Quicker Wicker Benjamin Obdyke implanted thousands of what look like paramecium onto its housewrap to create what it claims is a better version of the stuff. Those millimeter-tall bumps on HydroGap Drainable Housewrap help create just enough of a gap to enable to water to drain from wall assemblies at least two times faster than from other drainable housewrap, the company says. It also asserts that HydroGap removes 100 times more bulk water than standard housewrap, thus reducing the potential for moisture and mold damage in wall assemblies. The product is currently available through building material dealers in New England. Benjamin Obdyke. www.benjaminobdyke.com. —C.W.
Soft Water The manufacturer’s new showerhead technology mixes air with water to increase water velocity and shower spray intensity. As a result, shower sprays feel softer and water temperature is maintained. This technology is being introduced on the new Danze 200 showerhead (shown here). Danze. www.danze.com. —N.M.
Bug Barrier Dow Chemical added a bittering agent to its Great Stuff insulating foam sealant in an effort to block out pests bent on regaining access to the home by chewing through the foam. Pestblock contains no pesticides and forms a long-lasting barrier that is both airtight and water resistent. Dow. www.dowbuildingsolutions.com. —K.T.
Stacking the Deck Eastman Chemical Co., long a supplier of raw materials to building products manufacturers, has entered the retail market with Perennial Wood: Southern pine treated with a process called acetylation that Eastman says will make the softwood tougher than unmodified softwood, more stable, and resistant to moisture. Perennial Wood’s first use will be as decking, and it will carry a 25-year warranted against rot, decay and movement. Perennial Wood will initially be sold in New England and nearby states at lumber dealers served by the distributor Boston Cedar as well as at roughly 100 Lowe’s home improvement stores in the region. Eastman also believes it could be used for outdoor furniture, fencing, railing, and porches. Eastman Chemical. www.perennialwood.com. —C.W.
Rock it Out Forget the noise, fumes, and discomfort of using a jackhammer. Ecobust is a new, environmentally friendly way to deal with rock and concrete demolition. When combined with water, the non-toxic powdered mixture of natural ingredients expands to exert thousands of pounds of pressure on rock and concrete. Users simply drill into the stone they’re working with, pour in the mixture, and give it time to cure. Within 24 hours, Ecobust will break the rock into manageable pieces to be removed from the site. Four varieties of Ecobust are available to guarantee performance based on job size and the core temperature of the rock. See the product in action on the Ecobust webstie. Ecobust. www.ecobust.ca. —L.H.
Hot Stuff The modern fireplaces trend continues. This one, LUX, is a gas fireplace unit featuring stainless steel construction, modern media in place of traditional logs, steel pipes, and a reflective black glass firebox. A clean face design allows finishing materials to be applied up to the edge of the fireplace and standard sizes—36 inches and 42 inches—make it easier to frame. Heat & Glo by Hearth and Home Technologies. www.heatnglo.com. —N.M.
Traditional Shine Offering traditionally styled designs, the Tanglewood Collection features a wide selection of products that includes pendants, chandeliers, and wall sconces. Pieces showcase satin-etched glass shades and come in two new finishes: brushed nickel and olde bronze. Kichler. www.kichler.com. —N.M.
Value Underfoot Owens Flooring by Colonial Craft, a Quanex Building Products company, introduces PlankFloor, an engineered wood floor that offers the durability and beauty of hardwood while using half the number of trees. The environmentally responsible design maximizes the recovery of wood fiber by combining a composite base with a solid wood wear layer. The process generates four pieces of flooring from the amount of lumber that would make one piece of 3/4-inch solid flooring. Available in 11 species of unfinished wood that can be sanded and refinished for longer life, thanks to the 3/16-inch wear layer. Owens Flooring. www.colonialcraft.com. —L.H.
Security Measures Three different security settings allow the Schlage Alarmed Lock to provide peace of mind for homeowners. Users can select alert settings with alarm modes that have a similar volume to a standard smoke alarm. The Activity Alert sounds two short beeps every time the door opens or closes, while the more sensitive Tamper Alert sounds a 15-second alarm when the doorknob or lever is disturbed (ideal for overnight use). Finally, the Forced Entry alert sounds a shrill, steady siren at first impact and will continue for three minutes when a significant force pushes against the door. The easy-to-install units are battery operated and available in Schlage’s most popular styles and finishes. Schlage. www.alarm.schlage.com. —L.H.
Trial by Fire Weyerhaeuser has added Flak Jacket protection to its Trus Joist TJI Joists to meet building code requirements for fire resistance. The specialty coating provides a simple way to achieve one-hour floor/ceiling assemblies and to comply with the new 2012 IRC fire protection requirements in multifamily buildings and single-family homes. Weyerhaeuser Wood Products. www.woodbywy.com. —N.M.
Zip it Up ZipDoor is a mini-me version of the popular ZipWall system. The kit’s tape, zippers, and fire-rated plastic sheeting make it possible to seal a doorway in less than a minute, the company says. It’s touted as a dust control measure for remodeling projects and renovations in which there’s a danger of disturbing lead paint. ZipDoor comes in two versions: One for doors up to 3x7 feet and one for doors up to 4x8 feet. ZipWall www.zipwall.com. —C.W.