By Matthew Power

Pulte Homes is going on the offensive. With growing consumer fears about mold, the big builder recently announced a program targeting indoor air quality.

In partnership with Masco Contractor Services of Florida, the "Environments for Living" construction program will begin with Pulte's Dallas-Ft. Worth division. The strategy: more insulation and high-efficiency HVAC, along with greater fresh air exchange, and better humidity control. The builder expects the systems to add $1,500 and $2,000 to the cost of each home.

"It was a big step for us," Pulte manager Gary Gardner told The Dallas Morning News, "but we think this kind of thing is coming anyway, and we want to step out."

Photo: Don Farrall/Photodisc

Mold-Fighting Tips

  • Direct exterior water away from home.
  • Waterproof exterior of foundation walls.
  • Cover dirt crawlspaces with plastic sheeting.
  • Install adequate exhaust fans in baths and kitchens
  • Use unfaced EPS insulation on inside of concrete foundation.
  • Cover concrete floors with plastic before installing carpets.
  • Use washable, removable carpets on concrete floors.