp claims...this strapping cannot cut you like steel can!
What to test it yourself?
Is your crawl space encapsulated? Does your crawl space look anything like this? Does it smell like old moldy sox, dead rodents or worse? Just because you have plastic sheeting on the floor doesn't mean your crawl space is correctly encapsulated.
What is the definition of "encapsulation"?
It is, "to enclose or to be enclosed in or as if in a capsule". The idea being you want the crawl space to become sealed in a sense so it can keep out moisture, mold and hazzardous gases such as methane, radon, etc.
Tip #1: Use engineered plastic sheeting that is designed to hold up year after year- blocking out mold, radon, water vapor and the like. (Click here to see Crawlspace 1800, VaporBlock 20+ and more.) In the image directly below, a 6 mil "visqueen" was used. Chances are good the home owner did this job himself. He bought big box store plastic, and merely laid it on his crawl space. This plastic is maybe 4 years old. It has torn, and started to decay. Nowhere was this so called vapor barrier taped to the walls, and the seams were not taped closed.
Tip #2: Tape the vapor barrier to the walls and colums. As you can see from the images below, the plastic sheeting is pulling away from the post. Somehow, laying it next to the column or post just doesn't do the job. You need to use a proper sealing tape designed for this job.
Tip #3: See Tip # 1. If you have a rocky floor you are sealing, you must select a vapor barrier that holds up to rocks. It's even more important if you plan to store things in your crawl space, and people will be walking around down there.
Tip 4: Properly tape the seams closed. We recommend a minimum of 6" of overlap taped to the length of the seam.
Tip #5: Got Mold? Crawl spaces are a breeding ground for mold. Mold like dark, damp places to breed. It also likes the off-gases from visqueen. Don't waste your money on the wrong vapor barrier. Make sure the liner you select won't decompose and let the mold take over your crawl space.
Tip #6: If you live in an area that has radon, please make sure you protect yourself and your family from the effects of radon. VaporBlock 20+ is a heavy duty liner that is tested to insure it is the highest quality vapor barrier you can get to block radon and methane gas.
Tip #7: If you are buying a home that is brand new construction, make sure you have the builder provide you with proof that the home is radon free.
Aquaponics is all the rage! It is booming all over the world! People are creating aquaponics systems out of aquariums and making grow beds lined with fish-safe plastic sheeting. Some state of the art facilities are taking SolaWrap- the bubble film that allows plants to grow like no other and creating a green house for aquaponics.
Below is a picture of a grow bed lined with Dura-Skrim 20WW. It is our best selling film for use in Aquaponics! It is strong, and it won't kill your fish from toxic off-gasing.
Where are some of the largest aquaponics farms you ask? One of the world's largest (reportedly) commercial aquaponics project is said to be in Abu Dhabi. The center produces 60,000 heads of lettuce in 21 days! The image below is not from that farm, but from a farm in the United States. Check out that gorgeous lettuce!
Aquaponics farms are cropping up in the most unusual places! Did you know the Hamm's Brewery building in St Paul MN utilized 6 floors to create a giant aquaponics facility?
According to Wikipedia, aquaponics has "ancient roots"...I don't think a pun was intended there...The Aztecs created and cultivated islands known as chinampas which some say was the first form of aquaponics for agricultural use. Plants were raised on isands in lade shallows and the waste material dredged from the Chinampa canals were used to manually irrigate the plants.
Thailand, South China and Indonesia cultivated and farmed rice in paddy fields along with fish to create early examples of aquaponics systems.
Schools are setting up systems to teach children about farming both fish and vegetables. It's a project that brings great pride and joy to school children. They can witness first hand what it takes to grow their own head of lettuce in water.
If you would like to know more about creating your own aquaponics system small or large, please call Ken Aguilar at Global Plastic Sheeting- 866 597 9298. He knows all about it, and he will be happy to help you.
So often new home buyers make the assumption that the brand new construction home they are buying protects them from radon. That assumption could be further from the truth. Consider buying a home from a home builder that build radon-resistant new construction homes!
More and more home builders across the United States are building new homes that prevent radon from entering the home. Home builder's have come to realize that their customers need a safer, healthier, radon-resistant home. The EPA has launched a campaign that promotes the concept that living green is also breathing clean, healthy indoor air. It is environmentally responsible to chose to protect familys' from lung cancer.
What's the big deal about radon? Radon is extremely dangerous because it is odorless and an invisible gas that ranks as the number one home hazards for American homes, according to a Harvard University study. While radon dissipates outside in an open air environment, it gets trapped inside homes and buildings. Hazardous radon levels are detected in one out of 15 American homes. Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer for non-smokers. The U.S. surgeon General has made January "Radon Action Month".
If you are buying an older home you can hire a radon professional to do an inspection. Find certified professionals with the National Environmental Health Association-National Radon Proficiency Program or the National Radon Safety Board.
Let's see how much you know about Radon! Answer these True or False questions.
- Radon levels within a building often change on a day-to-day basis. (True or False) True: Because of changes and air pressure through-out the building during different times of the year Radon levels in the home can increase or decrease
- The highest indoor levels are often found during the winter when you are using heat to warm your home. (True or False) True: This is because during the winter months most homes windows and doors are closed with a thus creating for lack of air flow trapping Radon and other natural occurring gases inside the home.
- Short term test kits are the quickest way to test your home for radon. (True or False) True: They will give you a quick reading, but reading over time are more reliable.
- 24 hours is enough time to determine if your home has a radon problem. (True or False) False: You need at least 48 hours at a minimum.
- There are long term tests that remain in your home for more than 90 days, and are more effective than short term tests. (True or False) True because radon levels vary depending on the weather, etc.
- If a long-term test yield results of 4pCi/L or higher, the EPA recommends correcting the problem. (True or False) True
- The best place to test for radon is n the lowest part of the home. (True or False) True: Because Radon is a natural occurring gas created by decomposing Uranium underground the highest amounts of Radon Gases enter your home would be coming from the lowest point.
- It is smart to also test rooms that are regularly occupied such as a family room, den, etc. (True or False) True- It's important to be safel in your whole house.
So you live in a state that has statewide Radon-Resistant New Construction- RRNC Codes? As of June, 2014, the EPA list the following states: Illinois | Maryland | Michigan | Minnesota | New Jersey | Oregon | Washington.
There are 18 states that DO NOT have statewide RRNC codes, but DO have local jurisdictions that have RRNC codes. They are: Alabama | Colorado | Idaho | Iowa | Kansas | Missouri | Montana | Nebraska | New Mexico | New York | Ohio | Oklahoma | Pennsylvania | South Carolina | Tennessee | West Virginia | Wisconsin | Wyoming
There are 24 states and 3 District/Territories that DO NOT have statewide or local jurisdictions that have RRNC codes. They are: AK, AZ, AR, CA, CT, DE, DC, GA, GU, HI, IN, KY, LA, MA, MS, NV, NH, NC, ND, PR, SD, TX, UT and VT.
What are some of the things a builder should do to make a Radon-Resistant New Construction home?
1. GRAVEL: A layer of clean, coarse gravel below the foundation.
2. Plastic Sheeting or Vapor Retarder: A heavy duty plastic sheeting or vapor retarder over the gravel to inhibit radon and other soil gases from entering the home. What is the best vapor barrrier that is specifically engineered to block radon, and has the tests to prove it? VaporBlock 20+. This vapor retarder/barrier far exceeds any 6 mil polyethylene plastic.
3. A Vent Pipe: A vent pipe installed vertically from the gravel layer through the house's conditioned space and roof. This safely vents radon and other soil gases outside hte hosue.
4. Sealing and Calking: Sealed all openings, creacks and crevices in the concrete foundation and walls with polyurethane caulk to prevent radon and other soil gases from entering the home.
5. Junction Box: Installed an electrical junction box (outlet) in the attic for use with a vent fan, should, after tesing for radon, an more robust system be needed.
Check out the EPA's website to learn more about controlling radon in your home.
Ever since mankind began building homes, cities and countries they have always looked for ways to protect them from harm. With this came the originals of the Sentinel. From antiquity to the modern era, the Sentinels were the guardians of the realm; protecting those in it from invading armies and marauding raiders looking to cause havoc and destruction to one’s home.
Now the days the marauding raiders are long gone but we still need to protect ourselves from the forces of nature that can cause harm to our homes and our health. Everyday gases like water vapor, carbon monoxide, and radon come up from the earth and into our homes; which if not controlled can cause series problems to our homes but worse to our health. All of these gases are naturally occurring, and have been proven to cause severe respiratory health problems and even loss of life if not monitored or controlled.
Part of our ongoing goal at Global Plastic Sheeting is to provide solutions for controlling dangerous gases that invade our living conditions. We have developed Sentinel XS Radon Vapor Barrier. Just like the Sentinel has always been the guardian at the gates, Sentinel XS Radon Vapor Barrier can now protect us against harmful radon.
Sentinel XS Radon Vapor Barrier is a 5 layer barrier engineered to have low permeability, extreme strength om a very durability material. Sentinel XS Radon Vapor Barrier blocks out radon and water vapor even during extreme seasonal temperature changes.
Sentinel XS Radon Vapor Barrier is available in 4’, 8’, 12’ and 20’ widths. Please feel free to contact us any time with your questions. 866-597-9298.
Be the Guardian of your home with Sentinel XS Radon Vapor Barrier!
HDPE to the rescue when it comes to bamboo roots! How do you guard against Bamboo? More and more bamboo is becoming a popular alternative to wood. Why you might ask? Simply Bamboo is more sustainable than trees. Bamboo is more sustainable because unlike trees where the who tree has to cut down to be processed thus making it so another tree has to be planted to take replace it; however bamboo can be harvest without damaging the original plant. Also bamboo can regenerate itself within 3-5 years where a new tree can take up to 30 plus years to grow to a harvestable size. Also Bamboo is harder and lighter than most woods. Bamboo’s tensile strength has been compared to that of steel.
However Bamboo cultivation does have one drawback. Bamboo grows fast! Because of Bamboo grows so fast its root system is ultra-aggressive and cause problems for things surrounding it, such as other structures and other peoples’ property.
- Damage to structural foundations
- Growing into a neighbors’ yard causing for safety hazards because of Bamboo’s Rhizome (root system) is very sharp and cause bad injures to people.
- Over taking of other species of vegetation due to rapid growth.
These damages can cause for major finical hard ships. Not only in fixing the damage but lawsuits that can stem from damages caused by bamboo.
These situations however can be prevented by installing a 60 – 80 mil thick Smooth Surface High Density Poly-Ethylene (HDPE) Root Barrier to contain bamboo. Because of bamboo’s aggressive nature and that the roots of bamboo are extremely sharp thinner materials are unable to contain bamboo. The HDPE Root Barrier act as a deterrent re-directing the Rhizome to stay within the contained area set up for the Bamboo to grow in.
Installing a Root Barrier is simple. First you will need to dig a trench a 24” – 30” in depth for the root barrier to be installed into. Making sure you do give the Bamboo enough area to grow in with the contained spot. This will insure that the Bamboo will flourish in contained environment and not cause problems with its surrounding area.
Crawl space vapor barriers that look like a roll of regular old plastic sheeting aren’t something that people don’t generally discuss at backyard barbeques! For most home owners, the thought of buying plastic sheeting only comes to mind when they about ready to start that long awaited home improvement project and they want to protect their floors, furniture, countertops and other valuable things around the house. One thing that never really comes to mind is buying plastic sheeting also called, crawl space vapor barriers, to protect the most important thing in their home; their health.
True or False: The Surgeon General has warned that smoking is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States today. (False- radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. today).
Every day tiny radioactive radon gas molecules migrate through many homes across the county. Depending on what part of the country you live in really makes a difference. Unfortunately we can’t smell, taste or know that those stealth radon gas molecules can be causing long term health problems for us. Radon is a cancer causing radioactive gas that naturally occurs from uranium deposits decomposing in the ground. The Surgeon General has warned that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States today. http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/news/2005/01/sg01132005.html The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Surgeon General’s Office have estimated that as many as 20,000 lung cancer deaths are caused each year by radon.
True or false: An elementary school student that spends 8 hours per day and 180 days per year in a classroom with 4 pCi/l of radon will receive nearly 10 times as much radiation as the Nuclear Regulatory Commission allows at the edge of a nuclear power plant. (true)
Most U.S. EPA lifetime safety standards for carcinogens are established based on a 1 in 100,000 risk of death.
True or False: Most scientists agree that the risk of death for radon at 4 pCi/l is approximately 1 in 100.
So what can you do to protect your home from Radon gas? First of all you should test your home to see if you have high levels of radon. The US EPA, Surgeon General, American Lung Association, American Medical Association, and National Safety Council recommend testing your home for radon because testing is the only way to know your home's radon levels. There are no immediate symptoms that will alert you to the presence of radon. It typically takes years of exposure before any problems surface.
Is there a crawl space vapor barrier that can combat deadly radon?
For many years homeowners and contractors alike have chosen to just use 6 mil plastic from the local hardware store with a radon mitigation system that blows the gas away from the home to lower radon levels. However, what most people don’t know is that is not all crawl space vapor barriers are equal and that the plastic sheeting liner they bought from the their local hardware store or that the contractor is not meant to block out any type of gases. Over time the radon gas that is not being vented out will slowly build back up in your home.
There is a life saving solution! Six years ago a revolutionary product was introduced called Vapor Block Plus 20. Vapor Block Plus 20 is the first and still the only product on the market proven to block out radon gases along with water vapor that can cause mold over time which also can lead to many respiratory issues as well.
Vapor Block Plus 20 is a seven-layer co-extruded barrier made from state-of-the-art polyethylene and EVOH resins to provide unmatched impact strength as well as superior resistance to gas and moisture transmission. Vapor Block Plus 20 is a highly resilient under slab, vertical wall barrier, and crawlspace vapor barrier designed to restrict naturally occurring gases such as radon and/or methane from migrating through the ground and concrete slab. Vapor Block Plus 20 is more than 100 times less permeable than typical high-performance polyethylene vapor retarders against Methane, Radon and other harmful VOCs.
Many plastic companies and contractors will claim that the plastic they offer will protect you against radon so please ask questions:
Ask to see data sheet on the plastic.
Look for Radon Diffusion Coefficient test data on the data sheet. (If this is not listed then the product has not been tested to block out radon)
Also stand firm. Don’t let anyone talk to you into something you know isn’t right. Remember it does not matter how much experience a company says they have with mitigating Radon. You must insist on seeing the data sheet. When it comes to your health you must use the crawl space vapor barrier that is proven to block those hazardous gases.
Do it Right the First Time- Have you ever heard this used in terms of crawlspace encapsulation?
What about, “You get what you pay for” or “if you’re going to do right do it right the first time.” When it comes to encapsulating the crawlspace to keep moisture out of the home nothing rings more true than these expressions.
Crawlspace Encapsulation Misconceptions:
The most common mistake that is made in crawlspace encapsulation projects is in selecting a vapor barrier. Most homeowners just know they need to get the humidity level down in their homes so they will not have mold problems in the future. They have heard that laying plastic down in crawlspace will help with this problem. People head out to the local hardware store or calling an in-expensive handyman who knows how to install plastic in a crawlspace to quickly solve the problem. However what most homeowners don’t know is that has not fixed the problem but instead have just set themselves up for greater expenses down the line.
What??? My Newly Encapulated Crawlspace isn't Fixed?
What you may not know is that plastic is not just plastic. The 4 & 6 mil visqueen we have all come to know well does have a place in the home improvement world when it comes to temporarily blocking off rooms you don’t want dust to fly into or covering up your furniture from getting messed up, but it does not have a place in crawlspace to protect you from moisture coming up from the ground. The problem with 4 & 6 mil visqueen you can buy at any local hardware store is that it is made from recycled plastic products thus making it inexpensive. The problem with this inexpensive visqueen product is that because it is made from recycled resin it degrades fast. In fact visqueen starts to degrade 6 weeks after being exposed to the elements in your crawlspace. Also because visqueen is made for recycled resin it does off-gas those giving mold spores food to grow on. Thus in 3 to 5 years homeowners will have to replace this liner in their crawlspace and once again shell out more money to fix a problem such as moisture in their home.
What Plastic Sheeting Vapor Barriers Should I Use?
Well like they say “if you going to do it right do it right the first time.” This means do a little homework and not rush to fix a problem with a quick fix. First select a good Vapor Barrier for your Crawlspace. When looking for a good Vapor Barrier for your Crawlspace you should look for a liner that is made from Virgin Resin. This is the most important thing because Virgin Resin Vapor Barriers will not break down over time and also don’t off gas making it so mold can’t grow on the barrier itself. There are many different types ranging in thickness from 8 – 20 mils in thickness depending on your crawlspace needs. Using a Virgin Resin Vapor Barrier in your crawlspace will ensure that you only have to encapsulate your crawlspace once and that your home will be safe from further moisture problems.
What are some good brand names to look for?
Use what the professionals use: Dura-Skrim, Poly-Scrim and Vapor Block. How do you know these products will do the job? Ask for data sheets that will show you whether the vapor barrier passed the tests (ASTME) for doing the job properly. If you live in an area with radon, now your life depends upon getting the correct vapor barrier that has a tight knit cell structure to keep the radon at bay.
If you are looking to have your aquaponics farm have an organic certification, what plastic liner should you use? You may want to start by researching Dura-Skrim 20WW or NDT 24.
Let's start by examining what it means to be, "Organically Certified". Organic certification is a certification process for producers of organic food and other organic agricultural products. In general, any business directly involved in food production can be certified, including seed suppliers, farmers, food processors, retailers, etc. The organic certification verifies that regardless of where your farm or handling facility is located in the WORLD, your operation complies with the USDA organic regulation.
If you plan on going for Organic Certification, you have a detailed road ahead of you. Sometimes it takes trial and error, and this could be very costly in the scope of things. When dealing with organic certification, it is our belief to ask for permission on the material you plan on using. Yes it is important to do all of your homework and be prepared and educated on the process. But sometimes things will fall in to “gray” areas, in these cases, it is best to reach out to the organizations that certify and tell them exactly what you are doing. Things to remember when you do this.
For example, if you wish to use Dura Skrim 20ww or NDF 24 as a liner for your grow beds:
Show the data sheets to your certifying body and tell them exactly what you wish to do.
- Get it in writing
- Have them sign off
- Make friends
- Ask about pitfalls and valleys that they may see coming
By being straightforward with them, they will soon realize that you are trying to comply with all and any regulation. Truth and approval PRIOR to installation is the key. If they know you are trying to be perfect they will be happy to help you. It is there job to maintain the quality levels and they want to do a good job. Just ask them for help and they will almost always help you.