Concerns have been recently reported in Colorado with new construction homes, where a certain type of floor joist, manufactured by a specific company, are defective. The reported Weyerhaeuser TJI Joist problems relate to only the Flak Jacket Protection product. Several builders in the Colorado area have been notified of the concerns, and in some cases, the completion of homes and closing of sales is being affected.
The specific Flak Jacket Protection products with the reported concern contain a coating on them to help improve fire resistance. The coating includes a formaldehyde-type resin that is applied over the joists. Concerns developed in Colorado with new homeowners noticing a pickle-like odor. Health concerns may also occur with exposure to this material. The joists affected were manufactured after December 1, 2016 according to the manufacturer, and only this one product with the Flak Jacket coating is affected.
The problem was not widely known to the public until late July 2017. At this time, the solution to the concern is not yet determined. Joist replacement may be required, although it is unclear how joists can easily be replaced on a home that is in the advanced stages of construction or where construction has been completed.
To read a statement from Weyerhaeuser regarding this product concern click here.
Inspecting Joists during a Home Inspection
At Scott Home Inspection, our inspection protocol includes a visual review of the joists and structural components in a home. Any visible items of concern are noted in our report. While the issues with this product are not visible, once the knowledge of the concern is known in the industry, we do add this to our inspection process. Health and safety items are of utmost concern and informing potential home buyers about a known concern is important. As solutions to this concern develop, home inspectors helping buyers of new construction homes should be aware of this issue and be able to identify these specific type of floor joists, and ensure that the buyer has the knowledge of the concern and is able to determine from the builder whether the joists present have been replaced or proper remediation performed.
Any known solutions to this issue?
No formal repair process is known at this time, but there is one possible solution that was brought to our attention by Andy Pace at The Green Design Center. This process involves applying a sealant product that will encapsulate that Formaldehyde. There is also a testing process that they preform to ensure the formaldehyde is no longer releasing from the joists. See more information about his solution here.
George founded Scott Home Inspection in 2006, and has grown the business into a multi-inspector firm serving the Colorado Front Range, from Fort Collins down to Colorado Springs. As an ASHI Certified Home Inspector and Certified Energy Rater, George is an excellent resource to help with inspection and energy-related requirements.