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REEF Industries

For more than 50 years, Reef Industries has been the technological leader in manufacturing reinforced film laminates and plastics. Griffolyn®, founded in 1957, is the original division of Reef Industries. However, as new technologies and innovations surfaced over the years, Reef Industries introduced new product lines to meet and exceed market demands.

Distributed worldwide, our product portfolio comprises of Griffolyn®, Permalon®, Armorlon®, Terra Tape®, Banner Guard® and Roll-A-Sign, each providing the highest of quality for a wide-range of applications.

We cater to the following industries:

  • Agriculture
  • Architecture/Engineering
  • Athletics/Recreation
  • Aquaculture
  • Construction/Building Products
  • Containment
  • Environmental
  • Government
  • Industrial
  • Oil & Gas
  • Packaging
  • Promotional/Marketing
  • Safety
  • Transportation/Shipping
  • Utilities

The value and performance of all Reef Industries' products are unsurpassed in the industry. Our products are lightweight, rugged, durable and can be custom designed to meet your product specifications.

CONSIDERATIONS FOR DESIGNERS AND SPECIFIERS

Moisture Problems in Buildings

Each year, countless building owners suffer the problems associated with material and system failures due to moisture. Anyone who has faced a shutdown or limited use of their facility due to a wall system, roof assembly or flooring failure can attest to the cost and inconveniences involved. There is much to motivate design professionals to utilize every available means to avoid and minimize the potential for these problems:

  • Inconvenience to the owner/client
  • Monetary loss from disrupted operations
  • Bad publicity
  • High repair costs
  • Adverse effects on indoor air quality
  • Design liability exposure and litigation
  • Potential impact on "Errors and Omissions" insurance premiums

Water Vapor Migration

One of the primary functions of the building thermal envelope is to maintain desirable temperature and humidity for occupant comfort. Within the range of temperatures encountered in buildings, water may exist as a vapor, liquid or solid.

Moisture-related problems in buildings may arise from:

  1. The presence of too much moisture
  2. Changes in moisture content
  3. Effects of a change of state, such as freezing within wall cavities
  4. Deterioration of materials due to corrosion of metals, or rotting of wood framing

In the design, specification and construction of the building envelope, the behavior of moisture must be considered, particularly the occurrence of condensation. Problems may arise when moisture comes into contact with a cold surface such as a window, or within outdoor walls or roof-ceiling assemblies. Condensation within walls that enclose air conditioned spaces must be considered in warm humid climates.

Moisture moves in air due to differences in vapor pressure, but also with movement of the air itself. The causes of air motion through construction assemblies must be considered, especially infiltration and exfiltration at windows, doors and other penetrations of the building envelope.

Vapor Retarders and Air Barriers

Most building materials are permeable to moisture. Porous materials that become saturated with moisture lose their insulating ability and may not regain it when dry. Walls are particularly susceptible, and moisture migration should be prevented or minimized by use of low permeance membranes, called vapor retarders (formerly referred to as vapor barriers). A vapor retarder is a material that has a flow rating of one perm or less. (1 perm = 1 grain/hr•ft2•in Hg vapor pressure difference.) Permeability of one perm is often still too high for a vapor retarder to be effective in most building applications. A lower permeability rating is generally required. As a general rule, vapor retarders should be installed as close as possible to the side of the assembly through which moisture enters. Air barriers are designed to stop the movement of air, which can cause not only convective heat flow, but movement of large volumes of moisture along with the air.

Permeability, Strength, Durability, Fire Retardancy

Low permeability, high strength, and durability are the primary selection and specification criteria. Additionally, building code provisions may sometimes require use of materials which are fire retardant. Vapor retarders should be selected according to their intended performance, as determined by recognized, industry standard test methods.

The investment made in selecting and specifying an effective vapor retarder system during the design and construction process are only pennies per square foot. The cost of corrective measures required by improperly installing a vapor retarder, installing the wrong vapor retarder, or not installing one at all, have proven to be many dollars per square foot.

NOTES TO SPECIFIER: Careful placement and sealing of vapor retarder materials is essential to ensure effective moisture vapor control. Perforation of the membrane for any reason will limit its effectiveness and can be responsible for failure at the time of installation. The use and placement of vapor retarders should be determined by a qualified design professional familiar with their use, and with local climatic conditions. In no case should two non-permeable materials be used in the same assembly since moisture could be trapped between them, resulting in extensive damage. By design, Griffolyn Vapor Retarders are not "breathable" (vapor permeable) and are not appropriate for use where breathable materials are required.

NEW ENVIRONMENTAL CONSIDERATIONS

Indoor Air Quality An important issue receiving a lot of attention lately is the subject of so-called "sick building syndrome". It can have many causes including dangerous molds, bacteria, mildew, gasses given off by building materials, and inadequate ventilation. Indoor air quality (IAQ) problems don't just make a building "sick"; they also carry with them a high degree of human health risk. There is growing evidence that many of these problems are made worse, if not caused by, unwanted moisture in buildings. Much of this moisture enters through exterior walls and floor slabs. Mold, mildew, and other organisms feed on organic materials in the building. They often flourish in wall cavities and in the dark, moist environment under flooring materials and carpeting.

Radon Control Radon gas is a naturally occurring by-product of the decay of uranium in the soil. It can enter buildings through cracks in foundation walls and floor slabs. High levels of radon in buildings have been linked to increased risk of lung cancer. The use of vapor retarders can effectively reduce the amount of radon entering a building when used as part of a complete radon control system.

Increased Energy Efficiency Energy conservation efforts over the past decade have seen advances in the understanding of building performance. The use of blower doors, pressure diagnostics, and targeted air sealing have helped with energy conservation. Since water vapor contains a large amount of heat energy (latent heat of vaporization), a major component of any energy efficiency program is the control of airborne movement of moisture.

Non-solvent Flooring Adhesives Effective Jan. 1, 1996 chlorinated solvents that have been a part of flooring adhesives for many years could no longer be manufactured in the United States. Adhesive manufacturers now use either water-based or "100% solids" formulations. A disadvantage of these formulations is that they may re-emulsify in the presence of water penetrating the floor slab from below, causing the floor system to fail prematurely.

Flooring materials have changed, too. Materials such as vinyl asbestos tile (VAT) which were "breathable" have been replaced by vinyl composition tile (VCT) which is not vapor permeable. These materials are highly susceptible to failure from condensation forming underneath the floor covering. An effective vapor retarder below concrete slabs is now more important than ever.

Reef Industries
9209 Almeda Genoa Rd.
Houston, TX 77075
Tel: (800) 231-6074
Fax: (713) 507-4295
E-mail: ri@reefindustries.com
Web site: http://www.reefindustries.com





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