Mold and Mildew Resistant
Icynene® is an effective weapon in the fight against mold in buildings.
An important consideration for homebuyers is the control of indoor humidity. The ideal humidity limit for houses is between 40-55% depending on the local climate and the time of year. Higher humidity levels encourage dust mites and mold growth while lower levels support the spread of viruses and bacteria. Molds are known to be unhealthy for the occupants and in some cases, rare strains have actually been fatal to young children. Icynene® dramatically reduces the air movement through walls and attic areas to prevent the condensation that presents an attractive breeding ground for mold. With proper ventilation in the home, excess humidity is readily exhausted to the outside.
A lot of the mold and mildew is caused by roof leaks or plumbing leaks. On the other hand there is quite a bit of mold and mildew from moist air leaking into house and hitting cold surfaces. For mold to grow you have to have moisture, air and a food source. If you can eliminate any of that, then you can help control that problem. By sealing the house up, you eliminate a lot of the moisture that can get in.
Sources of moisture in homes
Moisture is generated in the home every day - when meals are prepared, dishes and clothes are washed, by steam baths, whirlpool tubs, showers, aquariums, plants, and even by people breathing. A 15-minute shower can add 1.7 lbs. of moisture to the house; a cord of uncured wood drying out can add 600 lbs. of water; the infiltration of humid air can add 360 lbs. of water a day to a home.
Moisture also enters the home from outside - through open doors and windows and by infiltrating the building envelope. Natural ventilation through cracks, crevices and chimneys will cause some air infiltration, but this is accelerated by makeup air entering the building to replace air that has been "exhaled" by exhaust fans. Infiltration can change the air 24 to 48 times a day, and when air is brought in, moisture comes with it - throwing a tremendous load on air-conditioning equipment. This moisture can amount to hundreds of pounds a day. With 100% relative humidity, clothing, paper products, wood and some textiles can absorb up to 20% of their weight in water.
Condensation is readily visible on windows but also occurs in hidden spaces - such as between walls, in attics and in crawl spaces. These provide an ideal environment of the growth of mildew. By preventing condensation, Icynene® eliminates sweating metal under the roofdeck or airborne moisture inside walls, avoiding problems with mold and mildew.