Ways to Prevent Basement Mold in a New Home
A very important thing to do when you are building a house is to find ways to prevent basement mold in a new home.
1) USE PAPERLESS WALLBOARD
Paper-based wallboard carries a host of environmental concerns when used in areas that risk water intrusion and subsequently mold growth. Using a more synthetic wall system or paperless wallboard such as green board or blue board, is preferable in areas such as basements, exterior walls and around plumbing fixtures. Because leaks are sure to happen, eliminating a surface on which mold can grow will prevent future replacements. It is significant to note that even a one-time water damage event can spur toxic black mold throughout a home that has wet sheetrock.
2) Increase Air Flow
Improving the number of air exchanges with specialty heat recovery ventilators or standalone units such as the E-Z Breathe ventilation system will improve airflow and air quality. Builders can install these units to assist with lowering humidity, mold spores, airborne particulates, radon and harmful volatile organic compounds.
3) AVOID CARPETING
Carpets are breeding grounds for molds, dust mites and odors. The presence of these environmental contaminants is not only a concern for crawling children, but for everyone who breathes the air in the home, because these hidden occupants greatly increase the number of airborne particulates. Builders should steer away from carpeting, as even a dirty hardwood floor yields better air quality than a clean carpet. Today’s soft tiles, laminates and engineered woods are also far superior to carpeting and significantly easier to clean.
4) NON-TOXIC SPRAY FOAM INSULATION
Traditional batted fiberglass insulation has been a proven way to save energy with sound insulation principles. However, all too often this insulation absorbs moisture from excess humidity, or through leak in a pipe or the foundation. The fiberglass insulation becomes wet and stays wet. Any oriented strand board (OSB) or sheetrock placed against such insulation will absorb the moisture, leading to decay, mold and insect infestation. It has recently become popular to blow insulation into an attic, causing the detection of a number of elevated fiberglass counts as the particles fall through cracks in recessed lighting or bypasses filtration in the heating, ventilation and air condition (HVAC) system. This becomes dangerous air to breathe, especially for children, who are especially prone to eye, nose and throat irritation from the excess airborne fiberglass. Additionally, many people place their home gym in a basement where ex-posed fiberglass leads to wheezing not from their workout, but from the air they breathe. Using non-toxic spray foam will decrease these airborne risks.
5) USE VOLATILE ORGANIC COMPOUND (VOC) FREE PAINTS
Often a new coat of paint is the least expensive way to turn over a home. But what if the prospective buyers knew about the harmful off-gassing from the traditional latex paints and primers? The first thing expecting
parents do is repaint the new baby’s room. Unfortunately, the known carcinogens may off-gas for several months after the initial application, leading to compromised breathing conditions. To promote a safer environment, builders can feature their paints as VOC and odor free.