Managing Moisture in Post-Hurricane Rebuild
A wall-to-wall suite of cutting-edge insulation and drywall products from CertainTeed is helping to alleviate moisture concerns and establish a healthy indoor environment for Sunset Green Home, a post-hurricane rebuild that is striving to become the first LEED Platinum certified home in Southampton, N.Y. to take advantage of the town’s newly adopted green building property tax incentives.
Once a charming 1940s cottage resting five feet above sea level, Sunset Green Home was damaged by Hurricane Irene in 2011 and decimated by Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Faced with rebuilding, homeowner Kim Erle, a LEED AP, set out to build a home that could stand up to future weather events while also creating a safe, healthy environment for her family.
“We were concerned about resiliency, obviously, because we had the experience of losing our previous home in Hurricane Sandy. We were concerned about durability because we’re on a body of water. And we are very concerned about moisture,” Erle said. “We also wanted to build a home where our environmental impact and our use of energy is much lower than most homes would require. As it turns out, Sunset Green Home is projected to use 40 percent of the energy that a typical home of its size would.”
Due to its coastal location, Erle wanted to take careful precautions to control moisture in the home. She says mold was visible in the walls and floorboards when the remains of the home were demolished. With wet coastal conditions, Erle wanted to make sure the new house was would have a strong defense against mold growth conditions.
Knowing that moisture in the walls would be unavoidable, Erle worked with her team to develop a complete wall system that would help minimize these issues in the future. As a first step, Erle specified mold prevention spray to be applied to the home’s exterior framing. Backed by a 25-year warranty, the prodcut is a topical coating that prevents any future mold growth from taking place.
In addition, closed cell spray foam insulation was applied underneath the house to form a tight air barrier that helps prevent moisture from entering the home. In the roof rafters, open cell spray foam provides R-38 thermal performance.
To complete the wall assemblies, Erle specified three different high performance drywall products: AirRenew Essential Indoor Air Quality, M2Tech Moisture & Mold Resistant and SilentFX sound reducing drywall.
“It was very important for us to include building technologies that support healthy indoor air quality,” said Erle. “While we were working on this project, I had an acquaintance fall ill because of the indoor air in his new home. He had a doctor tell him not to spend another night there until they could address the toxicity issues in the house. So that was certainly on my mind when selecting AirRenew for our home.”
All interior materials used on the rebuild are also GREENGUARD Gold Certified for low chemical emissions, meeting stringent standards for improving the quality of the air in which the products are used.
For more information, visit www.CertainTeed.com/FollowTheProject.