Record Summer Rainfall Sets Stage for September Mold Awareness Month
5 Tips to combat an abnormally wet summer with innovative home mold prevention strategies
Due to recent record-setting rainfall, many homeowners may now be dealing with mold outbreaks. With September being Mold Awareness Month and winter on the way, now is the perfect time to complete home improvement projects that will help keep interiors dry.
Mold is an ongoing threat to a home’s indoor air quality and a family’s respiratory health. Mold needs four things to grow: oxygen, moisture, food (often the cellulose found in wood and paper) and a temperature between 41 and 104 degrees Fahrenheit. Whenever water is trapped behind walls or paneling, the potential for mold growth is strong.
CertainTeed, a leading North American manufacturer of building materials, offers five tips that help control moisture and maintain a healthy, mold-free home:
Assemble a strong defense from the outside in: It’s easiest to field a strong defense against mold-causing moisture infiltration when planning a home exterior renovation. If new siding is planned, begin with a weather resistant barrier system for long-term performance, enhanced energy efficiency and protection from the elements. CertainTeed® CertaWrap™ house wrap and CertaTape™ products work together to provide a water- and wind-tight, well ventilated building envelope on a home’s exterior, before new siding is applied.
Prevent exterior damage that could lead to mold growth. Inspect the roof for storm damage and patch any leaks. If damage is extensive or the roof has reached its life expectancy, it may be time for a reroof. CertainTeed’s Integrity Roof System® is designed to provide optimum protection from the elements. CertainTeed shingles are manufactured with special adhesive strips that prevent shingle lift and the infiltration of wind-driven rain. Beneath the shingles high-quality underlayments — such as Diamond Deck® and WinterGuard® — provide additional protection against leaks in the roof’s most vulnerable areas. System ventilation products will also circulate fresh air through the attic space to prevent moisture from becoming trapped beneath the roof.
Inspect the grounds and check for leaky windows and pipes. Walk around home exteriors regularly and check for ground water accumulation, as this water will likely work its way inside the home and into the basement. Take steps to drain the water away and waterproof the foundation if necessary.
Reduce existing interior air pollutants – Installing AirRenew® M2Tech® Indoor Air Quality drywall can give homeowners peace of mind. In addition to providing enhanced moisture and mold resistance, it also absorbs formaldehyde, one of the most common airborne volatile organic compounds (VOCs), often introduced through the off gassing of new furniture, paint, carpeting and fresheners; and converts it into a safe, inert compound that is trapped inside the board.
When it’s wet, act fast. If any leaks are found during inspections of roofs, foundations, faucets and pipes, seal them off quickly and clean up any moisture accumulation. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends cleaning and drying areas of the home exposed to moisture within 48 hours. If saturated insulation is found, replace it with new fiberglass insulation.
Even after cleaning and drying wet areas, continue to be sensitive to musty odors. If mold is found on hard surfaces such as tile and counters, clean it off with a solution of water and detergent and dry completely. However, if a major mold problem is suspected, call a certified mold inspector.
For more information about mold prevention, visit www.epa.gov/mold.
For more information about CertainTeed building products, visit www.certainteed.com.
Images, product samples and industry comments are available upon request. To speak to an expert, contact Vicky Gallagher of CertainTeed Corporation at Victoria.M.Gallagher@Saint-Gobain.com or (610) 893-6002.
Through the responsible development of innovative and sustainable building products, CertainTeed, headquartered in Malvern, Pennsylvania, 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 a leading brand of North American 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, CertainTeed and its affiliates have more than 5,700 employees and more than 60 manufacturing facilities throughout the United States and Canada. The group had total sales of approximately $3.3 billion in 2015. www.certainteed.com