Even if mold isn’t top of mind among consumers anymore, the issue lingers among insurance carriers and mortgage lenders anxious about extending their risk against it. Charlie Perry, a real estate environmental risk management consultant to those industries, decided to confront it head-on with his own home in Chesterfield, N.H.
For the 4,000-square-foot lakeside residence, Perry helped develop and then implemented protocols to stem moisture intrusion and stave off mold growth. With some help from HUD’s Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing (PATH) program, Perry’s house serves as a model for home builders to follow. “Most of it is common sense and the use of mold-resistant products that are already available,” he says.
Perry’s house features paperless, certified mold-resistant drywall; a dual-air moisture barrier and a rain-screen membrane behind the home’s cedar siding (itself finished with a mold-blocking stain); and mold-resistant wall and ceiling insulation—not to mention high-performance building practices that seal gaps and penetrations and properly ventilate the house.
The protocols are destined to become part of an ANSI standard to legitimize them among underwriters and lenders. “We’re now at the point where we can convince insurance companies to cover mold again,” Perry says.