September is Mold Awareness Month, a Perfect Time to Consider Indoor Air Quality
(Valley Forge, Pa.) – Mold is one of the top considerations in keeping a home’s indoor air clean and healthy. Exposure to some types of mold can cause health issues such as eye irritation, wheezing and nasal congestion. Though homeowners should always be on the lookout for potential sources of mold growth, rainy fall weather and peak hurricane season on the Atlantic coast make it an important time to ensure a home can stand up to moisture intrusion that can lead to mold problems. To raise awareness and keep these issues top of mind, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) designates the month of September as National Indoor Mold Awareness Month.
As North America’s largest brand of building products, CertainTeed Corporation is home to an experienced team of building scientists who are continually researching how various components work together to keep homes dry and comfortable in all weather conditions. Here are a few tips:
Fix leaks. Homeowners should check for leaky roofs, foundations, faucets and pipes on a regular basis, making sure they aren’t allowing extra moisture to accumulate in these areas. Leaks should be fixed as soon as they are found.
Keep humidity under control. The ideal humidity for a home is between 30 and 50 percent. Relative humidity can be measured with an inexpensive moisture or humidity meter, available at most hardware stores.
Stop mold in its tracks. When building or remodeling a home, or when repairing storm-related damage, consider innovative products such as FortiCel™. When professionally applied to wall studs, wood framing, concrete and floor joists, the protective coating solution helps prevent mold growth on the coating surface and is backed by an industry-leading 25-year warranty. When replacing drywall, look for products that inhibit mold growth, such as CertainTeed M2Tech® gypsum board and finishing products. The M2Tech system is moisture and mold resistant, and is GREENGUARD GOLD certified. These are especially important in rooms, such as kitchens, bathrooms and laundry rooms, where significant moisture may be present.
Remove wet materials as soon as possible. If a home has experienced flooding or other water damage, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends removing all porous items, such as carpet, upholstery, drywall and ceiling tiles within 48 hours. If an area larger than 10 square feet has been affected, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends hiring a qualified mold remediation specialist to help with removal.
Check for odors. If you have had a leak, then the first sign of mold may be musty or moldy odors in the vicinity of the leak. Keep in mind you do not want to sniff for mold, or touch for mold — if you suspect a mold problem contact a certified mold inspector.
Let walls breathe. Often strategies intended to keep moisture out of a home have the unintended consequence of making it easy for moisture to become trapped within a wall cavity, providing sustenance for mold growth. CertainTeed’s innovative MemBrain™ Smart Vapor Retarder & Air Barrier Film not only blocks moisture and air, it is designed to help wall cavities breathe and stay dry by allowing moisture to escape.
Watch for ground water. Checking the exterior of homes regularly will help avoid the accumulation of ground water, which can cause mold. If found, homeowners should route water away using downspouts and re-grade to slope water away from the home.
Partner with a qualified contractor. When taking on any home improvement project, working with a trusted contractor can help homeowners navigate the latest building codes and get the most out of their project. Search customer review websites or use online tools such as CertainTeed’s “Find a Pro” tool to locate credentialed contractors based on zip code, as well as the type of products needed for the project.
Images, product samples and industry comments are available upon request. To speak to an expert, contact Mike Loughery of CertainTeed Corporation at firstname.lastname@example.org or 610-341-7328.
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 100 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, the world’s largest building products company, CertainTeed and its affiliates have more than 5,700 employees and more than 60 manufacturing facilities throughout the United States and Canada. For five 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 2013 ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence Award. The group had total sales of approximately $3.3 billion in 2012. www.certainteed.com