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Getting a Grip on Mold and Dry Rot

It is one of the dreaded discoveries of remodeling to open up your floor or wall to find dry rot and mold. Not to mention the many people who have suffered health consequences caused by the growth of mold in their environment. Despite the attention brought to mold in recent times, mold has been around for centuries. A far-reaching problem, there are over 100,000 species of mold and over 1,000 common in this country. With many health issues to consider preventing the problem has become a large concern to both homeowners and contractors.

The key to preventing the occurrence of mold and dry rot is moisture control. Leaky plumbing can be a big contributor to dry rot over time, and moisture causes the growth of mold spores. The following tips are aimed at controlling the occurrence of these conditions within your home:

  • Proper ventilation. One of the largest contributors to dry rot and mold problems is condensation. Vent appliances that produce moisture and increase humidity, such as clothes dryers, stoves, and gas heaters to the outside. Install bathroom fans or open the window when showering; and use exhaust fans or open windows whenever cooking or dishwashing. Positive pressure ventilation is another technique that is helpful. This process draws outside air through the attic with the use of a fan placed at a vent and creates positive pressure to circulate it around the house, replacing stale air. This ventilation reduces humidity, condensation, and the growth of mold.
  • Insulating. Hire an insulation contractor to cover cold surfaces such as cold water pipes to help keep the house properly insulated. This will encourage a higher inside temperature, which discourages mold growth, and will help to conserve energy.
  • Air Circulation. Installing ceiling fans will promote air-circulation. In more humid regions, installing a whole-house humidifier can be advantageous.

So what steps can be taken when building or remodeling? If planning a more extensive remodel or new-building project, new products are being developed to ward off dry rot and mold problems.

  • Steel construction
  • Concrete walls
  • Mold resistant sheetrock
  • Polyethylene plastic/thermoplastic rubbing flashing panels for plumbing, electrical, gas, or HVAC lines.

Working with one of our certified contractors will ensure that all of the components of your project are properly constructed to keep moisture out, and to include proper vapor barriers. Proper prevention, or repair of an existing problem, can save you countless headaches in the future.

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