Mold resistant insulation is critical if you live in a hot and humid area. Summertime is when a lot of homes become overrun by mold. Not only can they be unsightly, they can also be harmful to your health, causing allergic reactions and respiratory illnesses. Molds can also produce mycotoxins which can lead neurological disorders. If you live in a place where it frequently rains during the summer, you need to realize that leftover moisture is the biggest cause in allowing mold to form and grow. In addition to moisture, molds like to live in dark places, particularly basements, bathrooms and kitchens. Symptoms caused by mold can include headaches, itchy eyes, migraines, sinus problems and constant sneezing. Below, I will provide some tips on how you can find mold resistant insulation for the summer months ahead.
The first thing you should look for in mold resistant insulation is whether or not it contains fungicide. Fungicide basically restricts mold growth and prevents it from spreading. Nu-Wool insulation is one brand that contains fungicide which is approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Thus, not only does it prevent fungus growth, but it is harmless to the environment.
In addition to containing fungicide, Nu-Wool insulation is boron-based, which gives it an extra boost in resisting mold. The boron-based insulation also makes an exceptionally strong flame repellant, helping to prevent fires in your own home. This is especially important if your house is made of wood, rather than brick.
Moisture Resistant Insulation
After purchasing an insulator containing fungicide, you now need to try and control the moisture levels in your house. The most common causes of an increase in the moisture level are leaks. After a heavy rainfall or flash flood, it is imperative that you check the roof, bathroom, kitchen and the basement to make sure that there are no excessive leaks. There are a couple of insulators that are capable of absorbing water and evenly redistributing it on the wall so that it evaporates quickly.
Home Insulation Companies
In addition to the Nu-Wool insulation, there are two other companies that produce good mold resistant insulation.
Johns Manville (JM): A Berkshire Hathaway company owned by investor Warren Buffet, JM has a high reputation amongst homeowners and home builders. Their fiberglass insulator is particularly effective in inhibiting mold growth. If you go to their website you can also find a list of places where you can buy their insulators.
Icynene: Based out in Los Angeles, Icynene has been insulating homes for more than 20 years. Icynene insulators are particularly effective in reducing moisture on the roof and airborne moisture within the walls. In addition to absorbing moisture, Icynene insulators also reduce air movement in the basement and attics. By cutting off the air movement, these insulators can prevent a whole host of different molds from breeding in your house.
Mold and Moisture
Depending on the local climate, the maximum humidity level in the house should be about 50%. Anything higher can allow for the perfect breeding grounds for mold. Keep in mind that even if it doesn't flood or rain in your area, moisture is created every time you do the dishes, wash your hands or take a shower. A 15 minute shower will add almost 2 pounds of moisture to your house. If you leave your windows open or if your house suffers from holes and cracks, moisture can slowly drift in from the outside. When humidity starts to rise, keep in mind that wood, papers, beds, sofas carpets and clothes will start to absorb more and more moisture.
If you follow the tips outlined above, you will have no trouble finding mold resistant insulation.