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Free Encyclopedia of Building & Environmental Inspection, Testing, Diagnosis, Repair
BUILDING DAMAGE ASSESSMENT & REPAIR
ALLERGEN TESTS for BUILDINGS
ASBESTOS IDENTIFICATION IN BUILDINGS
ATTORNEYS and EXPERT WITNESSES
BIOLOGICAL POLLUTANTS in the HOME - EPA
BLACK MOLD, HARMLESS COSMETIC
BLACK MOLD, TOXIC & ALLERGENIC
BUILDING DAMAGE ASSESSMENT & REPAIR
BUILDING ENTRY for DAMAGE ASSESSMENT
CARPETING & INDOOR AIR QUALITY
CARPETS & PADDING ODORS IN BUILDINGS
CHIMNEY INSPECTION DIAGNOSIS REPAIR
CRAWL SPACE SAFETY ADVICE
DIRT FLOOR MOLD CONTAMINATION
DIRECTORY of MOLD / ENVIRONMENTAL EXPERTS
DISINFECTING BUILDINGS with BLEACH
DUST SAMPLING PROCEDURE
BUILDING DAMAGE ASSESSMENT & REPAIR
DRINKING WATER - EMERGENCY PURIFICATION
DRINKING WATER EMERGENCY SOURCES
EARTHQUAKE DAMAGED FOUNDATIONS
EFFLORESCENCE SALTS & WHITE DEPOSITS
ELDERLY & VETERANS HOME SAFETY
ENVIRONMENTAL HAZARDS - INSPECT, TEST, REMEDY
FLOOD DAMAGE ASSESSMENT, SAFETY & CLEANUP
FLOOR & SUBFLOOR MOLD, HIDDEN
FLOOR TILE ASBESTOS IDENTIFICATION
FOUNDATION CRACKS & DAMAGE GUIDE
FREEZE-PROOF A BUILDING
GAS EXPOSURE EFFECTS, TOXIC
HEATING OIL EXPOSURE HAZARDS, LIMITS
HEATING SYSTEM INSPECT DIAGNOSE REPAIR
HEATING SYSTEM ODORS
HOME INSPECTOR DIRECTORY
INDOOR AIR HAZARDS TABLE
INDOOR AIR QUALITY & HOUSE TIGHTNESS
INDOOR AIR QUALITY IMPROVEMENT GUIDE
INSULATION INSPECTION & IMPROVEMENT
LEAD POISONING HAZARDS GUIDE
LEGIONELLA LEGIONNAIRES' DISEASE
Legionella BACTERIA & HVAC Equipment
METHANE GAS SOURCES
MILDEW REMOVAL & PREVENTION
MOBILE HOMES, DOUBLEWIDES, TRAILERS
MOISTURE CONTROL in BUILDINGS
MOLD ACTION GUIDE - WHAT TO DO ABOUT MOLD
MOLD APPEARANCE - WHAT MOLD LOOKS LIKE
MOLD APPEARANCE - STUFF THAT IS NOT MOLD
MOLD ODORS, MUSTY SMELLS
MOLD TEST METHODS, ACCURACY
MOLD TEST PROCEDURES
MSDS MATERIAL SAFETY DATA SHEETS
MVOCs & MOLDY MUSTY ODORS
MYCOPHOBIA, STAINS MISTAKEN for MOLD
MYCOTOXIN EFFECTS of MOLD EXPOSURE
ODORS GASES SMELLS, DIAGNOSIS & CURE
OIL TANKS INSPECT LEAK TEST ABANDON REGS
OZONE MOLD / ODOR TREATMENT WARNINGS
PAINTS & COATINGS ODORS IN BUILDINGS
PARTICLE SIZES & IAQ
Particulates & Allergens Indoors
PLUMBING INSPECTION DIAGNOSIS REPAIR
RENTERS GUIDE TO MOLD & IAQ
ROT, TIMBER ASSESSMENT
ROOFING INSPECTION DIAGNOSIS REPAIR
SAFETY for BUILDING INSPECTORS
SAFETY for ELECTRICAL INSPECTORS
SAFETY for FLOOD DAMAGE ELECTRICAL INSPECTORS
SAFETY for SEPTIC INSPECTORS
SEPTIC BACKUP PREVENTION
SEPTIC BACKUP REPAIR
METHANE GAS HAZARDS
SEPTIC SYSTEM INSPECT DIAGNOSE REPAIR
SEPTIC & CESSPOOL SAFETY
SEPTIC SYSTEM FLOOD DAMAGE
SEWAGE BACKUP, WHAT TO DO
SEWAGE BACKUP TEST & CLEANUP
SEWAGE BACKUP PREVENTION
SEWER GAS ODORS
SINKHOLES, WARNING SIGNS
STAIN DIAGNOSIS on BUILDING EXTERIORS
STAIN DIAGNOSIS on BUILDING INTERIORS
STAIRS, RAILINGS, LANDINGS, RAMPS
VENTILATION in BUILDINGS
VINYL SIDING or WINDOW PLASTIC ODORS
VOCs VOLATILE ORGANIC COMPOUNDS
VOLTS / AMPS MEASUREMENT EQUIP
VOLTAGE MEASUREMENT METHODS
WALL CONSTRUCTION BARRIER vs CAVITY
WATER BARRIERS, EXTERIOR BUILDING
WATER ENTRY in BUILDINGS
WATER PUMPS, TANKS, TESTS, WELLS, REPAIRS
WELLS CISTERNS & SPRINGS
Wind Damage to Roofs
WINTERIZE A BUILDING
WOOD SHAKE & SHINGLE ROOFING
Mold resistant construction practices: clean up existing mold, repair & build to avoid future mold problems: this article describes how to prevent mold growth in buildings. We discuss priorities of action to avoid indoor mold contamination after building flooding or wetting from roof or plumbing leaks.
We distinguish between harmless cosmetic mold and mold that needs to be removed, and we outline both construction and building maintenance details that will help prevent future mold growth in a building.
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All mold is everywhere, all the time, according to one of our mold mentors, an experienced mycologist. So how do we prevent a mold problem in a building? We avoid or quickly correct conditions that invite problem mold colonies from growing indoors.
In areas subject to high humidity, wet soils, rain, freezing weather, or other conditions that encourage high indoor humidity, building leaks, poor building ventilation, or other conditions that tend to produce indoor mold and its potential harmful effects and high costs, it is possible to reduce the chances of a future mold problem.
BUILDING FLOODS - Building Leak or Emergency Flood Response Procedures to Avoid Mold
Here are our recommendations for emergency response to building floods, burst pipes, sewer backups, roof blow-offs or other sudden catastrophic soaking of buildings.
These suggestions are based on 30 years of experience in construction, construction inspection, and our indoor air quality and mold investigations and laboratory testing. Additions, corrections, and content suggestions for this list are invited.
Preventing indoor mold by keeping outside water out also means proper construction of all exterior components, roofing, siding, windows, doors, trim, steps, patios, exterior light fixtures, even downspout straps, to keep water out of building walls and cavities.
See vapor barriers for a discussion of vapor barriers behind vinyl siding. The importance of flashing and house wrap on conventional construction pales next to the importance of property detailing when problem-prone building exteriors such as EIFS Synthetic Stucco are used since if workmanship is not exactly correct with those materials leaks into the building cavities trap water and often lead to costly damage, rot, or mold.
See Exteriors, Landscaping, & Siding - Inspection, Repairs, Product Failures for a discussion of exterior building materials and defects.
See WATER ENTRY in BUILDINGS.
See Mold proof drywall ? You Must Be Kidding!
at Detecting and Correcting Attic Condensation and Preventing Ice Dam Leaks in Buildings
and see our discussion of bathroom ventilation fans, ducts, and indoor moisture control
at Bathroom Ventilation.
Crawl space ventilation and dryout steps are discussed at How to Dry Out a Crawl Space.
Also see VENTILATION in BUILDINGS - our home page for this topic.
How to move furnishings or possessions from a flooded home to a new or temporary location
If you are moving items out of a home that has been flooded and if that building has become visibly mold-contaminated, there is a significant risk that you will be bringing mold-contaminated dust or even active mold colonies from the flooded building into the new one.
Pressure Treated lumber" which is sold as resistant to rot and resistant to wood destroying insects is very often not only wet when purchased, but is often mold contaminated with several species of Penicillium sp. or Aspergillus sp. We confirmed this condition by a survey of building materials at several lumber suppliers in New York, using tape samples of visible mold on the surfaces of these products.
When using pressure-treated lumber for interior framing, clean off any visible mold. Simple power-washing would suffice. This step is not necessary and would be inappropriate for the same lumber when used outdoors, such as for a deck or an entry stair.
But inside, such lumber may be used for sill plates or in some cases I've seen it used to re-frame a rotted floor over a wet crawl space. Importing a large Aspergillus sp. colony on the floor framing surface over a crawl space provided an immediately-detectable high level of airborne Aspergillus sp. in the room above this area, as these spores move easily in convection air currents moving from the crawl area up through the building.
As long as we are discussing not bringing mold into a building, it's important to warn against unnecessary expenses cleaning up "cosmetic-only" molds such as black mold commonly found on kiln-dried lumber which has been exposed to wetting in transit or storage.
Usually this is a cosmetic-only mold in the Ceratocystis/Ophistoma bluestain group. However in a few cases where this "black mold" on lumber was on wood framing later exposed to flood basements or crawl spaces, I've also found problematic mold growing mixed with this cosmetic inhabitant.
This list based on a shorter EPA list, with additions and edits by the author.
-- Initial Source: Mold Prevention Tips U.S. EPA.
MOLD RESISTANT CONSTRUCTION - OSHA Advice
The following mold resistant construction advice is from OSHA Guide to Workplace Mold.Moisture control is the key to mold control. When water leaks or spills occur indoors - act promptly. Any initial water infiltration should be stopped and cleaned promptly. A prompt response (within 24-48 hours) and thorough clean- up, drying, and/or removal of water-damaged materials will prevent or limit mold growth.
Mold prevention tips include:
Questions That May Assist in Determining Whether a Mold Problem Currently Exists
Always consider consulting a health professional to address any employee health concerns.
Continue reading at ACTION GUIDE - WHAT TO DO ABOUT INDOOR MOLD or select a topic from the More Reading links shown below.
Suggested citation for this web page
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about how to prevent mold growth on or in buildings, building surfaces, building materials, and building contents
Question: Best plan for removing mold on wood flooring and ceilings & preventing its reappearance
Our builder is constructing a log cabin for us during the hot, moist summer months. The roof has not been fully completed so the interior structure has been exposed to many afternoon rains (as of August 15, 2011).
Tongue and groove eastern white pine flooring provides the flooring for 2nd floor as well as ceiling for 1st floor. Both sides of the T & G will be visible in the completed log cabin. Dark staining and spotting from mold/mildew growth has appeared on the T & G flooring in many, repeat...many, places and needs to be addressed in a timely and correct manner.
The metal roof will be installed in one week. Windows and doors are not installed yet. What is your recommendation as to the best procedure and plan of action to remediate this unsightly, unhealthy, and disturbing occurrence? - Brenda Eller
Reply: After Building Dry-In, Use Sanding, HEPA Vacuuming, Media Blasting, Use of Clear Fungicidal Sealants & Floor Coatings to remove mold and prevent future mold growth
Brenda you're right that white pine T&G flooring easily supports mold growth, particularly when wet and before it has received any finish coating.
MOLD CLEANUP - MEDIA BLASTING along with some photos of what an impressive job that method can perform.
Question: how can we prevent mold growth in timeshare units located in the Caribbean?
Hello, we are a timeshare company based in the Caribbean. The area is extremely humid thus we have a lot of mold issues. Are you aware of any remedy/product available to prevent mold from growing also on lampshades and wall paintings?
All our lampshades become moldy after a period of time. We were wondering if it exist any type of spray that can act as a coating.
Thank you for the information you can give us. - D.C.
Reply: recommendations for preventing indoor mold in a hot humid climate & for minimizing the risk of mold damage or hazards
A competent onsite inspection by an expert usually finds additional clues that help accurately diagnose a problem with indoor moisture and moisture control - the gating factors in the mold growth problem you describe. Our photo (above left) illustrates several types of buildings located in a hot humid climate. We did not find significant mold contamination problems in these structures, as I explain further below.
Because all mold is everywhere all the time, when the indoor environment is particularly friendly to one or several mold genera/species that like to grow on common building materials and surfaces (drywall, carpets, furnishings, painted surfaces, lampshades, wall paintings), it will grow there.
What those building and building-contents loving molds need are food, air, and water. Of those three, the most effective approach, as it protects so many materials against mold growth, is to stop building leaks and keep indoor humidity levels down below 50% (perhaps even 40% in some cases).
If you do not use indoor cooling and/or dehumidification, then indeed what's left is to
Watch out: There may also be health risks to some of your occupants, particularly those with asthma, mold allergies, the elderly, infants, or people with compromised immune systems.
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