New Construction Mold: A Risk to New Homes
September 19, 2017 Comments Off on New Construction Mold: A Risk to New Homes About Mold, Construction, House Mold, Real Estate, Top Articles, Videos Ben Fetzer

New Construction Mold: Preventing Indoor Air Problems

New construction mold is not extremely common but it does happen for a couple of 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.

When Molded Building Materials are Used During Construction

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.  


Video Transcript:

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. There is always a probability of fungi or mold growth during construction. So let me just throw out a couple of 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?

Damaged Building Materials

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 subfloors 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 are 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.

Dry In the Structure

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 or after they get the house enclosed from the elements. Until the HVAC system is operational; the humidity can climb and stay there.

Elevated humidity is connected to mold growth. So in that little window of time you can start to see the mold growing on a subfloor 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 the commercial too. But I just wanted to focus on a residential bill for today.

Monitor Builder and Construction Project

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. Make sure they have precautions in place to monitor the building content’s humidity. Verify it is below an acceptable level before they close in the walls. Make sure there’s no fungi growth on the exterior walls or the interior structure.

Closing

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. Just look at all those areas that could be potentially contaminated; before you’re done with that project. So Ben Fetzer with Fresh Start Restoration, moldkanasascity.com. 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. 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.

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About The Author
Ben Fetzer Ben Fetzer, is the founder and owner of Fresh Start 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. By sharing stories and providing professional tips he gives you the ability to make the right decision for your mold problem! Ben is an experienced mold expert with over 15 years in the cleaning & restoration industry! He has received official training and certifications from the IICRC, ICRA, and NORMI. His history of high integrity and superior quality has made him a leader in the remediation industry. Thereby giving customers outstanding customer experience! Which has resulted in a long history of consistent 5-Star customer ratings since the company began in 2008!