New House Mold Problems Cause Dreams to Become Nightmares
The worst nightmare for anyone and their dream home is discovering new house mold problems. Many times people buy a new house so they have to worry about problems and have the assurance of a warranty. Unfortunately, all too common we are seeing homeowners of new houses deal with nightmare problems and contractors that don’t warrant their work with two increasingly common scenarios.
Builder’s Dissolve their Business Entity after a Subdivision is Completed
We have seen a surge over the last 15 years of builders who strategically close their business entity and establish a new one after a subdivision has been completed. Leaving the homeowners of their newly constructed homes high and dry. The warranty so many were depending on now have become nothing more than a piece of paper. Unfortunately, many of us will spend more time picking out paint colors than we will properly research the company building our home and risking our largest monetary investment.
Builder’s Rush Building After Heavy Rains and Cause Significant Mold Damage
This is another common scenario we see, builders rushing to complete homes after heavy rains and do not allow for the timber/framing to adequately dry prior to sealing walls. This practice will cause significant new house mold growth throughout the “hidden and sealed areas” of the home. Most often it takes years to discover the problem. We highly recommend the application of antimicrobial sealer on all framing and the use of mold resistant drywall throughout the home.
Poor Building Practices Are Becoming Common
In addition, to the two above mentioned scenarios we are seeing a common trend in the building industry of cutting corners and minimizing quality. An recent example of this was a large high-end home in an affluent gated community here in the KC metro area. This property we ended up tearing out approximately 5,000 square feet of mold due to a undetected water leak last winter. It was months before the problem was discovered and significant damage occurred. When you are doing tear out it is the perfect time to see clearly the building practices that were employed. We found many scenarios in this one house of cutting corners and completing construction in a poor manner, however, I am sure not with a reduced price tag. This one house we found the following construction problems even with a high-end builder. All of the following problems lead to moisture, rot and mold problems throughout the house:
- Stucco issues caused significant rot and water damage on the exterior plywood and wall framing
- All ventilation fans were not properly exhausted to the outside and cause humidity to circulate within walls and ceilings leading to mold problems
- Windows were not properly sealed and caulked and resulted in large amount of mold damage and wood rot below windows
- Bathrooms were built with standard drywall vs. concrete or green board. This is especially problematic behind tile work due to the water exposure in a bathroom
- Concrete roof had poor flashing installed and caused water damage on the homes interior walls
Common Areas to Look for New House Mold
- Exposed floor joists in the basement or attic spaces
- Condensation or moisture on exposed foundation, behind vapor barriers or on walls in the basement
- Foundation rim joists (framing meets top of concrete foundation)
- Around and inside wall or ceiling cavities of ventilation fans
- Attic wood surfaces. Check for adequate number of vents, breath ability and all ventilation exhausted to to the outside.
- Sub-floor under carpet and pad, especially on the lower levels.
- Mechanical room. Insure all condensation and drain lines are properly routed drains and no standing water can occur
Whenever buying a new house, it is better to ensure that the house has been monitored closely during and after construction to be able to identify any problems before they become worse. It is vital than a professional inspector looks at all mechanical, electrical and plumbing lines before finishes (i.e. drywall, carpet, flooring, etc) are completed. During the construction of your home it is VITAL to be engaged, present and monitor everything closely. We recommend educating yourself on basic building practices through various online resources. In addition, we recommend the use of quality building materials like mold resistant drywall, to minimize damage.