To be green, homes must be dry and mold-free

You can’t build green without also building dry.

You can’t build green without also building dry.

(NewsUSA) — You often hear the term “green building” as homebuyers seek to purchase homes that are built using recycled materials or that use less energy.

Recycling and energy-efficiency are important goals, but they must be pursued in a way that preserves your home’s ability to manage and repel moisture. Energy-efficient homes often trap unwanted moisture. Some renewable building materials aren’t durable enough to be sustainable.

So, how do you build green and dry? According to The Responsible Solutions to Mold Coalition (RSMC), a consortium of building materials companies and associations, including USG Corporation, National Gypsum and American Gypsum, building green homes means designing, building and maintaining them in a way that keeps moisture at bay. Damp homes not only deteriorate more quickly, they also create an unhealthy environment that can become moldy and attract insects and other vermin.

Here are some helpful hints to make sure your home stays dry:

• Avoid complex roof designs that trap rainwater in valleys that do not drain.

• Never install wet building materials — they should be protected from the elements before installation.

• Flashings must be installed around all doors, windows and chimneys to drive moisture outside of the building.

• Only install drywall once the home has been closed in, and give joint compound enough time to dry before it is painted or covered.

• Be sure that there is adequate ventilation in your home. Energy-efficient homes can trap moisture, which leads to mold.

• Bamboo flooring is abundant and renewable, but bamboo’s not highly durable. For a truly green floor, choose more durable materials, like ceramic tile.

• Select the right type of wallboard for high-moisture rooms like kitchens and baths. Generally, cement board or boards that combine fiberglass and cement are best for applying ceramic tile. Tile grout allows water intrusion, which can lead to mold.

For more information on these and other mold-resistant building tips, please visit Also, a copy of a free brochure on mold-fighting tips is available by e-mailing