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Palm Tree

06:01AM | 04/08/03
Member Since: 04/07/03
1 lifetime posts
Bvhvac
I have a home at the North Carolina coast built to code in 1999. I have just learned there was a vapor barrier used on this spec house and I have detected minor moisture on the drywall around receptacles. The exterior of the house is covered with hardi-plank siding. How do I correct this problem before it gets extremely serious?

Thanks!
Palm Tree

LDoyle

03:12PM | 04/08/03
Member Since: 06/03/01
327 lifetime posts
Modern homes are better sealed against air infiltration to improve energy efficiency. This means that the air in the house gets pretty stale and humid unless some action is taken to vent out the stale air and introduce 'fresh' air. It has been proven that indoor air can be many more times more polluted than the outdoor air. The result of these better sealed homes is an alarming increase in health problems as well as serious mold problems. The solution is to install a heat recovery ventilator that vents stale air while bringing in fresh outside air and exchanging the heat (or cool) as the new air is introduced. Not a cheap solution but one that all newer better sealed homes should have.

Lawrence

10:07AM | 04/12/03
Member Since: 11/14/00
333 lifetime posts
LDoyle is correct that as modern homes became more and more insulated from the outside to save energy and keep pollen outside, they inadvertantly trapped air problems inside that used to vent out through inefficient windows, doors, and walls.

Here are three easier solutions than a complete upgrade of your ventillation system. First, a dehumidifier can help eliminate your mold problems. Now that homes trap air inside, they often get more humid than the outside. Air conditioners act as dehumidifiers, but that still leaves the wintertime. A neighbor of mine had major mold problems that she could nto figure out. She borrowed my dehumidifier, and was amazed at how much moisture it constantly sucked out of the air. Her mold problems (mostly the smell) disappeared after a short while.

Second, using air filters also helps flter out impurities, which can include mold spores that germinate into mold. Even that Sharper Image Ionic Breeze silent air purifier works. Some of the Ionic Breeze units come with UV lights that kills spores more than just collecting them.

Finally, keeping your house clean also is more important than ever. I'm not trying to offend or presume your home is filthy :-); even superficially "tidy" homes can develop mold, whereas many "untidy" but clean homes have no mold troubles. Clean with disinfectants and bleach to kill mold and mold spores to prevent them from germinating and developing.

The problem is not that you aren't cleaning your electrical sockets enough, but that you might not be eliminating mold spores that roam through the air until they reach and land on a spot (like your walls and outlets) that is ideal for germinating into mold. Dehumidifying reduces the ideal conditions by eliminating the humidity mold needs to grow, and filtering and cleaning with bleach can help reduce the amount of mold spores flying around unsuspectingly in your home.

[This message has been edited by Lawrence (edited April 12, 2003).]

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