TWO OF THE BIGGEST RISKS TO A HOME are fire and mold. If only there was a way to alleviate both risks at the same time, right?
According to Ken Rusk, vice president of No-Burn, a fire prevention materials business, his company has the answer. It comes in the form of two products for the new construction market: The first is a wood guard, a clear liquid applied to raw wood during framing; the second is a drywall product that replaces normal drywall primer. The products essentially choke out both flames and mold growth.
For a full treatment—wood guard and the drywall product—builders are looking at shelling out roughly an extra $2.50 per square foot, less the cost of the drywall primer that a builder would normally use. “We have priced our products so a builder can add the 15 to 20 percent markup,” Rusk says.
And home buyers may just pay out for piece of mind. Some lenders and insurers offer homeowners discounts on mortgages and homeowners insurance for treated homes. Moreover, because the products are installed by a certified technician, it creates paperwork that, like a title to a car, creates value for owners down the line.
Although the products' nontoxic nature offers an advantage to flame retardant lumber, which Rusk says is reduced in structural strength by 25 percent by chemicals, building codes still lag in embracing the new technology. However, Rusk says he's working on code changes, but “it takes a lot of time.” In the meantime, he says code variances are an option.