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Home and Garden  »  Home Improvement

How a UPVC Soffit Board Can Be Good For the Environment

By: Chris Coxon

Date Added : September 26, 2011 Views : 597
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There was a time, not so long ago, when anything plastic was immediately viewed as bad for the environment. In many cases, this attitude was perhaps justified but, in recent years, so much progress has been made in the plastics industry that it is not necessarily true to look lowly on them. When it comes to the home, for example, the upvc products that are so prevalent in the building industry today, like the fascia board and the soffit board, are safer than ever before.

The revolutionary changes in manufacturing processes that have been introduced gradually over the past two decades have resulted in this situation. The arrival of lead free upvc, which is considered non toxic, and therefore safe, has convinced some environmentally conscious home owners to take the plunge and opt for upvc fascia boards for their homes. And with the range of soffit, trim, architrave and cladding products also available in upvc, the green plastic is everywhere that one looks.

The history of such plastics in the building trade is longer than most people would think. Pvc stands for polyvinyl chloride, which was actually discovered nearly 200 years ago, but the first usable plasticised pvc was not produced until 1926. Soon afterward, it was being used commercially, with construction the natural beneficiary for the new invention because a host of prefabricated items could be quickly and easily moulded into shape, and then used.

Health and environmental issues took a back seat in those days, but the arrival of unplasticised pvc, or upvc, answered calls for a more environmentally friendly version. Over the last 20 years, developments have continued to greatly enhance the eco friendly status of upvc, mostly through the use of improved stabiliser systems. Fears that the new calcium organic stabiliser system was not safe have been dismissed by experts that know, so long as all of the required standards in procedure and processing are met, the end result is completely safe. In fact, research has proven that when the mix of calcium organic stabilisers incorporates all of the recommended chemical ingredients, that the level of toxicity is very low, so much so that they are classified as non toxic.

This is a jump forward from the processes that exists two decades ago and more, when pvc and upvc first began to establish itself in the market. At that time, fears over toxicity levels were understandable, but thanks to the progress made in plastics, the level of damage that this sector does to the environment has plummeted.

The fact that a calcium organic compound is now being widely used to make upvc products means that the lead that had been used as a stabilising agent no longer has a use in the manufacturing process. Lead was a common stabilising agent, though only small quantities were ever added to the upvc process, but it was nonetheless recognised as a health threat. That was why, in 2007, the plastics industry removed lead from production, some three years before authorities had urged the industry to voluntarily remove lead by.

What this means is that the modern home is now a very environmentally friendly structure. A little known fact is that a major ingredient used to make upvc is salt, which drains nothing from the environment, either in the short or long term. Upvc is also long lasting, which means that the number of times a replacement is needed is extremely low and, therefore, places an even smaller pressure on the environment.

By any standards, the recyclability of upvc, as well as its durability, make it a good material to use in abundance. There is no getting away from the fact that this material is highly prevalent. It is all around us, not just in the upvc fascia boards and cladding that are on homes and office buildings around any town or city, but in plumbing, clothing, electrical gadgetry and signage. We use the material every day, usually without even realising it.

And while the soffit board may be only part of the numerous ways in which upvc is used in constructing a modern home, its new status as lead free and good for the environment can be celebrated, from the fascia to the soffit to the trim.

Chris Coxon writes articles for Deeplas, expert manufacturers of quality assured, accredited roofline components and building plastics, including a range of soffit and upvc fascia boards. Deeplas soffit board are tough and hardwearing and guaranteed to stand the test of time, even in adverse weather conditions. T

Article Source: How a UPVC Soffit Board Can Be Good For the Environment

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