Speaking of Mold

mold remediationMold produces tiny spores to reproduce itself. Mold spores waft through the indoor and outdoor air continuously. When mold spores land on a damp surface they begin digesting whatever they are growing in order to survive. There are molds that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, and foods. When excessive moisture or water accumulates indoors, mold growth will often occur, particularly if the moisture problem remains undiscovered or unaddressed. “There is no practical way to eliminate all molds and mold spores in the indoor environment; the way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture!”, as stated on the EPA website.

For Columbus Ohio residents, Molly and Brian Falkner, they had just moved into their new home 9 months ago and began having allergic reactions, asthma, and other respiratory issues. After about two months living in the home they started to notice mold growth on their items in the basement and after four months started to notice mold growth along the baseboards. Their main concerns are air quality and structural issues. All symptoms are most likely due to heavy moistures behind the walls of their finished basement.

New homes built in the fall or winter months are part of a process called quick drying. This process will cut drying time for the slab of a home so they can speed up the process to frame in the home. Many builders will use desiccant dehumidifiers and keep the temperature around 70 degrees with large heaters. If not done properly then the slab will not cure appropriately causing the slab to pull away from the foundation, crack, or flake leaving the opportunity for water penetration. Even more dangerously the structure of the home could be compromised. Many people are becoming victims as this has become a growing problem. Please have an engineer present when your foundation is being poured and have everything inspected from a third party that is not associated with the contractor.

If you are encountering similar issues as stated above this may be due to wicking caused by the slab not curing properly.  This issue will allow moisture and water through the gaps. As the foundation settles the wicking will increase and worsen over time as gaps in the foundation will get larger. The only way to address Molly and Brian Falkner’s issues and to ensure air quality and to remove the moisture would be to install interior drains to remove all water from underneath the slab. A simple solution, but can be very costly as there could be underlying issues to having proper drainage.