How Could a Newly Constructed Home Contain Mold?

3/27/2018 - East Tex Eco Services

Is it possible for a newly-built house to have mold? Yes, if any of the building materials were moldy, then a contamination was effectively built into the home.



We have actually seen this scenario play out. We also know a homeowner who recognized mold on the framing of his house during construction and recently called us in to sanitize the wood before the construction continued.



The wood in this particular house was dirty in some places and moldy in other areas. Yet other boards, 2 x 4s, 2 x 6s, and decking were totally clean. We suspect some of the wood was stacked outside, leaving it to get exposed to dirt and water.



Water in wood will create a fertile ground for mold growth. Also, plain old dirt on lumber is not ideal either because the dirt can contain other microbes.



We use a proprietary, antimicrobial spray to sanitize areas containing mold. It is not just the surfaces that are affected. Mold grows inside materials as well as on the outside. The spray treatment soaks in to reach all the mold.



Sometimes, we have found mold creeping out from newly-installed reclaimed wood in homes. Still, especially since Hurricane Harvey, we are seeing lumber that was left outside showing up in newbuild homes.



“A lot of the 2 x 6s and 2 x 4s are very moldy. You can distinguish the mold from dirt,” East-Tex Eco Services president Marc Patel said. “You really shouldn’t use dirty wood either because that can hold all sorts of micro-organisms and stuff like that. But, for sure, you don’t want to use moldy wood. It should be dry.”



Another problem with wet wood is it could be susceptible to warping. You will want to ask your contractor to demonstrate that the wood is fine for structural purposes.



As for mold and mildew, do not allow the job to proceed without sanitizing and drying out the wood. Mold is not a superficial, cosmetic problem. Mold has legs, if you will, that drive beneath the surface, especially on porous material such as wood and drywall.



If walls are sealed around moldy framing, the mold will continue to thrive.



Steps for Avoiding Mold in Newbuilds:



Don’t stack up a bunch of building materials on-site where they could be exposed to rain and humidity for prolonged periods. This is an especially important consideration in Southeast Texas and other regions with heavy humidity. See if the builder can stage the deliveries of lumber.



As for rain exposure during the framing, that may be unavoidable. But, as the house construction is staged out, there will likely be a roof over the frame before the walls are build out, which gives the framing wood time to dry out.



Most importantly, inspect the framing, staircases, decking, etc. before the contractor installs the walls. If you see mold, it should be properly treated by East-Tex Eco Services before the construction proceeds.



In addition to framing, East-Tex Eco also cleans roofs, siding, brick, stone, masonry, driveways and cedar fencing.