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Orkin partners with insulation maker

BY Brae Canlen

GreenFiber, a cellulose insulation maker, has partnered with Orkin, the pest control company, to offer OrkinTherm, a product that offers both energy savings and insect protection. Home Depot will pilot the product at retail in select Texas stores beginning in September.

OrkinTherm is made from 85% recycled paper fibers and is then treated with a long-lasting pest control formula that helps protect against cockroaches, termites, ants and other species of intrusive pests. The product is certified by Energy Star and Scientific Certification Systems as energy efficient and EPA-registered for use around people, pets and the environment. While it’s recommended for use in attics, a common entry point in homes for pests, OrkinTherm also can be used in walls, the manufacturer said.

"Pests are always a problem, and if not properly treated, they can wreak havoc on the inside and outside of Texas homes," said Bruce Harned, director of marketing at GreenFiber. "Now, homeowners can purchase and install a solution to proactively protect homes against pests before problems arise.”

Homeowners looking to install OrkinTherm can visit the insulation aisle at select Home Depot stores across Texas and take advantage of free machine rentals with a minimum bag purchase. Installation assistance is also  available, as well as how-to instructions and videos on OrkinTherm’s website at orkintherm.com.

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At Behr, a paint and primer goes pro

BY Ken Clark

Santa Ana, Calif.-based Behr Process Corp. announced that its latest paint-and-primer-in-one product is now available through its professional products and services program called BehrPro. 

The Behr Premium Plus Ultra Interior Stain-Blocking Paint & Primer in One is, according to the manufacturer, offering enhanced stain-blocking attributes to meet the demanding needs of professional painters, contractors and remodelers.

"BehrPro strives to help professionals build better businesses, and our new Interior Stain-Blocking Paint & Primer in One provides a one-solution formula for professionals seeking an efficient, long-lasting product," said Colin Jaffe, senior VP operations for professional products and services at Behr Process Corp. "Using our improved Premium Plus Ultra, professionals will be able to finish projects — ranging from large multi-family housing paint work to handling small residential touch-ups — in fewer coats while still providing outstanding protection that lasts longer and satisfies clients’ expectations."   

The newest interior paint line also results in a reduced dry time. Additionally, the 100% acrylic and low-VOC formula incorporates an antimicrobial-mildew resistant finish, and provides scuff, stain and mark resistance.

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Housing starts improve in August

BY Ken Clark

Government data released Wednesday morning show residential construction climbing slowly out of an historically deep hole. 

Housing starts increased in August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 750,000 — that’s up 2.3% from the July rate and up 29.1% from the August 2011 rate. 

While building permits declined to a rate of 803,000 in August, down from 811,000 in July, the forward-looking statistic increased 24.5% from the August 2011 building permit figure of 645,000. 

Also gaining are single-family starts, the bread and butter of many home channel companies. Single-family starts increased in August to a rate of 535,000, up 5.5% from the previous month and up 26.8% from the year-ago rate. 

To put the numbers in an historical context, a full year with 750,000 starts would be the fourth lowest year since the government began keeping track of the statistic in 1959. However, an end-of-year figure of 750,000 would be an increase of 39%, 28% and 23% when compared with the years 2009, 2010 and 2011.

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