The Key to Mold Control is Managing Moisture.

 

​What is Mold?

 

​Molds are microscopic organisms that are present virtually everywhere in our environment. Molds outdoors, play a part in nature by breaking down dead organic matter such as fallen leaves and dead trees, but indoors, mold growth should be avoided.

All that is necessary for mold growth to start on these materials is moisture. Molds reproduce by means of tiny spores. When these spores come in contact with water or moisture mold may begin to grow. Molds produce allergens, irritants, and in some cases potentially toxic substance (mycotoxins). Inhaling or touching mold or mold spores may cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals, cause asthma attacks in people with asthma who are allergic to mold, and also irritate the eyes skin, nose throat, and lungs of both mold-allergic and non-allergic people. For more information please visit http://www.epa.gov/iaq/molds/moldguide.html.

Mold Growth in
Cooling Climate

 

If exterior humid air comes in contact with the cavity side of cooled interior gypsum board, its relative humidity can rise above 70% and mold growth can occur in the cavity. Impermeable wall coverings such as vinyl wallpaper can make the problem worse by trapping moisture between the interior finish and the gypsum board.

Source: Home Energy Magazine on line, November/December 1995



Mold needs four factors to grow: spores, temperature, moisture, and a food source. Mold spores are always present in both indoor and outdoor air, and they can flourish in any ambient temperature from 40F to 100F (4C to 38C). You may not be able to avoid the presence of mold spores, but you can take steps to control the moisture and food sources mold needs.As part of your overall mold-resistance strategy, follow good moisture management practices. Then choose mold-resistant construction materials.
For added resistance, choose building components that will retain as little moisture as possible. Moisture-resistant materials will cut down on retained moisture.
Source: University of Florida

Mold Growth in Heating Season

 

In a heated climate, mold grows on interior surfaces. Typically, the interior surfaces of exterior walls are cool (due to heat loss), while moisture levels within the conditioned space are high. Mold growth can be controlled in two ways: 1) by preventing the interior surfaces of exterior walls and other building assemblies from becoming too cold, and 2) by limiting interior moisture levels.Adding insulation to a wall or ceiling raises the temperature of the inner surface. Controlled ventilation and control of moisture sources limit interior levels.

Source: Home Energy Magazine on line, November/December 1995

Mold Spores

Ten Things You Should Know About Mold

1. Potential health effects and symptoms associated with mold exposure include allergic reactions and other respiratory complaints.



2.  There is no practical way to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment. The way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture.
 

3.  If mold is a problem in your home or school, you must clean up the mold and eliminate sources of moisture.
 

4.  Fix the source of the water problem or leak to prevent mold growth.
 

5.  Reduct indoor humidity to 30-60%. Decrease mold growth by venting bathrooms, dryers, and other moisture-generating sources to the outside; using air conditioners and de-humidifiers; increasing ventilation; and using exhaust fans whenever cooking, dishwashing and cleaning.
 

6. Clean and dry any damp or wet building materials and furnishing within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth.
 

7. Clean mold off hard surfaces with water and detergent, and dry completely. Absorbent materials such as ceiling tiles that are moldy may need to be replaced.
 

8. Prevent condensation. Reduce the potential for condensation on cold surfaces (i.e., windows, piping, exterior walls, roof or floors) by adding insulation.
 

9. In areas where there is a perpetual moisture problem, do not install carpeting (i.e., near drinking fountains, classroom sinks or on concrete floors with leaks or frequent condensation).
 

10. Mold can be found almost anywhere; it can grow on virtually any substance providing moisture is present. There are molds that can grow on wood, paper, carpet and foods. Source: University of Florida

 

Mold: Signs, Types of Mold, Clean-up, Effects on Health, Toxins, Mold Prevention and more http://www.royalroofinginc.ca/mold

 

Mold: Standards, Hazard Recognition, Detection Methods, Control and Clean-up - U.S. Department of Labor https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/molds/standards.htm

Basement Insulation Systems

The Problem
Meeting Energy Star levels of performance is one of the criteria
for constructing homes to Building America levels of
performance – levels defined by the Building Science
Consortium and others. Homes constructed with basements
require some degree of basement insulation to meet Energy
Star. As a result all Building America homes with basements constructed by the Building Science Consortium have basement insulation.


In any event, heat loss from basements accounts for such a significant portion of the energy loss from a home that it is clear that a home with a basement must have basement
insulation to be called “energy efficient.” Additionally, in many jurisdictions, basement insulation is a building code requirement.



Source: Building Science Corporation