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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Chicago IL
    Posts
    1,947

    Default Formaldehyde in trailers

    Did you guys hear the latest formaldehyde/FEMA story? This is the version I heard and have questions about.
    Trailers in Cedar Rapids Iowa were tested by local news for 'F' and found very high levels.
    FEMA's response at least in part:
    - it's the tenants fault; possible I guess but doesn't explain how they start out so high
    - F levels fluctuate during any day and from day to day; sounds reasonable, except that if they fluctuate dramatically then there must be a problem that needs to be fixed
    Now for the two responses that really puzzle me.
    - it's because of the tenants cooking habits
    - it's because of tenants storing dry cleaning products
    Anyone know what the hell kind of 'cooking habits' contribute to high F levels or is this total BS.
    Do people in trailers store a lot of dry cleaning products? Is that for real or did they find one guy who does and decided to use it as an excuse?
    Just wondering if any of you guys down south have some knowledge about this.
    Thanks, Markus

    Elite MGA Home Inspector E&O Insurance
    www.aic-chicago.com
    773/844-4AIC
    "The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    25,436

    Default Re: Formaldehyde in trailers

    Quote Originally Posted by Markus Keller View Post
    Did you guys hear the latest formaldehyde/FEMA story?
    It's because FEMA uses the cheapest arse trailers they can get, which means the cheapest arse materials were used to construct them.

    Yeah, like when you buy a new RV (that is what those trailers are, they are 'recreational vehicles', not designed, intended of meant to be 'full timed' in.

    Takes a while to outgas that stuff.

    - F levels fluctuate during any day and from day to day; sounds reasonable, except that if they fluctuate dramatically then there must be a problem that needs to be fixed
    Easily explained by thinking of those materials outgassing, wind, exhaust fans, etc., pressurizing then depressurizing the interior of those units (which are not tight, generally speaking - we had one made by a manufacturer which actually pressure tested each unit for air leakage, it was nice), depressurize the interior of any space and not only does it *allow* thing to outgas more, but it *sucks the gasses out* of the material. Neutral pressure will allow outgassing, negative pressure dramatically increases it, positive pressure helps slow the process down.

    Which is better in the long run? Probably depressurized the units a little and let most of the gasses out during an 'outgassing procedure', that way, when the trailers are delivered, the problem is mostly gone away.

    Kind of like going into a brand spanking new unit on a dealer's lot, makes your eyes water and stings your eyes, but go back into the same unit after it has outgassed a month on its own and it is not as bad, it continues to get better until the outgassing is complete to low enough levels that it is not noticeable.

    Depressurize them for about a week and I'm guessing the problem would be gone for all but the few who are really sensitive to it.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Caledon, Ontario
    Posts
    4,829

    Default Re: Formaldehyde in trailers

    As you have already likely researched and for your info.

    Formaldehyde - Household Products and Building Materials - Indoor Air Pollutants

    The value of experience is not in seeing much, but in seeing wisely.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Chicago IL
    Posts
    1,947

    Default Re: Formaldehyde in trailers

    Nice link, Thanks Raymond.
    Jerry, I realize the Gov is building junk. Even to me the lack of quality and minimum standards seems over the top.

    www.aic-chicago.com
    773/844-4AIC
    "The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

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