Telling the Truth About Mold

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Mold continues to be an important topic to builders and homeowners, especially in light of rebuilding efforts in Louisiana and the Gulf Coast after last year's hurricanes. The Responsible Solutions to Mold Coalition recently formed with the goal of providing the most reliable, user-friendly information on moisture and mold to builders and homeowners.

May 01, 2006

The Responsible Solutions to Mold Coalition recently formed with the goal of providing the most reliable, user-friendly information on moisture and mold to builders and homeowners.

The launch of the RSMC, made possible by a grant from the USG Corp., was announced at the International Builders Show earlier this year.

"While five years ago there was a dearth of information on moisture and mold control, just the opposite is true today," said Frank Nunes of the International Institute for Lath and Plaster, an RSMC member organization. "If anything, the industry suffers from too much information that needs to be evaluated and put into a format that is more useful to both the construction industry and homeowners. That is a role that RSMC hopes to play."

Mold continues to be an important topic to builders and homeowners, especially in light of rebuilding efforts in Louisiana and the Gulf Coast after last year's hurricanes.

"Mold is principally a moisture — control issue. The only way to control moisture and therefore mold is through good building design and construction practices combined with ongoing maintenance," said Donald Mueller, vice president of research and development for USG Corp. and RSMC co-chair.

The RSMC has published a 12-page brochure, "Controlling Moisture Through Better Building Practices," which is available from its Web site, www.responsiblemoldsolutions.org. The Coalition wants its Web site to become a clearinghouse for accurate inform about controlling and preventing mold.

The RSMC's goals for this year include hosting and participating in forums and seminars that would bring experts together to talk about effective new solutions to fighting mold. It also plans to issue a quarterly newsletter.

"We will be at builders' meetings disseminating information and will probably write some white papers," says Johnna Matthews, an RSMC representative.

As of mid-April, the coalition had 13 members representing building industry associations, government agencies and academia. At its initial planning meeting in the first half of this year, a board of directors had been elected and will decide on an operating structure that would tentatively include a standing committee on governance and on scientific affairs. Future goals include participating in industry trade shows to broaden the awareness of the RSMC and recruit additional members.

The RSMC sees its mission as educational and has no plans to endorse products, suggest building code changes or develop independent mold measurement standards. Instead, it will evaluate various technologies without making specific product recommendations and plans to participate in demonstration projects to offer solutions to fighting mold in a variety of settings.

"Everyone connected with the building industry has a stake in making sure effective solutions are embraced in solving this important problem," said Robert Daniels, director emeritus of The Tile Council of North America, another RSMC member organization. "First and foremost, consumers and business owners will be more satisfied with their homes and buildings; builders can avoid expensive callbacks, warranty claims and even litigation; and the financial community can be assured of the long-term security of the investment it underwrites."

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