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In the natural world mold serves a valuable role, helping decompose dead organic matter: fallen trees for example. Inside the home, however, it’s anything but healthy. Mold produces allergens, irritants, even toxic substances, and can cause serious health problems.
Mold spores can be found almost anywhere; these aren’t harmful in themselves. The problems arise only where they can find a moist place to grow. So, the key to preventing mold? Controlling moisture.
We take care to seal all the wall joints and penetrations comprehensively at Clarum Homes, preventing air and moisture infiltration throughout your entire house – especially in the attic and basement, two common problem-areas for mildew. Interior sealing also keeps moisture from entering wall cavities, where it could become a breeding ground for mold.
Excellent airflow is key to preventing moisture buildup. In a passive, airtight home, it’s especially important. For this, we use the Zehnder Heat Recovery Ventilator System, which not only filters incoming air and recollects heat from used air before exhausting it; it also completely replaces all the air throughout your home nine times each day.
Our homes fight condensation on several fronts. To start, we wrap the house in four to six inches of expanded polystyrene foam, with a 14-inch layer under the concrete slab, insulating you from the temperature variations that encourage condensation in the first place. We install vapor barriers to protect your living space from damp areas, such as crawl spaces. We use high-performance windows that resist condensation. We design the ducts to vent moisture. Finally, with the Zehnder HVAC, you can control indoor humidity, so the air is neither too dry nor too moist.
In short, we stage an effective, multi-tiered strategy to prevent the moist conditions that let mold take root – keeping your home truly healthy.
For more information about mold and mildew in your home, visit the EPA’s guide. You may also want to look at this mold prevention checklist by ENERGY STAR, and, to see some areas where a new home can take steps to prevent mold, view this interactive house diagram by the Responsible Solutions to Mold Coalition.
A healthy home is a mold-free home. Learn how to ensure your home is mold-free and call Clarum at 650.322.7069.
Mold in the house isn’t just a problem for people with allergies or asthma. Stop mold and mildew from taking over your home with these simple steps for removal and prevention.
I would like to know if you build high-performance, net-zero-energy, airtight to at least the PassivHaus standards, superinsulated, balanced HR highly filtered ventilation systems single-family homes that are very simple architecturally (a rectangular box, basically, along the lines of John Bower’s Model Healthy House, 1500 square feet or less). It seems you build all over California, even in the San Joaquin Valley where I live (you’ve done a few projects there). My question is: Price? I have some money, and could borrow perhaps another $100,000-$150,000 on the $575,000 I am realizing on a estate settlement. Also, I am extremely chemically sensitive, and I wonder if you ever had client like me. I am very bothered by both indoor (if any) and (here, especially) outdoor air pollutants. The ventilation system will have to be more sophisticated than any other of the other systems in the house–hundreds of pounds of activated charcoal and HEPA (I know a person who did just that, in Los Altos.) Of course, I would like to be as “green” as possible, but sometimes green does not go together with healthy. I would want to use very water-effiicient stategies such as planting only native, drought-tolerant plants and trees (NO LAWN), a greywater system, and low-flow and water saving appliances.
I would love to move to a cleaner air area, but I can’t afford both the land and the high performance house. Here, at least I don’t have to worry about land, water, or access. I just need the right architects, design-builders, general contractors, and trades who know what they’re doing so I can have a higher quality of life. Thanks for any feedback you can provide and if this is doable.