Breaking Molds Grip on a Home


Walls may be alive-and not with music. Mold spores growing in a home can cause allergic reactions in people, their pets and their kids. Fortunately, it can be easy to banish mold from a house.

The issue of mold continues to be an important topic to builders, homeowners and governmental agencies. It has reached an even higher level of awareness, as plans unfolded for rebuilding the Gulf Coast. Unfortunately, there is much confusion concerning mold and effective solutions for preventing it.

Experts say the best way to avoid mold in a home is to control moisture. In the summertime, when humidity is highest, this often means running air conditioners or a dehumidifier.

Here are some more things to do to avoid mold in a home:

Keep kitchen and bathroom windows open, or use exhaust fans to move moisture outside.

Make sure a clothes dryer is vented to the outdoors.

Dehumidify the basement; the floor and walls can be a source of moisture buildup.

Similarly, be sure the attic is ventilated.

Reduce the potential for condensation on cold surfaces by adding insulation around windows, piping, exterior walls, roofing and floors.

Act quickly if a basement or crawl space floods; both in terms of cleaning up and preventing future flooding.

Mold-resistant materials play an important role in minimizing mold growth. However, unless mold-resistant products are installed in homes and buildings that are designed, built and maintained properly, they offer little protection against mold.

To help fight mold, the Responsible Solutions to Mold Coalition (RSMC) was launched recently through a grant by USG Corporation, a leading building products manufacturer.

RSMC is an industry wide coalition formed to communicate accurate information to both the construction industry and homeowners about how to control moisture, and thereby control mold in commercial and residential construction.