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The As to your Qs

An extensive list of answers to the most common questions about GREENchoice products

Green building can be very confusing, so we want to help you understand the how’s and why’s. If you don’t find an answer to your question below, please contact our technical support team who can get you the answers you need. 

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Green Building

What does “green building” mean?
In a general definition, green building is a worldwide movement to promote the use of environmentally friendly products & practices in de-construction, construction, remodeling & repair. The goal is to match materials and activities to building design so that the overall environmental impact is minimized as much as possible.

What are VOCs & What makes something VOC-compliant?
VOC is an acronym for volatile organic compound. It is these compounds that react with atmospheric ozone, along with particulate, to form smog. Smog is thought to be a major contributor to air pollution and health problems, such as asthma.

In 1991 the U.S. EPA passed the Clean Air Act with the specific intention of lowering smog levels. One way to do this is to reduce the amount of VOC’s available for release into the air. Hence, why parts of the country where smog is a greater problem have begun implementing regulations limiting the amount, or level, of VOC a product can contain. If your product VOC level is below the limit set forth in the regulations, then you can say that your product is VOC-compliant.

What makes a product “green”?
Although the term is quite subjective, below are five categories into which most“green” products will be classified.

  • Products made with salvaged, recycled or agricultural waste content
  • Products that conserve natural resources
  • Products that avoid toxic or other emissions
  • Products that save energy or water
  • Products that contribute to a safe, healthy built environment 

What is a “green” adhesive?
There are several criteria that can make an adhesive “green,” but the key ones for adhesives and sealants include products that are green because of what is not in them (such as hazardous air pollutants and ozone depletors); products that are green because they reduce the environmental impact of building operation (such as the energy efficiency gained from effective use of caulks and sealants); and products that contribute to a safe and healthy indoor environment (such as low-VOC or formaldehyde free adhesives)

How can I tell if a product is “green”?
One key way to see if a product is “green” is to note the level of VOC’s the product has in it. The lower the VOC number, the more environmentally friendly that product will be. Since solvents represent a large portion of the VOC category, it also means that the solvent level in the product will be lower and it will probably be safer to work with.

Another indicator of green products is the amount of recycled content in either the product or the packaging, which ultimately helps to conserve resources.

 What are the benefits of going “green”?  Why should I use “green” products?

  • Improved air quality
  • Less depletion of natural resources
  • Energy Savings
  • Potential tax breaks
  • Potentially less health problems

Who is “going green”?

  • Retailers
  • Professionals
  • Consumers
  • Corporations
  • Distributors
  • Government
  • Non-profit organizations

What are the differences in "green" rating systems? (LEED vs. NAHB vs. Green Seal)
See “Regulations & Organizations

What states currently regulate VOC limits?
The following states currently regulate VOC emissions on consumer products (16oz or less). For a chart of these limits, click here.

  • California
  • Delaware
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Pennsylvania
  • Virginia
  • Washington, DC
  • Michigan
  • New Hampshire
  • Connecticut
  • Vermont

GREENchoice™ Construction Adhesives

How do I get Construction Adhesives off the surface of my project?

Water-based construction adhesives, such as Titebond GREENchoice™ Heavy Duty Construction Adhesive, may be cleaned with water when they are wet, but will require mineral spirits if they have dried. Polyurethane based products can be removed with mineral spirits before they have cured, and mechanical scraping or abrasion after full cure.

How do I get two surfaces apart that were bonded with a Construction Adhesive?
Heating a bond made with any of our construction adhesives is generally the best approach to weakening it enough to allow separation or disassembly. While most adhesives weaken progressively as they increase in temperature, temperatures of 150°F or higher are often needed to have the desired effect. A heat gun is a good tool for this task.

What adhesive works best on foamboard?
When a project involves foamboard, it is important to recognize that some construction adhesives contain solvents that can attack the foam. Titebond GREENchoice™ Heavy Duty Construction is recommended for bonding foam to porous surfaces. If the foam is being bonded to something non-porous these products cannot be used because they will not dry properly. In such a situation, Titebond GREENchoice™ Premium Polyurethane Construction adhesive would be recommended.

What adhesive should be used to install a tub surround?
Titebond GREENchoice™ Heavy Duty Construction is also an appropriate product. For any of these products, the wall surface to which the surround is being installed needs to be porous. That means the surface should not be painted or primed, and any existing paint or glazing on any existing ceramic tile needs to be abraded to allow the adhesives to dry.

Which adhesive should I use for installations involving metal?
Titebond GREENchoice™ Heavy Duty Construction would be appropriate if strength requirements are modest. It is important that the surface to which the metal is being bonded is porous and unpainted so that these products can dry. Titebond GREENchoice™ Premium Polyurethane Construction can be used for applications in which metal needs to be bonded to a non-porous surface.

Which Construction Adhesives work best on wet, frozen, or treated lumber?
Titebond GREENchoice™ Premium Polyurethane Construction Adhesive, Titebond GREENchoice™ Heavy Duty Construction Adhesive and Titebond GREENchoice™ All Weather Subfloor Adhesive all perform well on wet, frozen, or treated lumber.

Which Construction Adhesive works best for mirror installations?
Titebond GREENchoice™ Premium Polyurethane Construction is preferred for both plastic and glass mirrors. Regardless of the adhesive being used, it is important to use mechanical fasteners when working with heavy mirrors, and is required when installing mirrors in a public building.

What is the drying time for Construction Adhesives?
Our solvent free products may reach full strength in twenty four hours under warm and dry conditions, but will require several days longer in damp or cool conditions. Polyurethane based products may reach full strength in twenty-four hours under warm and moist conditions, but take several days under dry conditions

Can Construction Adhesives be used for exterior projects?
Yes, most of our Construction Adhesives have been formulated for exterior use but also require mechanical fasteners for most exterior jobs. None of our construction adhesives are recommended for applications below the water line or for continuous submersion in water.

What is the expected coverage in lineal feet for Construction Adhesives?
The amount of lineal feet possible from a tube of construction adhesive is determined by the size of the bead. Typical recommended bead is a minimum ¼" diameter.


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