CertainTeed Insulation, Wallboard Help Manage Moisture in Post-Hurricane Rebuild
Choosing the best wall systems to address mold and indoor air quality concerns was a top priority for sustainability-minded homeowner
(Valley Forge, Pa.) – A wall-to-wall suite of cutting-edge insulation and drywall products from CertainTeed is helping to alleviate moisture concerns and establish a healthy indoor environment for Sunset Green Home, a post-hurricane rebuild that is striving to become the first LEED® Platinum certified home in Southampton, New York to take advantage of the town’s newly adopted green building property tax incentives.
Once a charming 1940s cottage resting five feet above sea level, Sunset Green Home was damaged by Hurricane Irene in 2011 and decimated by Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Faced with rebuilding, homeowner Kim Erle, a LEED AP, set out to build a home that could stand up to future weather events while also creating a safe, healthy environment for her family.
“We were concerned about resiliency, obviously, because we had the experience of losing our previous home in Hurricane Sandy. We were concerned about durability because we’re on a body of water. And we are very concerned about moisture,” Erle said. “We also wanted to build a home where our environmental impact and our use of energy is much lower than most homes would require. As it turns out, Sunset Green Home is projected to use 40 percent of the energy that a typical home of its size would.”
Due to its coastal location, Erle wanted to take careful precautions to control moisture in the home. She says mold was visible in the walls and floorboards when the remains of the home were demolished. With wet coastal conditions, Erle wanted to make sure the new house was would have a strong defense against mold growth conditions.
Knowing that moisture in the walls would be unavoidable, Erle worked with her team to develop a complete wall system that would help minimize these issues in the future. As a first step, Erle specified FortiCel™ Mold Prevention Spray to be applied to the home’s exterior framing. Backed by a 25-year warranty, FortiCel is a topical coating that prevents any future mold growth from taking place.
To insulate the home, Erle chose SMARTBATT™ with MoistureSense™ Technology, the first kraft-faced fiberglass batt insulation to contribute to healthier homes by intelligently managing moisture. Unlike traditional polyethylene vapor barriers that can only block moisture one way, or kraft-faced insulation that can only retard moisture, SMARTBATT adapts its permeability based on humidity levels in the wall cavity to block indoor moisture from entering when humidity in the cavity is low and allows moisture to escape when it senses high humidity that needs to be released. SMARTBATT’s intelligent approach to in-the-wall moisture management lets the walls “breathe” and helps reduce the potential for mold and mildew growth.
In addition, CertaSpray™Closed Cell spray foam insulation was applied underneath the house to form a tight air barrier that helps prevent moisture from entering the home. In the roof rafters, CertaSpray Open Cell spray foam provides R-38 thermal performance.
To complete the wall assemblies, Erle specified three different high performance drywall products: AirRenew® Essential Indoor Air Quality (IAQ), M2Tech® Moisture & Mold Resistant and SilentFX® sound reducing drywall. Comprised of up to 96 percent total recycled content, AirRenew uses first-of-its-kind technology to proactively absorb formaldehyde from indoor air and convert it into safe, inert compounds that remain within the board. M2Tech wallboard features unique technology that combines moisture and mold resistance. And for areas of the home where acoustical control was important, the team installed SilentFX, which achieves a high sound transmission class (STC) rating of 50 and higher. All drywall products are enclosed with 100 percent recycled paper. SilentFX and M2Tech are also treated to provide additional protection against moisture and mold growth.
“It was very important for us to include building technologies that support healthy indoor air quality,” said Erle. “While we were working on this project, I had an acquaintance fall ill because of the indoor air in his new home. He had a doctor tell him not to spend another night there until they could address the toxicity issues in the house. So that was certainly on my mind when selecting AirRenew for our home.”
For bathrooms and other areas prone to excessive moisture, the team installed GlasRoc® Diamondback® Tile Backer, which features an industry-first proprietary Embedded Glass Reinforced Gypsum™ (EGRG™) bonding technology that adds strength, moisture and mold resistance.
All interior materials used on the rebuild are also GREENGUARD® Gold Certified for low chemical emissions, meeting stringent standards for improving the quality of the air in which the products are used.
For more information, visit www.CertainTeed.com/FollowTheProject.
Through the responsible development of innovative and sustainable building products, CertainTeed, headquartered in Valley Forge, Pa., has helped shape the building products industry for more than 110 years. Founded in 1904 as General Roofing Manufacturing Company, the firm's slogan "Quality Made Certain, Satisfaction Guaranteed," quickly inspired the name CertainTeed. Today, CertainTeed® is North America’s leading brand of exterior and interior building products, including roofing, siding, fence, decking, railing, trim, insulation, gypsum and ceilings.
A subsidiary of Saint-Gobain, one of the world’s largest and oldest building products companies, and celebrating its 350th anniversary, CertainTeed and its affiliates have more than 5,700 employees and more than 60 manufacturing facilities throughout the United States and Canada. For seven consecutive years, the company has received top honors from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for its contributions in protecting the environment and was most recently the recipient of the 2015 ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence Award. The group had total sales of approximately $3.3 billion in 2014. www.certainteed.com