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Controling Mold During construction

Controling Mold During construction

Controling Mold During construction

Im working on a project that got caught in the rain.
The GC failed to properly close in the work area and saturated the building floors and walls. This job is replacement of exixsting roof structure, so the sheetrock and ridgid insulation was saturated. How can we be protect from mold growth.

RE: Controling Mold During construction

The way to 'protect' the project from mold growth would have been to keep the rain out, which your GC failed to do.  Now, what you can do is try to remediate what damage has been done, and attempt to slow or stop whatever mold growth may already be occuring.  

This has become a hot topic in the last few years, and there are many restoration companies which specialize in such services.  My engineering firm has been involved in many such projects.

They are companies who can perform drying services.  You will likely have to expose some areas of the walls to determine exactly what is going on in there.

RE: Controling Mold During construction

I do not claim to be an expert on this, but I'll give it a shot.

I think the two factors that allow mold to form are time and moisture. If the current percentage of moisture in the surrounding air is considerably less than that of the structural elements, then we can "kill two birds with one stone" by exposing the structural elements to the air ASAP. "Give it an airing" as they say. This will let the moisture escape, thus removing the breeding ground for mold, and it will lessen the time factor for exposure to moisture.

Keep in mind the cellular nature of wood; if there is moisture trapped in the wall and floor finishes, the wood members will continue to draw moisture from them until they are separated from the wood.

That being said, there may have already been enough time and moisture to allow mold to form. As the previous post mentioned, you can only confirm this visually. Once the mold is visually confirmed... I do not know of an alternate solution than to replace the affected members.

RE: Controling Mold During construction

You will get plenty of search engine hits on "bleach" and "mold", just keep in mind there is dispute regarding the effectiveness of bleach.


I consider "mold" to be the contemporary "asbestoes". Yes, they are both capable of being dangerous, but the risk is exaggerated.

If HVAC is operational, use the AC to pull as much moisture as possible out of the air.

If you think a material is retaining water, remove it.

Along the way, seek counsel of your lawyers, they should want to know how you are handling this, and I assume your liability insurer does, also.

Anyway, don't panic. Just be willing to remove the damaged sheetrock, and while the insulation is exposed, any insulation that is wet.

RE: Controling Mold During construction

Wow.  I'm stunned at the following comment:

I consider "mold" to be the contemporary "asbestoes". [sp] Yes, they are both capable of being dangerous, but the risk is exaggerated.

The risk isn't exaggerated if your life is shortened by asbestosis (as was my father-in-law's) or if your young child ends up in ICU as a result of exposure to toxic mold - as has happened to two of my clients.  The comment was callous, uncaring and very inappropriate.

These subjects are a long way from expertise in computers.  I suggest that you stick to what you really know.

Please see FAQ731-376  by VPL for tips on how to make the best use of Eng-Tips Fora.

RE: Controling Mold During construction

Amazing what YOU could find by searching on "hype", followed by either "mold" or asbestos"


Not all mold is dangerous, some say that the killer mold isn't likely to be visible to the eye. Not all asbestos needs to be ripped out.

Just because it's "mold" or "asbestos" isn't a guarantee of lethality.

Focht3, just how far back does YOUR memory go?  How about the hype over "missing children"? Yes, some are truly missing, and others are pawn in custody battles.

I was just trying to make a point that the media tends to blow things out of proportion. I apologize for failing to stress that point.

If it took you a month to respond to this thread, you can't be that worried about my remarks, so just calm down and get on with your life.

RE: Controling Mold During construction

When you can't argue the point, try to change the focus...

Focht3, just how far back does YOUR memory go?  How about the hype over "missing children"?

What do missing children have to do with asbestos or mold?

My memory goes back quite a long way.  I remember the days when Johns-Manville claimed that asbestos did no harm under any circumstances, and had "scientific proof" to back it up.  And attacked the scientists and doctors that began to raise concerns about the possible health damage that could result from exposure to asbestos - even in small doses.  I was already out of school - and working - when the asbestos abatement effort was in full swing.  The sub-discipline 'environmental engineering' dealt with sewage treatment in those days -

And what about the tobacco companies?  They did the same regarding tar and nicotine, with their 'experts' arguing that there was no scientific proof of any health risk from the use of tobacco.  And lead in paint?  The lead mining companies, paint manufacturers, etc. tried to argue that lead was not a concern long after the health risks of lead paint were clearly known.  Do you wish to argue that the risks of lead are overblown, too?  How about Love Canal?  Was that hysteria, as well?  The list is pretty extensive - but I haven't got time to discuss every environmental issue.  It's easy to bash the claims of risk or harm; but don't tell me that the hazards don't exist.  They do.  Perhaps not in every circumstance, but I believe the risk does exist.  

Is mold as bad as lead, nicotine, tar, xylene, etc.?  I don't know.  But I would suggest that you don't, either.  And I know real people whose physicians believe their children have been harmed by mold.  A little girl in Corpus Christi, and twin boys in Houston.  I understand that all three spent significant time in ICU, and the only reasonable cause of their illnesses was toxic mold.  And a number of adults have also been affected -

And in terms of relevant experience: I worked on one of the original SuperFund sites, and did research on well materials and technologies to permit successful extraction of MEK, toluene, xylene, methyl chloride, styrene tar, etc. from a contaminant plume within shouting distance of one of the richest estuarine environments in the Gulf of Mexico.  And I directly supervised the lab permeability testing for the first (and perhaps the only) slurry trench fluid and backfill to use attapulgite instead of bentonite.  All of that work was accepted by the EPA -

And regarding the time lag: I don't subscribe to every fora; I happened upon this one earlier today.  Your insinuation of a lack of interest in the topic is simply wrong.  The truth is that I wasn't aware of the discussion.  Period.  I found it - by accident - when researching the 33 separate message threads that you have responded to.  Only one of the message threads you have posted to seems to be related to computers.  (You don't seem to have started any message threads of your own.)  I was trying to find/understand your area(s) of expertise because some of your comments in other threads suggest a serious lack of relevant experience or knowledge.  It seems odd to me that you don't participate in the computer-related fora.  Why?  

And what do computers have to do with this subject?  What is your relevant experience and credentials?  This topic is a very long way from your indicated area of expertise -

And what's with the just calm down and get on with your life comment?  Why not stick to the issue at hand?  Afraid to discuss the issues directly?

Please see FAQ731-376  by VPL for tips on how to make the best use of Eng-Tips Fora.

RE: Controling Mold During construction

Mold certainly is an issue and not taking the propoer steps to prevent it can be severe. On our projects we rutinely hire a consulting Industrial Hygienist to sign off on the structure before we close in. Typically we have dehumidifiers on site prior to and during sheetrock.

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