Mold

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Moisture and mold

I have seen what appears to be mold growing on the surface of some painted concrete masonry in our basement, especially in low-light areas. Is concrete masonry such as this particularly susceptible to mold growth? More

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Reasons for seals

Some architects provide a membrane or seal to isolate the masonry cavity from the jambs of windows. What is the purpose of the seal? Is it required by codes? More

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What caused the mold?

Our firm recently tuckpointed a hotel in the Chicago area that was constructed in the late 1960s. The walls were brick veneer with 4-inch concrete block backup. There was a 1 1/2-inch air space between the brick and concrete masonry. There were steel hat channels filled with batt insulation onto which gypsum wallboard was attached on the interior face of the block wall. Rooms throughout the complex were similarly constructed.In conjunction with tuckpointing the building, interiors of the guest rooms were renovated. There was considerable mold growth in the rooms two years following the work. The mold appeared to be growing on the paste of the vinyl wall covering. The problem was by far the worst on the south and west elevations. The interior walls of the rooms were painted prior to the renovation.Do you have any ideas about what may be causing the problem? Is the vinyl wall covering the culprit? More

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Reason for stains

We built a large wood frame residence with a brick veneer just outside of Philadelphia. The exterior wall is brick veneer with generally less than a 1-inch cavity, building wrap, OSB sheathing, 2 x 4 studs with batt insulation, 6-mil poly vapor barrier, and an interior drywall.One year after completion of the house, the owner noted that the wood base around the first floor was warped in many locations. When we removed the warped base, we noticed considerable mold growth on the surface of the gypsum wallboard. We opened up the wall in an attempt to determine the source of this moisture.We expected to find stains on the OSB sheathing. Instead, we discovered only stains on the top surface of the 2 x 4 plate and the bottom of the studs. Based on the pattern of moisture staining, it appeared water was flowing off the 6-mil poly vapor barrier.The problem is primarily occurring on the first floor, but there are also some areas on the second level. There are no reported leaks in the basement or on the ceiling in areas below the staining on the second floor. In all cases, the problem is occurring where the exterior surface of the wall is brick masonry.The problem is generally much less severe below windows than it is in blank areas of the wall. The windows are vinyl with integral flanges that were integrated with the building wrap. It does not appear that the windows are a contributor.The worst damage occurred on the half of the south elevation where the lawn extends to the face of the building. The other half of the south elevation, where there is a patio up to the edge of the house, does not seem to have the same magnitude of problems. The concrete foundation rises approximately 4-inches above the top of the grass, so groundwater should not be a problem.What is causing this problem? More

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Preventing moisture problems

I am building a garage in Mobile, Ala., for antique cars. The garage will be air conditioned during the summer and heated in the winter. It will be kept dry with dehumidifiers during the summer. The construction will be brick veneer with wood stud backup. The backup will be fiberboard sheathing with wood studs, filled with batt insulation, and gypsum wallboard on the interior. Should I install Tyvek on the exterior face of the fiberboard and a polyethylene vapor barrier on the interior face of the studs? To match the design of the house, there will be very short roof overhangs. Will this construction detail present a problem? More

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Molding

How to protect your company from unnecessary callbacks because of water penetration. More

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Mold and Mildew Problems

An older masonry building near Chicago developed mold and mildew problems when gypsum wallboard and furring strips were placed on the interior. The interior surface of the gypsum wallboard drywall was covered with vinyl wall covering. More

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