In the natural world mold serves a valuable role, helping decompose dead organic matter: fallen trees for example. Inside the home, however, it’s anything but healthy. Mold produces allergens, irritants, even toxic substances, and can cause serious health problems.
Mold spores can be found almost anywhere; these aren’t harmful in themselves. The problems arise only where they can find a moist place to grow. So, the key to preventing mold? Controlling moisture.
We take care to seal all the wall joints and penetrations comprehensively at Clarum Homes, preventing air and moisture infiltration throughout your entire house – especially in the attic and basement, two common problem-areas for mildew. Interior sealing also keeps moisture from entering wall cavities, where it could become a breeding ground for mold.
Excellent airflow is key to preventing moisture buildup. In a passive, airtight home, it’s especially important. For this, we use the Zehnder Heat Recovery Ventilator System, which not only filters incoming air and recollects heat from used air before exhausting it; it also completely replaces all the air throughout your home nine times each day.
Our homes fight condensation on several fronts. To start, we wrap the house in four to six inches of expanded polystyrene foam, with a 14-inch layer under the concrete slab, insulating you from the temperature variations that encourage condensation in the first place. We install vapor barriers to protect your living space from damp areas, such as crawl spaces. We use high-performance windows that resist condensation. We design the ducts to vent moisture. Finally, with the Zehnder HVAC, you can control indoor humidity, so the air is neither too dry nor too moist.
In short, we stage an effective, multi-tiered strategy to prevent the moist conditions that let mold take root – keeping your home truly healthy.
For more information about mold and mildew in your home, visit the EPA’s guide. You may also want to look at this mold prevention checklist by ENERGY STAR, and, to see some areas where a new home can take steps to prevent mold, view this interactive house diagram by the Responsible Solutions to Mold Coalition.
A healthy home is a mold-free home. Learn how to ensure your home is mold-free and call Clarum at 650.322.7069.