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Construction grade plastic/polyethylene sheeting as a moisture barrier

Posted by Nana Hinsley on Wed, May 25, 2011 @ 03:03

Question: Can I use any construction grade 6 mil plastic sheeting as moisture barrier for wood flooring?

Answer:  This is an excellent question.  It is important to know that not all plastics are created equal.  For instance, that 4 mil and 6 mil Construction grade polyethylene sheeting in the construction aisle is the lowest grade of polyethylene sheeting available on the market at any given time.  It is made from up to 25% post consumer recycled goods, reground resins, and the absolute least expensive resins that can be bought from any source in any location across the globe.  These films are not guaranteed to be pinhole free, and can have quite a few defects that are acceptable in this type of film.  The quality control for this type of film is the lowest in the plastic's industry.  While it has been an acceptable practice to use quite a bit of this type of plastic sheeting in the past as vapor retarders, that has been changing over the  last couple of decades to a very large degree.

Today most experts feel very strongly that engineered films designed specifically for use as vapor retarders should be used as vapor retarders.  These products are made from 100% virgin resins, and have excellent quality control.  Most are tested to a standard called the ASTM E1745, which is the standard for vapor retarders in contact with soil or granular fill used under concrete slabs.  These materials are engineered not to decay in this type of application, whereas most construction grade poly will begin breaking down almost immediately and will have lost most of its structural integrity within 2 years.  How many times have you dug up plastic sheeting in your life that is just destroyed from being buried in the ground?  I know this is a bit off subject here, but the principles are even more important when dealing with vapor retarders for hardwood flooring, which is considered a critical application for vapor retarders.

It makes some difference what part of the country you are in, what kinds of humidity levels are common in your region, whether or not your home has a good quality vapor retarder under the slab, basement, or in the crawlspace.  If you already have an excellent vapor retarder, then the one you use under your hardwood floor is far less critical.  If you are putting a hardwood floor over a damp crawlspace, and use a poor quality vapor retarder, you are  asking for a lot of problems with the hardwood flooring, and will likely suffer problems with buckling, warping, noisy flooring, lots of expansion and contraction, and often finish problems, just to name a few. 

Should you be in an area where Radon is prevalent, or methane, then the use of a barrier with capabilities to retard these gasses becomes important also.  Again these films are engineered to have a very tight cell structure capable of keeping these very small molecules from passing right through the membrane.  These gasses, and to a very large extent water vapor pass quite easily through the cellular structure of common construction grade polyethylene (aka Visqueen).

This is kind of a long answer to your question, but the plastics in the flooring aisle are hopefully engineered to be better vapor retarders than the ones in the construction aisle.  If one wants an even better vapor retarder, then one might want to contact a plastics company specializing in vapor retarders so you can find out which is most appropriate for your application.  The vapor retarder is fairly inexpensive insurance for having a great experience with a hardwood floor as compared with what can be a nightmare experience when the wrong product is used.

By Lee Hinsley, Plastic Sheeting Expert

Plastic Sheeting for Hospital Remodels

Posted by Lee Hinsley on Tue, May 10, 2011 @ 02:32

Plastic sheeting plays a large role in hospitals. Some people refer to it as "Hospital Rated Visqueen".  What they are referring to are the large number of uses for the types of products supplied by Global Plastic Sheeting.  Some of the products and applications include:

-Fire Retardant Plastic Sheeting: The most popular of our fire retardant sheeting for hospital applications is ASFR-6.  This 6 mil Anti-Static Fire Retardant Plastic will not give off a static electricity discharge like normal plastics, so is safe around sensitive instruments.  Also does not attract dust, and hospitals love that feature.  We also stock everything from Construction Grade FR Poly, to Reinforced FR Polyethylene.

-Tacky Door Mats (anti-microbial) for the entrances to operating rooms, and for helping contain contaminants in construction/maintenance operations

-Heat Shrink Wrap: This 9 and 12 mil Fire Retardant product is used to wrap and contain any areas needing to be sealed off for any reason

-ZipWall poles: used to create a containment, these pole and jack systems are easily set up to create a containment of any size

zipwall hospital setupweb resized 600

 

-Raven Industries DeckProtek is popular in Health Care applications- 10, 14, and 30 mil versions provide a high level of Fire Retardant floor or wall protection.  While most of this is used during periods of construction or renovations, we have also provided it to cover the floors in emergency rooms, rooms where patients have radioactive treatments, where all surfaces must be covered, and many other applications

-Carpet Plastic FR: Self-Adhesive Fire Retardant covering for protecting carpeting, quickly, easily, and cost effectively

-Fire Retardant Tapes: 225FR Duct type sealing and seaming tape, 268 Black FR tape, and others to meet the FR needs of the health care industry

-Raven Industries Dura-Skrim 2FR and 10FR, 6 and 10 mil reinforced FR products with very low flame spread and smoke developed indexes can be used to cover or enclose any area

-Poly Srcim, various thicknesses and colors have been popular in health care.  They all meet stringent FR standards, and are available in a variety of colors, which is sometimes requested.

-Fluted Plastic Sheets: These 4’ x 8’ FR sheets are used to erect many containments in hospitals, make temporary hallways, temporary walls, tough floor protection, cover walls to protect from workmen damage, make devices for entry into the ceiling tiles for pulling cables, etc.

-PyroTarp: Line of products that stop fire cold.  Fabrics that basically will not burn up to at least 2200 degrees F, water based paint that stops a fire, and epoxy coatings that stop fires Cold!

If you would like to view these product in our On-Line store, please click here. Buy Plastic Now

Tags: plastic sheeting, Hospital Plastic, Products for Hospitals, anti-microbial, Zip Wall, heat shrink wrap, 30 mil, 10-14 mil, 2 FR, Heavy Plastic

Cohesive Wrap Protects Multitudes of Surfaces!

Posted by Nana Hinsley on Thu, May 05, 2011 @ 10:22

 Have you ever had a surface that you want to protect, but you don't want to stick anything to that surface, and you don't want anything like visqueen that will slip around?  Have you ever wanted  something to protect a delicate product or surface, without sticking anything to that product, while holding in place without using tape!  Behold, there is a solution. The solution is a  cohesive wrap- a product that only sticks to itself! Cohesive adhesive system sticks "face to face" around any object, only sticks to itself, and won't leave behind any residue.You just wrap this padded plastic warp around your item and stick it to itself.

What are some of the uses for this cohesive wrap we call "EZ Wrap"?  The marine industry uses it to wrap and protect poles, hand rails, pipes or odd shaped surfaces during refit. Homebuilders use it to wrap surfaces prone to scratching.  It's the easiest way  to keep them looking like brand new, regardless of the environment. 

The outer covering is HDPE- a highly chemically resistant, solvent resistant, and salt water resistant.  It has an inner foam layer to provide strong padding. It's the cohesive foam layer that is coated with the cohesive, so ti will onlyl stick to itself and leaves nothing behing.  Best of all it is lightweight and easy to use!



Tags: Cohesive, cohesive wrap, chemically resistant plastic, salt water resistant