Formicary corrosion is not a new issue, but today’s tighter
homes, combined with external environmental factors have
made this issue more common than before. Consumer
choices and construction factors can also magnify this issue.
Two examples of those include:
• Consumer choices: Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
are introduced into the home by the off-gassing of
common household products, such as composite
woods used in particle board, plywood, cabinets
and countertops, paints and wall paper as well as
consumer products like air fresheners, cigarettes,
and cleaning supplies.
• Construction factors: As home construction choices
are made ever more with value and cost in mind,
construction supplies such as dry wall, cabinetry
and countertops, laminates and particle board are
being purchased from low cost sources. These lower
cost construction materials can introduce other
chemicals into the home that have an adverse effect
on copper coils. A common example is high sulfur
content dry wall that has been shown to corrode
copper wiring and evaporator coils.