Below are some tips and advice concerning insulation and mold mitigation. You'll find short bits of wisdom, quotes from industry experts, and articles from leading publications. If you are interested in speaking with us about how we can help you reduce mold inside your home, please contact us.
It's known that most walls inside buildings are made of paper-faced drywall, and that mold eats paper. So if you take paper out of that equation, the odds of mold occurring within your walls lowers dramatically. We recommend using paperless products for your building materials and insulations.
“No one knows for sure why mold problems are on the rise. Scientists say it could be due to modern construction methods. Newer houses have walls that contain cellulose, where mold can thrive. Because houses today are more airtight, indoor air quality is more likely to affect people's health."
- Rochelle Sharp, from "Mold getting a costly hold on homes"
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A recent study by G. K. Yuill, Ph.D of Penn State University, measured the effect of different types of cavity insulation on the air tightness of a home.
The study, titled, “A Friend Study of the Effect of Insulation Types on the Air Tightness of Houses,” confirmed the findings of earlier studies that showed no significant difference between fiberglass batt and wet spray cellulose insulations in their ability to resist air flow through the wall cavities of a home. Based on the results of the study. Yuill found that it was impossible to determine which insulation material provided a more airtight structure. He concluded that the difference between the two types of insulation had little effect on the air tightness of a home.
For the study, Yuill used two houses of similar size and construction. The drywall on the exterior walls was removed and the existing insulation removed. Each house was insulated with RI 3 fiber glass faced with kraft paper. The drywall was replaced and the air tightness of the houses was measured with a blower door.
The next step was to remove the drywall in the insulation with wet spray cellulose. After the cellulose was allowed to dry (53 days), the drywall was replaced and the air tightness of other house components including ceiling, windows, doors, etc.
A comparison of the air tightness data of the houses with the two kinds of insulation in place showed that insulation had little influence on the air tightness of the houses. Yuill concluded that drywall, and not insulation, was the major barrier to air flow through the houses' walls. Drywall contributes about 77% of the total resistance of the walls, the sheathing and siding about 12% and the insulation about 11%.
The study determined that any difference between fiberglass batt and wet spray cellulose insulations and insignificant when compared to the overall leakage through the other components of a house. According to Yuill, “Small difference in workmanship elsewhere in a house are likely to be more significant than differences in the air permeability of wall insulation.”