DIY Home Improvement Radiant Barrier Projects Can Add to Homeowner Liability

Radiant barrier DIY home improvement projects have become a popular and effective way to reduce utility bills, helping homeowners counter the effects of a recessionary economy with energy savings up to 17%. But most DIY enthusiasts do not know that the products they choose to install could expose them to potentially huge levels of liability if they install products that do not meet new building codes.

Online PR News – 17-November-2010 – – Arlington, TX - A radiant barrier can save big money on utility bills, but can end up costing homeowners far more than they save if they fail to install products that meet new building codes, according to an insulation industry expert.

Dan Russell, president of Innovative Insulation, Inc., says that when taking on this type of home improvement project most homeowners are not aware of recent advances in product safety. Work done by global testing and standards developer ASTM International reveals that traditional aluminum foil radiant barrier products can be highly combustible when installed without extra means of support.

“The only products that meet the new ASTM E2599 standard for flame-spreading qualities now are made of metalized plastic film, which melts rapidly and produces little or no flame,” Russell said.

Building codes are being revised worldwide to account for the change. As new codes take effect, homeowners who install a product that does not meet code could face multiple legal problems, on top of having an unsafe product in their homes.

We decided to change our entire product line from aluminum foil to plastic film that we spray with microscopic aluminum particles

Some attorneys say homeowners who have a non-complying product installed after building codes are updated, or who then do DIY home improvement projects using non-complying products, may be liable if they sell their homes and do not disclose the presence of a non-complying product, such as a foil radiant barrier.

Liability in case of a fire is one risk, but homeowners face other potential legal action even if a fire never occurs. Failure to disclose known information – such as a foil radiant barrier being a potential fire hazard – could be considered a deceptive trade practice. Such practices themselves are grounds for lawsuits.

Russell said his company foresaw a major change coming in the insulation industry two years ago because of ASTM’s E2599 test results and took action then to lead the change to safer radiant barrier materials. He said it was a big decision, but not a difficult one.

“We decided to change our entire product line from aluminum foil to plastic film that we spray with microscopic aluminum particles,” Russell said. “Our own tests have reinforced this decision: our products are highly reflective and now earn a perfect score of ‘zero’ on the ASTM E2599 fire spread test. In the process we also made our product easier to install, because it’s almost impossible to tear them accidentally – a real plus for DIY home improvement projects.”

About Innovative Insulation, Inc.

Innovative Insulation, Inc., the world’s largest manufacturer of radiant barrier products, has been serving homeowners and contractors since 1987. Innovative Insulation leads the industry in quality radiant barrier and reflective insulation, including the popular Super R™ line of products. Innovative Insulation is known internationally for the highest quality products and personalized customer service. For more information, please visit


Luke Rogers
Technical Director
Innovative Insulation, Inc.

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