BUILDING

10 Ways to Avoid Mold During Construction

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Mold is everywhere Without mold we would not have dirt to grow our food, as mold is part of the decomposition process of organic matter. Mold will grow almost anywhere. The requirements are: Oxygen Moisture Nutrients Temperatures between 40 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit.   Oxygen and temperatures which are ideal for mold are also ideal […]

BUILDING

Hempcrete for Mold-Safe Building?

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There has been lots of discussion in blogs and social media about ‘mold-free’ building and ‘mold-free’ products. Here’s my review of hempcrete.   What is HEMPCRETE? Hempcrete is a mixture of hemp hurds (shives) and lime (possibly including natural hydraulic lime,[1] sand, pozzolans or cement) used as a material for construction and insulation.[2] It is […]

BUILDING

Toxins in Structural Wood Products

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There’s lots of toxins in our environment and lots of misinformation about them -especially the ones found in building materials- on the internet and elsewhere. Air quality can be affected by VOCs (Volitile Organic Compounds). “Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids. VOCs include a variety of chemicals, some […]

BUILDING

Crawl Spaces: Should You Encapsulate & Dehumidify?

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Crawlspaces are really challenging. If you have a crawlspace foundation, you may be wondering if installing a crawl space dehumidifier is enough to keep mold growth away. Or maybe you’re wondering why encapsulation is needed if there’s already a dehumidifier.   Should You Encapsulate? Yes, you have to encapsulate the dirt floor. In some climates, […]

BUILDING

Will Mold-Resistant Materials Stop Mold?

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Materials are always a hot topic when discussing mold. But any materials-only focus when talking mold avoidance is misguided.    Does avoiding bio-based materials ensure a mold-free environment? Commercial buildings are mostly ‘non-organic,’ but more and more steel, concrete and masonry structures are proving to be highly toxic and moldy. Repairs and remediation often costs […]

BUILDING

Spray Foam: Is It Safe?

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All about spray foam Spray foam safety comes down to installation. Proper installation should result in good product that does not off-gas, poor installations can have very toxic outcomes. Instructions for proper installation of spray foam Closed cell foam has some excellent characteristics and can provide important air sealing and insulation properties. I have used […]

BUILDING

Slab Foundations: The #1 Myth in Mold Avoidance

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What’s the #1 myth regarding mold avoidance? Avoid mold problems by living in a home or working in a building on a slab foundation. WRONG! Regarding slab foundations… know that in most parts of the country and the world, slab foundations have foundation walls going down to undisturbed soil and going below the local frost […]