When you move into a new house, many are eager to take in the new structure smell, maybe even the new furniture or carpet smell. Then comes the moldy smell, totally unexpected putting a cloud on your perfect home. The presence of mold is likely to affect your home’s structural integrity and aesthetics. It can also be a nightmare if you have kids or family with a mold triggered allergy.
Current designs and building materials are making new homes more susceptible to mold, but this can be avoided if done right.
Causes of Mold in a New Construction
There is a new trend of building tighter homes usually wish sheet materials such as drywall and plywood. This equates to fewer random holes for air passage. This means that moisture is internally retained for long, creating positive environment for mold growth. This can however be curbed in two ways; controlling the moisture source and structure ventilation during construction, and installing exhaust fans in rooms with high humidity such as the kitchens and bathrooms.
If exposed to rain during construction, it provides the proper food source for mold ( wood and moisture ). Talk to your contractor about plans to cover or provide shelter for the lumber being used in the construction of your new home.
It acquires up to 70% of its strength after 30 days. This time should be allowed for proper drying before installing the interior drywall and flooring to prevent mold development.
mold will occur if done when it’s either rainy or the humidity is above 60%. During proper installation, ensure the drywall joints cure fast to avoid any hidden moisture issues.
Insulating studs and vapor barriers installed before poured foundation dries, hence trapping condensation in the walls.
Lack of Basement Insulation Below First Story Sub Flooring
Talk to your construction crew about maintaining more insulation between your basement and the first floor. This can also help if you want to refinish the basement at a later date, providing insulation for soundproofing, in addition to temperature control.
Preventing Mold in New Construction
Moisture control is the key.
- Proper site selection; a proper site inspection will help in putting in the proper preventative measures before the foundation is laid. High water table areas are less likely to be affected.
- Ventilation; proper ventilation increases the indoor air quality which is vital for inhibiting mold growth. Ideal ventilation is acquired when the internal air pressure is higher than the external air pressure.
- Damp proofing; done by applying a special coating on the foundation walls. Opt for a strong and durable coating as it can be vulnerable during construction.
- Anti-microbial sealing; applying a breathable sealant on porous materials. Prevents mold growth on all surfaces where applied by inhibiting moisture.
New Home Buyer Tips
- Get the house professionally inspected and tested for mold before purchase or signing of the sales contract, even if it is a new construction.
- Keep photograph evidence of any mold spotted during or after construction.
- Ensure the sales contract holds the builder responsible for environmental changes.
- The sales contract should also cover mold removal of damaged items and or areas if needed.
- Schedule an 11 months mold re-check on your new home.
It Can Happen To Anyone
Any home can be prone to mold. The only way to be sure is having a professional do a thorough inspection. It is key to note that cleaning up will not eradicate your mold problem, only fixing the root cause will. Delaying the process on the other hand will only add to the charges, so have your home checked early.