Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Prevent Mold in Your New Green Home

Mold and mildew can not only cause structural problems in a home, they are the cause of many illnesses and allergies – making them one of your home’s worst enemies. Cleaning and getting rid of mold can be a very difficult, expensive, and time consuming project. If you’re building a new energy efficient home, an important consideration in its construction is controlling moisture to prevent mold and mildew buildup.

There are two types of moisture that can enter a home: bulk moisture and vapor moisture. Bulk moisture can get into a home around windows, doors, and leaks in the roof, as well as from condensation from pipes and ducts. Vapor moisture forms as a result of cooking, showering (yes, those long, hot showers), laundry, changes to the humidity level in the home, and just general living.

How do green homes manage moisture? A few ways are by having:

  • A well-designed floor plan and careful placement and orientation of the home on the lot to take advantage of solar access and shading;

  • Energy efficient insulation system to keep the house warm in winter and cool in summer which heps reduce condensation and mold growth;

  • Well-sealed, energy efficient windows and doors;

  • Good ventilation with heat recovery ventilation (HRV) units and extraction fans in the kitchen and bathrooms.

Moisture control starts with the green home design. Talk to an architect about your plans to build a healthy, energy efficient home for your family and build a new home that manages moisture and prevents mold!