More than ever, mold prevention is a paramount concern for contractors for three very good reasons:
Mold can irreversibly damage construction materials, the building's contents and even its structural integrity
To avoid the headaches and expense of mold infestation, builders should follow best practices to prevent mold from getting a foothold in their project. More importantly, they need to possess the knowledge and means to remediate any mold problems that do develop.
Whether mold problems are actually on the rise in new construction or the heightened awareness of mold has led to more complaints, builders need to protect their customers and businesses by employing mold preventive practices during construction. Here are a few tips provided by professionals to keep mold out of your projects:
Don't import mold problems: Conduct a visual inspection for mold on the building materials brought into the structure, and clean or treat any suspected mold growth. Pressure treated lumber, which often arrives damp at the job site, has been cited as a mold source when used inside.
For drywall and wood paneling, install at least 1/2" above the floor to prevent any liquid on the floor from soaking in and wicking up.
Caulk between the floor trim and floor to prevent the small spills on the floor from entering the wall cavity, especially in high-moisture environments such as bathrooms, kitchens and basements.
Spray the underside of floor cabinets in bathrooms and kitchens with an antimicrobial spray or lacquer before installation to reduce the penetration of moisture into them in damp or wet conditions.
Consider using extruded foam insulation over crawl spaces and in below-grade spaces because it holds less moisture than fiberglass insulation.
Avoid carpeting in below-grade spaces and damp, moisture-rich environments because carpeting provides the perfect conditions for mold growth and is difficult to remediate, if not impossible.