Mold has sometimes been blamed for a wide array of health problems — everything from fatigue to neuropsychiatric disorders — and while experts can't definitively say that mold doesn't contribute at all to these and other more serious illnesses, a recent study sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention doesn't support the association.
The study does say, however, that mold and damp conditions in homes can adversely affect people with asthma and can cause coughing, wheezing, and upper respiratory tract symptoms.
Whether or not people feel their health is affected by mold, no one wants to see it, especially in their homes. And the idea of having to clean up a moldy area makes most homeowners shudder. The first step to eliminating mold is to reduce moisture. From the exterior of the house to the kitchen and bath, eliminating mold makes for a healthier home.
Nylon Board Manufacturing. Made of 100% recycled plastic and nylon materials, Omega Board is one-quarter the weight of traditional backer boards and doesn't produce dust when cut. It contains no asbestos, gypsum, fiberglass, formaldehyde, or silica. When used as a tile or countertop backer, it eliminates black mold, says the maker. The board can be installed using the same methods as with traditional backer board. 507.438.1864. American Standard. Available as an option on all the company's whirlpools, the StayClean system inhibits the development of mold and mildew. AlphaSan, a patented anti-microbial agent, is manufactured into the whirlpool plumbing components. Flushing with bleach and water is still recommended but won't need to be done as often, says the maker. 800.524.9797, ext. 199. www.americanstandardus.com.
Pactiv. GreenGuard RainDrop woven housewrap has unique water drainage channels that move extra water down to the base of the exterior wall. These channels won't crush when siding is fastened over the housewrap, says the maker. When moisture penetrates the exterior finish or condenses on the inside of it, it drains quickly down the drainage panel on the face of the housewrap. 800.241.4402. www.pactiv.com.
Longlac Wood Industries. The DRIcore engineered wood subfloor system is designed for use in finished basements. The system is made up of 2-inch-square engineered wood panels bonded to a rigid, moisture-resistant polyethylene sheet with raised “cleats” on the underside. The cleats create a space for air to circulate, which in turn dries up humidity and condensation, according to the maker. The system can also be used for indoor slab-on-grade installations. 888.566.4522. www.dricore.com.
CertainTeed. The thin MemBrain vapor retarder is made of a polyamide film that changes permeability depending on humidity. As the seasons change, it can go from less than one perm at low humidity to greater than 20 perms at higher humidity. The film allows moisture to evaporate from walls and roofs and is impermeable to organic pollutants and gases. 800.233.8990. www.certainteed.com.
Sto Corp. Sto Guard's three parts work together to form a seamless, vapor-permeable air and moisture barrier for use on sheathing and beneath exterior wall claddings such as brick, wood, cement, masonry, or vinyl siding. The liquid-applied wrap consists of a coating and joint treatment over sheathing that reduces the risk of moisture problems such as decay and mold growth. 800.221.2397. www.stocorp.com.
Grace Construction Products. Designed to protect structures from water infiltration, the Vycor Plus self-adhered flashing membrane now has Ripcord. The cord is embedded in the adhesive layer, and it allows the split of the release paper in half. The flashing is made of a cross-laminated, high-density polyethylene sheet, backed by a pressure-sensitive rubberized asphalt adhesive. 866.333.3726. www.graceconstruction.com.
Foster. 42-42 Mold-Resistant Sealer is water-resistant, dries fast, and inhibits mold and mildew growth on its surface. Made to protect various building products, the sealer is formulated with fungistatic agents and penetrates the material it's applied to, forming a mold-resistant surface. 800.231.9541. www.fosterproducts.com. For more product information, visit ebuild.com, Hanley Wood's interactive product catalog.