Contractors – Mold

Any home builder knows that mold is everywhere. It is tough to find a carpenter or specialty contractor who hasn’t encountered some mold in the process of doing their job. In the past a contractor would simply remove the moldy material, treat it, or cover it up. With advancements in our understanding of mold, an industry was formed to deal with mold issues. With that, mold certification became available with standards that professionals in the industry should follow. A contractor’s liability increases if he is not certified or does not follow industry standards. If a contractor does not have all of the following, they should hire a professional:

  • Have certification for remediation. (In certain states one must get a special license)
  • Have hepa filtered vacuums and air scrubbers
  • Have pollution damage insurance on your liability insurance policy
  • Have a respiratory protection program that is OSHA compliant

Mold is created when water activity is present. This can be the result of a water source like a pipe burst or roof leak. More often, it is the result of excessive water vapor. Water vapor damage can be prevented with the use of vapor retarders, ventilation, and thermal breaks. This damage is most commonly found in unconditioned attics and underfloor crawlspaces. Often the largest contributing factor is ground moisture evaporation from the soil below the home.

Recently there has been a large increase in mold damage during construction of new homes. This is due to many factors including:

  • Receiving wet and/or moldy framing materials for lumber suppliers
  • Frame getting wet during construction
  • Inadequate ventilation to underfloor crawlspaces
  • Absence of a moisture barrier to cover the soil floor

Below is a link to a presentation that can strengthen a contractor’s mold knowledge:

Contractor’s Guide: To Understanding and Preventing Mold Damage

We also have the following checklist that you can use on your new construction and remodel projects to prevent damage before it starts:

Project Checklist: Preventing Mold in New Construction

Other Useful Links