Mold and mildew inspections, mold testing & sampling and solutions for mold problems and damages are available to the construction trades by Spore°Tech Mold Investigations, LLC, Louisville KY 502-262-2022.
Spore°Tech Mold Investigations, LLC provides consulting, site inspections, air samplings and assessments of mold conditions found on any construction project sites. We also offer guidelines for the containment and removal of mold and conduct follow up final clearance testing to ensure whether or not the remediation workers’ process has been successful.
Don’t “Hide” The Mold
There are but only a few in the construction trades that haven’t at some time or another come across a mold problem. Many innocently disregard the condition or misunderstand the seriousness of its presence to their own health or future effects it can have to others if it is unattended. Exposure to mold can have long-term consequences. If it is not removed and properly cleaned up prior to phased work that would cover and “hide” the mold, it will patiently wait for the conditions that allow it to flourish.
Inclimate weather and wood framed home construction have a way of sometimes setting the stage for emerging mold growth. Emerging mold is the sudden appearance of mold that will grow on wood framing, sub floors, roof decking, etc. that get soaked by rainwater (and even snow).
We were alerted to such a case in 2003 at the site of a new home under construction near Verona, KY off Interstate 71 in northern Kentucky. The homeowners, the parents of a son with asthma, had valid concerns about the emerging mold exacerbating or increasing their son’s health problems after the home’s completion.
The framed home that didn’t have roof decking installed was subjected to a torrential storm. Standing rain water soaked the unprotected framing and sub floor for 24 hours. Mold was evident in multiple locations throughout the house and required clean up and biocide penetrant treatment before construction could be resumed.
The clean up process included the application of a mold encapsulation chemical that prevents moisture from activating mold spores. This ensured that any stray microscopic mold spores left on the wall studs and bottom plates covered up by wall board would not have the opportunity to colonize.
Do NOT Use Bleach in an Attempt To Kill Mold!!
Chlorine Bleach (sodium hyporchlorite) is NOT an effective chemical for killing colonized mold! Numerous state and U.S. federal agencies, including the EPA, recommend the use of it but it is NOT EFFECTIVE for killing mold in building materials (wood, products, wall board, ceiling tiles, etc.). OSHA, another federal agency on the other hand, does not recommend the use of bleach. Detailed information about this exists under the “Chlorine Bleach and Mold” catagory heading on this website.
Mold has been around since the beginning of time and their spores can stay dormant for literally hundreds of thousands of years. Dormant spores found in debris dating 200,000 years old and collected by archaeologists have been successfully cultured and grown. An event of water intrusion and/or a humidity level above 50% in any building or home (old or new construction) will colonize mold from spores (old or new) within 24-48 hours and cause compromised health conditions and immediate cosmetic damages. When left unattended, mold colonization will cause major structural damage.
Financial Devastation of Home Builder
In 1999, Cincinnati home builder, Zaring Homes, built over 40 homes so tightly sealed that moisture problems led to mold infestations. These homes had to be stripped to the studs and rebuilt at a phenomenal cost resulting in Zaring Homes financial devastation.
Wrapped Buildings, Humidity and Mold
Mold infestations appear in residential, commercial, industrial, occupational, schools, hospitals and other venues. It seems, however, that there are higher reported incidences of mold infestations in the residential and home improvement industries where building wraps are used.
Building wraps were introduced as a result of federal energy conservation concerns 30 years ago. A recent study reveals that homes built by older construction methods (pre-1970’s) have a 5x hourly interior/exterior air exchange rate — that is, there are 5 complete exchanges of air per hour in that home due to “loose fitting” building materials joints. The wrapped structure, on the other hand, only has a .35x (less than one) rate of hourly air exchange. The wrapped building is far more energy efficient but prompts the house to “sweat” due to the consequence of trapped moisture. Humidity levels above 50% is the “catalyst” that launches mold colonization.
This is not to imply that wraps should not be used on buildings to prevent mold growth — quite the contrary. It is the opinion of Spore°Tech Mold Investigations that appropriate humidity control systems need to be installed that keep the moisture level inside of wrapped buildings at or below 50%. Integrating appropriate air exchange rates, dehumidification and filtration within the HVAC system may increase energy costs but will provide an indoor environment that minimizes a condition that promotes mold growth. Any increased costs incurred will not negate the greater energy conservation and cost advantages of building wrap use. For further information, contact an HVAC professional with specific knowledge and experience in the various indoor humidity control and filtration systems.
Spore°Tech Mold Investigations, LLC, Louisville KY is available to assist construction, home builder and home improvement companies address mold problems or mold prevention concerns. Mold and mildew inspections, mold testing & sampling and solutions for mold problems and damages are also available. Contact us at 502-262-2022 or email@example.com