Dangers of Buying Cheap Vinyl Shutters
It was a tiring day in the office, and you have slogged through it, possibly compromising on your physical and mental health. You travel through the polluted streets looking forward to relaxing in the haven you call your home. How would you feel if this haven turns out to be a health hazard for you? Do not rule this possibility out, for the low production costs of vinyl products have made them a part and parcel of everyday life, most of them causing serious health hazards.
Falling Prey to a Cheap Price Tag
When we go out shopping, nothing attracts us as much as a cheap price tag. We, shoppers, are lured by discounted products like bees to honey. No matter how often our jeans loses its color on the first wash or the knife goes blunt after a few uses, or the sandals give way on route to an important meeting a few days after its purchase, never learn our lesson. Is it the joy of buying products that make us buy crappy products so that we can spend money on more shopping again and again? Well, that’s indulging in the rhetorical! Since the vinyl window shutters can be produced at low costs, its hazards to environment and health may well be ignored. Why not? It’s affordable, isn’t it? But not many realize that, in the long run, they pay more for such cheap products than they would for long-lasting and safer options.
What is Vinyl?
We need to check the quality of products we buy, especially vinyl products, for our own safety. Vinyl is nothing but a variant of plastic that was invented by accident in 1872 by German chemist Eugen Baumann. This invention entered the commercial market in 1926 when the Waldo Semon and the B.F. Goodrich Company found a way to plasticize PVC by blending it with various additives. Today, the production of vinyl is a staggering 30 billion pounds per annum.
Cheap vinyl shutters are known to release formaldehyde when heated, which besides causing asthma and other respiratory ailments, is also a known carcinogen. When you sit down beside your window to relax on a long sigh or to read your book on a holiday, these very windows can very well prove to be your undoing – if you choose low-quality shutters to save a few bucks. As the sun rays heat up the vinyl shutters they release hundreds of volatile organic compounds into your home, which may include vinyl chloride, chlorine gas, ethylene dichloride, mercury, dioxins, PCBs and other unsafe pollutants.
The VOCs (volatile organic compounds) can pose a health hazard to you and your family, which includes liver damage, respiratory tract infections, cancer, and infertility. Additionally, VOCs released on hot days can cause irreversible damage to the central nervous system. These chemicals, though harmful for adults, do not cause as much damage as it does to young children. VOCs and formaldehyde can play havoc in the life of children in their growing years, every so often causing permanent damage to their development. We also subject our pets to cancer by installing such cheap vinyl shutters in our homes, since some of them are extremely carcinogenic to animals.
Deformed and Defaced.
In Canada, where climate changes can reach extremes, the cold winter followed by a hot summer is not well tolerated by the vinyl shutters. During summers, they expand dramatically and come winter, Bam! Equally, a dramatic contraction that makes them buckle and go out of shape. Especially the bright sunlight heats up Vinyl louvers of the shutters and releases carcinogen that causes real health issues. Bright sunny day if the sun falls on these shutters you could even smell this toxin gasses emitting from them. Vinyl shutters also get defaced by mildew or mold, if they are not properly proofed against them.
Learning Your Lessons the Tough Way.
Now and then, you may have to replace the whole window dressing because the repair would cost scarcely less than an entirely new installation. At least this time around, it would make sense to buy cheap vinyl shutters from a reputed brand, which may not call on you to compromise on the health of your family.
The surefire way to make sure your window shutters are safe is to check out few points like:
· Make sure that harmful material like lead has not been used in its manufacture
· The material is free of chlorine
· The paint used on them is 100% acrylic latex with an LRV (light reflective value) of 55 or higher so that it will absorb less heat
· They are free from phthalates, toxic chemical additives or any other hazardous material used to make it more flexible
· They come with Limited Lifetime Warranty
· The vinyl shutters are energy efficient and are UV stabilized
· They are treated to resist bacteria, mildew, and mold
· The shutters do not pose any danger to your children
You can also opt for shutters made from natural material like wood, which in addition to being stylish, can be highly effective as well.
Keeping in mind all the drawbacks of buying cheap vinyl shutters, isn’t it worth paying a bit more for your peace of mind, beautiful windows and health? Like in the words of Maya Angelou, who said, “The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.”