As building methods and products evolve, building science has become a complex learning process with regard to materials and how they interact in the building envelope. As energy costs continue to rise, the trend is to build structures as “tight” as possible to provide an energy efficient environment. Unfortunately, ventilation to deal with naturally occurring indoor humidity and air quality was an afterthought. Other issues involve modernized architecture which is much more ornate and detailed placing greater demand on construction crews to keep moisture out.The proper use of vapor retarders versus vapor barriers invarious climates is also brought into question. At this time, building codes prescribe only two approaches to address moisture control: vapor barriers and venting attics and/or crawlspaces. These components lend to an increase in the perceived mold problem.
EPS insulation is a closed cell foam that offers a high degree of dimensional stability under moisture exposure. Because of its closed cell structure it delivers excellent resistance to moisture absorption by submersion in water and most moisture gains are either surface or interstitial and have little effect on thermal performance. Avoidance of continuous exposure of building envelope components to liquid water is a fundamental design objective. Proper management of moisture vapor depends on the knowledge of how moisture properties relate to the design and how they interact in actual assemblies not simply whether a permeability value is high or low.
As demonstrated by recent testing, expanded polystyrene rigid foam insulation is a non-nutritive source. Mold is as common as the air we breathe. With thousands of different types of molds, it is one of the oldest natural occurring organisms on earth. As a living organism, mold needs oxygen, organic material and water to grow. Media hype and litigation have increased scrutiny and misperception of mold in building structures.To reduce the risk of mold in buildings, proper design, product choice and good construction practices are important factors to consider.
The construction industry has begun to reexamine existing practices to avoid and prevent mold. A feat that is near impossible since the only way to completely eliminate mold would be to remove all oxygen from a structure which would render the building uninhabitable.
For more information on how Drew Foam Company can help with the mold problem and what we can do with our foam give us a call today!
*Article copied from http://www.epsindustry.org/sites/default/files/EPS%20Insulation%20Mold%20Resistance.pdf
*Copyright ©EPS Molders Association 2004The EPS Molders Association publishes technical bulletins to helpinform building professionals on the performance characteristics ofexpanded polystyrene (EPS) building products. The informationcontained herein is provided without any express or impliedwarranty as to its truthfulness or accuracy.SGS U.S. Testing Company, Inc. Report No. 110170 ( July 2004 )Common Indoor Mold Strains Expanded Polystyrene S