New Construction Mold: A Risk to New Homes

New Construction Mold: Preventing Indoor Air Problems

New construction mold is not extremely common but it does happen for a couple reasons. One of the main reasons is that wet or damp materials are used to construct the building and are never properly dried.  A few years ago we encountered a new building with mold all over the freshly installed drywall.  What happened is that the drywall had been slightly damp prior to being installed and the humidity in the space was not controlled or regulated.  Not very many days went by before they noticed the mold beginning to form. All of the drywall was eventually removed and disposed of.  Tens of thousands of dollars were lost as a result.  
During a heavy rain season like we have had this year, new construction can become a real challenge.  Without very many dry days to do things like roofing or installing siding the process becomes pretty slow.  In addition, exposed wood framing and materials have been left exposed for weeks or more until the rain subsides. When the weather finally clears up the rush is on to get the construction completed as quickly as possible. At this point in the project is where the contractors may begin to notice mold growth on the 2×6 walls and sheeting/siding if they take the time to notice. Unfortunately, most of them will not take the time to do so. The risk of mold only increases if the humidity level remains uncontrolled. Many times the walls are sealed with the installation of insulation and drywall prior to the HVAC units being installed, which can exacerbate the problems since there is no dehumidification of the environment prior to the walls being sealed.

About The Mold Expert – Ben Fetzer

Ben Fetzer with FreshStart Restoration Mold Remediation Company

Ben Fetzer, is the founder and owner of FreshStart Restoration of Kansas City. He is passionate about informing and educating you the customer. By providing you with insider industry information, he empowers you with knowledge and tools to properly compare companies and spot unethical sales practices. Which unfortunately is far too common in the mold remediation industry. In this video, he will share stories, tips, and insider industry information to help you make the right decision for your mold problem! Ben is an experienced mold expert with over 13 years in the industry! He has received official training and certifications from the IICRC, ICRA, and NORMI for mold removal, mold testing, mold inspections, indoor air quality, and water damage restoration. His history of high integrity and honesty has made him a leader in the mold remediation industry with award-winning customer service! Providing customers an outstanding customer experience has produced a consistent history of 5-Star customer ratings since the company began in 2008!

Video Transcript for New Construction Mold:

Hey good morning Kansas City it’s Ben Fetzer with FreshStart Restoration. I just wanted to shoot a quick brief video about a topic that’s been on my mind. It’s called new construction mold. New construction mold can occur no matter how nice the house you’re building no matter how much money you’re spending. If he even sometimes with competent contractors you have the timing of the construction phase and the timing of heavy rain in wet weather. Those two kinds sometimes happen and create the perfect storm where there’s a probability of some fungi growth some mold growth on your structure that you’re constructing during the different phases of construction. So let me just throw out a couple scenarios or explanations for why you can have mold growth and then I’ll just summarize by saying you need to go and talk to your contractor and make sure the wood dries out. So why would it even happen?

Well it can happen for basic reasons like I mentioned earlier you’re framing a house you’ve got wood structure you’ve got wood floors sub floors that are harmed when you have heavy rain for several days like we’ve had last week here in Kansas City and four or five days the contractors aren’t even able to work. And then they are able to work and they get it right back to it. They start grabbing wood from the pile the stack outside dragging it in. That stack of wood number one has gotten wet and just sat there. So in between the boards of that stack of lumber, there’s definitely a few boards that probably will have some mold. And a contractor is in a mode of building a house not looking at the wood and so they’re not going to usually notice a little bit of mold growth on those boards.

So they do this and they continue into the phases where the house gets dried and they get a roof on it. They get the windows and doors installed. But then there’s usually a lag between that stage and when they actually get the HVAC system on which is what regulates the humidity in your house. Once you dry it in and seal it in. So the humidity can still stay in that high zone before even after they get the house sealed in from the elements until they get that HVAC on and operational your humidity can climb and stay there until they actually do get that HVAC system in. So in that little window of time you can start to see the mold grow on a sub floor or floor joists or a rafter and if that happens you want to address it before you seal in all the walls with insulation and drywall etc.. So that’s just a little brief example of how you can end up with mold in a brand new residential structure. It can happen in commercial too. But I just wanted to focus on a residential bill for today.

So just to summarize if you are building a house and you know that it’s been raining and you know they’re in the middle of framing your house you don’t have a roof you don’t have the things in place to keep the weather out of the structure. Then go and ask and have a discussion with your builder or General Contractor and insure him and have him ensure you that there are precautions in place they’re going to check the wood and make sure that it doesn’t have a high moisture content that it actually lowered to an acceptable level before they seal the walls. Make sure there’s not any current fungi growth on any of the exterior walls or even interior structure and you feel like your money is going to be well invested and that you’re not going to have problems down the road or you have a current mold problem before the finished construction. So that’s my tip for today. Anybody building a house you can certainly have new construction mold or mold in your new construction. So it’s a good idea to talk with your contractor number one. Then maybe even go and inspect the property and just look at all those areas that could be potentially contaminated before you’re done with that project. So Ben Fetzer with FreshStart Restoration, How you can find us if you have any mold problems whatsoever or just questions about a scenario you’re dealing with. I’d be glad to talk to you and hopefully help you get further down the process of whatever you’re trying to address so have a great day. Thanks for watching and we’ll talk to you soon.