Your New Home Have Water and Mold in its' Walls?
A Few Candid Observations from Miracle HomeBuilders Founder
years, I have never met a builder who would purposely build
a new home that would invite water and mold into their wall
system. I invite you to pickup a copy of the Star Tribune
article (Minneapolis-St. Paul) available at our models entitled
Owner of Newer Homes Face Water Damage Risk that gives evidence
- despite good intentions - many builders are building homes
that do have water an mold in the walls! When asked about
his potential problem, most builders may answer to the effect
that "we've been building homes for XX years and we just
don't have these kind of problems he may have. When home occupants
continually get sick, the occupant may not even imagine the
mold in the air can be a major contributor.
WOULD THEY KNOW?
Unless the builder is returning to the homes 2 to 4 years
later and performing mold air tests (or dismantling walls)
how can a builder know? The builder usually has no real idea
of what problems he may be causing by his method of construction.
Has the builder ever had an independent third party inspection
done? Does he design his homes specifically to use methods
to avoid water intrusion? If you ask the builder about wall
water and he gives you a puzzled look, is this really the
builder that you want to entrust to your family's health?
Hopefully, this won't be the case.
NOT ROCKET SCIENCE
Understanding why homes get mold inside walls is not
really complicated. Water enters in only two possible ways.
Either in liquid form from the outside (rain seepage) or from
the inside of the home due to sweating or condensation. Simply,
a glass of iced tea placed onto your picnic table on a 90
degree day soon has a puddle beneath it. If you replace the
glass with a foam coffee cup, the puddle (condensation) disappears.
Condensation always forms on the warmer side of a barrier
when cold is on the opposite side. This is why windows may
sweat on the interior of a home on a very cold day. Likewise,
this is indeed what is occurring inside a wall when it is
very cold outside.
behind this phenomenon changes when you home is built like
the foam coffee cup. When you have enough insulation foam
board (R7 or more) on the homes exterior, and you build the
frame of 2x4s, this allows the heat in the home to fill the
wall cavity evenly. This also puts the dew point (the temperature
at which moist air becomes liquid) outside of the wall itself.
Unlike 2x6 walls that are not able to be as evenly filled
with interior heat, the 2x4 wall outperforms the 2x6 wall.
The two critical elements are using 2x4s (not 2x6) and using
an R7 or better exterior sheathing (see our separate wall
brochure on the Dowâ Intelligent Wall system).
In construction today, there are many great products
that are being improperly used. While OSB (strand board) is
great for unheated garages, roofs and floors, it's a bad idea
for living walls. Putting house wraps over OSB is becoming
a common "bad idea". House wraps do not stop mold.
Mold is the enemy and knowledge is the answer. Best advice: