Fighting Moisture and Mold
Author: John Kaltenbach; Published: Dec 4, 2014; Category: Albuquerque, NM new home construction, Albuquerque, Santa Fe, New Mexico, NM New Home Construction Designs; Tags: Albuquerque, custom home construction, home building, new home builder, New Mexico, NM new home construction, Santa Fe home construction; Comments Off on Fighting Moisture and Mold
Even in New Mexico, no one wants to think about house mold or its underlying cause–moisture. As professional builders, however, we are aware of the dangers created by moisture infiltration and we are in a position to prevent it. That makes it our responsibility to lead the discussion.
Prevention of moisture infiltration–and the mold that can follow it–is a critical objective of green building. Both construction practices and products used in green building are designed to keep moisture in its proper place and to prevent mold spores from settling where they can grow. Such a high-performance home will achieve optimum effectiveness and durability of everything from the home’s structural frame and insulation, to its heating and cooling system, and even most finishes.
A key to managing moisture is to begin with a healthy respect for the nature of water and the dynamics of moisture transmission. Understanding the nature of mold and moisture allows us to find and apply appropriate solutions to direct, vent and otherwise shed moisture from the home. Moisture and mold control strategies…
We use an moisture barrier (also called a housewrap) behind the exterior veneer or stucco which sheds wind-driven rain while venting (or drying out) any moisture that somehow gets past it.
Proper flashing (or sealing) around openings before the windows and doors are installed is essential. This strategy will not be effective unless those units are placed tight and square in their openings.
The roof must be “dried in” with building paper under the shingles or pueblo style roof properly applied to be water proof.
Other common practices include a well-designed and reliable system of canales (scuppers) and downspouts. Attic insulation is used to keep the temperature of those spaces moderate, countering high levels of humidity. Roofs are designed to prevent standing water or ice dams and waterproofing membranes are installed in basements that both seal and insulate below-grade spaces.
Don’t forget, moisture can also be generated inside a home. Cooking, bathing, and laundry can produce a significant amount of moisture vapor (or steam) that will affect finishes and indoor air quality if not properly vented. We specify and install the most efficient kitchen, bath, and laundry ventilation systems to effectively remove moisture from inside the home.
In spite of media hype, the vast majority of new homes built today never experience significant moisture intrusion or dangerous mold growth. That being said, we take the issue very seriously to ensure that our homes meet the highest — and driest! — possible standards of performance for durability and for our owners’ health and comfort.
John Kaltenbach Homes has the expertise to help you with all your homeownership questions. As a homebuilder based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, we set high standards for quality, ethics, skill, and professionalism. If you are thinking about building a home in New Mexico, start with us. Our company is a custom homebuilder and contractor in Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and the surrounding areas. For almost 20 years, we have been known for comfortable, livable homes; and attention to detail in both design and construction, whether the style is contemporary, traditional, southwest or modern. We have the creativity and flexibility to give you what you want, so call on us.