Concrete providing foundation for safe, healthy families

(NewsUSA) - Home safety is a major concern for many Americans. But safety should mean more than teaching the kids to stop, drop and roll and double-checking the stove before leaving the house. Americans who are building, or looking to buy, a new home can implement safety from the start by considering the construction of the foundation.

When it comes to safety, building materials matter. Americans should consider the area in which they live before choosing a construction material. For example, couples living in hurricane- or flood-prone areas shouldn't build wooden homes, which can easily suffer moisture damage.

Concrete masonry construction has been proven to be a safe, sturdy building material no matter the region. Unlike wood, concrete masonry is water-, wind- and fire-resistant. Concrete masonry bricks do not succumb to insect infestations, like termites. In areas often afflicted by earthquakes, builders can create flexibility within concrete foundations, so they do not shatter when the earth moves.

Concrete masonry also lessens indoor pollution, a major concern in many areas. Paints can emit harmful chemicals, but concrete bricks do not need to be painted. Concrete masonry does not absorb moisture in the air, which can lead to mold growth in other building materials. Mold is a major indoor air pollutant and irritant -- eliminating mold can lead to improved lung health in a home's residents.

Americans living in concrete masonry homes might also enjoy improved economic well-being. Concrete masonry helps control indoor temperatures, keeping homes cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. In many areas, concrete masonry walls do not require additional insulation, saving homeowners money and reducing household dust.

Concrete masonry also dampens sound, making for a more peaceful indoor environment in urban areas.

For more information about building with concrete masonry, visit the Web site of the National Concrete Masonry Association at www.ncma.org.