K+BB Collective | The Designers' Corner

Sep 07 2012

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September is Mold Awareness Month!

Did you know that September is Mold Awareness Month? I didn’t, but according to the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI), it is. And to “celebrate,” NARI provided a cautionary tale on mold infestation from association member and award-winning remodeler Brian Jones, president of Jones Design Build LLC in Minneapolis, as well as information on what to look for when looking for mold.

Staining. If you see staining, as Jones’ clients did on their first-floor ceiling (directly under the location of their shower), chances are pretty good that water has been or is present, and when moisture is present, mold can grow. Because drywall and paint are easy to replace, Jones recommends cutting through the drywall to locate the source of the staining.

Odor. Mold can be present without being visible. So if you walk into a bathroom or a basement and smell an odor (okay, laugh if you must) that’s not in the realm of the ordinary (laugh again), you might want to look into it.

Blistering. Peeling or blistering paint can also mean water damage. Also watch out for bulging dry wall and screws and joints that have popped out. All are evidence of wood that has warped from repeated water exposure.

To help reduce moisture, ventilate bathrooms and other areas exposed to water.

Wondering what happened with Jones’ clients? After Jones took down the dryall, they discovered the fiberglass batt insulation in the shower wall area was covered in mold. According to Jones, the shower’s sloped ceiling made installing fiberglass insulation difficult. The vapor barrier between the drywall and insulation was not taped or sealed at all seams, providing an opening for moisture and thus mold growth.

A mold remediation expert was hired to clear the area and remove the mold, and instead of the original fiberglass batt insulation, Jones applied polyurethane spray foam insulation, which “completely fills every crevice and hole.” Although mold growth behind the wall poses less of a direct health risk to homeowners, if left unchecked for years, it can create structural problems, Jones added.

This may all be common knowledge, but in reading the press release from NARI, I flashed back to this kitchen project, which was part of a larger remodel prompted by the infestation of black mold. (Image above shows mold growth in a house flooded during Hurricane Katrina.)

Stay healthy!

—Alice

This entry was posted on Friday, September 7th, 2012 at 6:00 AM and is filed under Green. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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