Part three of a three part series
As I hinted to in an earlier post, reducing the number of mold cases in both new and older buildings will require a multi-prong approach. First, we must consider the construction process when evaluating the strategies that might be used to combat mold in our structures. Then, the building’s envelope design; and finally, the materials chosen.
Considerations for New Buildings:
- Construction Process: Procedures must be in place to ensure building materials remain dry. These procedures must be part of a complete plan providing instructions to avoid introducing moisture into building materials. This needs to be done when; there is a threat of wet weather, pipe failures, and/or operations that could introduce moisture to unfinished/unprotected areas and materials. Efforts must be taken to train personnel involved with the construction process to prevent mistakes that may cause damage and create conditions conducive to the future threat of mold. Sequencing of the construction operations should be very carefully thought-out. This is in part, to prevent disturbances of systems, or materials, that were installed by crews that were involved in creating a tight, water resistant environment. The proper sequencing of construction operations would go a long way in preventing compromising a good water-resistant design.
- Design: Designers need to know how to make the building envelope as impermeable as possible to moisture. Selection of the right system and materials for the unique type of exterior needs careful evaluation by a projects Architects and Engineers. The materials for the interior should pass through a rigorous evaluation as well. The material chosen should be such as to inhibit mold growth. Another aspect of interior material selection process would be using elements that prevent condensation build-up.