September is Mold Awareness Month: A Great Time to Evaluate your Home
During “National Indoor Toxic Mold Awareness Month” in September, CertainTeed Corporation would like to encourage homeowners to take a step back and evaluate the potential for mold growth in their homes. Established by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the purpose of Mold Awareness Month is to educate homeowners about the negative financial and health-related effects of indoor molds and toxins.
The occurrence of mold growth can be disastrous. According to the Insurance Information Institute, water and mold damage cost insurers approximately $2.5 billion annually. Mold can be prevented and treated by paying attention to the details of a home, in its design, construction and maintenance.
Mold or fungi are microscopic organisms that play a key role in the decomposition of leaves, wood and other plant debris. Although helpful in nature, the presence of mold in the home can be harmful to structural components, as well as home occupants. When excess moisture accumulates indoors, mold problem areas will develop. Depending on the sensitivity of the occupants, mold exposure can cause symptoms ranging from eye irritation, wheezing and nasal congestion, to more serious respiratory ailments. There are molds that can grow on wood, paper, carpet and food. All mold needs to grow is a wet surface and an organic food source.
According to the EPA, the only way to control indoor mold is to control moisture levels in a home. A good first place to look is the interior walls of a home, specifically the insulation and gypsum board. Fiberglass provides excellent insulating performance that does not absorb moisture. In addition, DryRight™ fiberglass insulation
from CertainTeed helps prevent moisture from entering the wall cavity while also allowing moisture to escape, providing greater protection against mold and mildew. DryRight is faced with CertainTeed’s patented MemBrain™ - The Smart Vapor Retarder and Air Barrier Film
that changes its permeability based on wall cavity humidity conditions to vent moisture from homes or impede its entrance.
Water can enter the home from many sources, mainly by leaking or seeping through the floors and walls. Mold- and moisture-resistant gypsum board is another building material that can help fortify a wall assembly’s defense against mold. In response to mold concerns, CertainTeed developed its innovative ProRoc® Gypsum Board with M2Tech™
. Utilizing a water-resistant core and moisture and mold-resistant paper facing, the gypsum board provides enhanced protection against mold growth. The M2Tech platform achieved the highest rating possible in independent testing for mold resistance, and it is specially formulated for use in all stages of finishing.
Homeowners can minimize the risk of mold by keeping these tips in mind:
• Fix any water leaks.
• Clean and dry any damp furnishings within 24 to 48 hours to prevent mold growth.
• Clean hard surfaces with water and detergent. Dry completely.
• Prevent condensation on cold surfaces (i.e. walls, pipes, roof, floors) by adding fiberglass insulation.
• Do not install carpeting in areas where there may be a perpetual moisture problem in a home.
• If constructing a new home, ask your builder about products that minimize the potential for moisture and mold growth, such as DryRight and ProRoc with M2Tech.
• Use dehumidifiers and air conditioners, especially in hot, humid climates to reduce moisture in the air.
• Pay special attention to carpet on concrete floors. Carpet can absorb moisture and serve as a place for mold to grow.
• Use exhaust fans in bathroom and kitchens to remove moisture to the outside.
To schedule an interview or speak to an expert, contact Mike Loughery of CertainTeed Corporation at email@example.com or 610-341-7328. About CertainTeed
Through the responsible development of innovative and sustainable building products, CertainTeed has helped shape the building products industry for more than 100 years. Founded in 1904 as General Roofing Manufacturing Company, the firm’s slogan “Quality Made Certain, Satisfaction Guaranteed,” quickly inspired the name CertainTeed. Today, CertainTeed® is North America’s leading brand of exterior and interior building products, including roofing, siding, windows, fence, decking, railing, trim, foundations, pipe, insulation, gypsum, ceilings and access covers.
Headquartered in Valley Forge, Pa., CertainTeed and its affiliates have more than 6,000 employees and more than 65 manufacturing facilities throughout the United States and Canada. In 2009, CertainTeed was named ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, a national award that recognizes environmentally responsible corporations. The group had total sales of more than $3 billion in 2008.