Banner for LabNotes
From Lab Notes
Contact Information
Forest Products Laboratory
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI 53726-2398
Phone: (608) 231-9200
Fax: (608) 231-9592
Email

 

You are here: FPL Home  / Information Products & Services  / Publications

Requested Product

Title: Occurrence of Mold in a Two-Story Wood-Frame House Operated at Design Indoor Humidity Levels

Source: United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory, FPL-GTR-186, October 2009

Author(s)Carol Clausen; Jessie Glaeser; Samuel Glass; Charles Carll

Publication Year: 2009  View PDF »

Category: General Technical Reports
Associated Research Project(s):   FPL-4723-1

Abstract: Mold growth was observed in limited areas in a two-story contemporary wood-frame house during the seventh heating season of operation at or near design indoor humidity levels. The house was in a cold climate (Madison, Wisconsin). Humidity levels were estimated as being exceeded in one of 10 homes at this location. Moderate amounts of window condensation were observed during each of the seven heating seasons. Areas of observed mold growth were limited to the lower extremities of windows (near the lower edge of glass panes) and the edges of lower panels of a wood panel entry door that was not equipped with a storm door. Mold growth was also present in sprayed-on cellulose insulation in close proximity to the rim joist (board) in the basement, although this mold was not visible unless the insulation was disturbed and was probably present during previous heating seasons. Mold from these locations was cultured, isolated, and identified morphologically or by DNA sequence. Seven genera of common ascomycetes and deuteromycetes were detected, all of which are commonly associated with indoor air. Penicillium was the most common genus, with at least six different species. The greatest variety of genera (five) occurred in samples taken from interior wood millwork (the edges of panels in the entry door and from a wood window sash). Only two genera were found in a sample taken from the interface between the rim joist board and cellulose insulation. Total spore counts taken in April revealed that on the first and second stories, mold spores were less prevalent than in outdoor air but that mold spores were more prevalent in the basement than in outdoor air.

Keywords: Wooden-frame houses, health aspects, molds, wooden buildings, indoor air pollution, spores, indoor air quality, relative humidity, humidity, condensation

File size: 2,505 kb(s)

Date posted: 10/06/2009

This publication is also viewable on Treesearch:  view
RITS Product ID: 32814
Current FPL Scientists associated with this product (listed alphabetically)
Clausen, Carol A.
Supervisory Research Microbiologist
Glass, Samuel V.
Research Physical Scientist
 

Additional items that might interest you
View the video celebrating FPL's 100 years of public service in 2010, from the producers of the Greatest Good....view

Research Highlights from FPL....view

Termite Eradication: A search for the Holy Grail.... view

Moisture Management in Residential Construction Series videos...view

Wood Floor Systems in Residential Construction Series videos....view
- FPL's Mission and Strategic Plan -

FPL's mission is to identify and conduct innovative wood and fiber utilization research that contributes to conservation and productivity of the forest resource, thereby sustaining forests, the economy, and quality of life. ... ..more »

- FPL Research Emphasis Areas -
Advanced Composites

As an integral part of the FPL mission, we improve the long-term sustainability of our Nation's forests by creating valuable composite products from biobased materials ... ..more »


Advanced Structures

The FPL has been in the forefront of wood-frame housing research since 1910 and has long been recognized as a world leader in such housing-related areas as engineered wood ... ..more »


Forest Biorefinery

We all know the compelling reasons that the United States needs to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels. Historically, the greatest increases in energy demand have been for transportation fuels ... ..more »


Nanotechnology

A leader in wood products research for over a century, the FPL is positioning itself to become the lead Federal research facility for the application of nanotechnology in forest products ... more »


Woody Biomass Utilization

Forests in the United States contain a substantial amount of small-diameter, overstocked, and underutilized material.FPL research projects are exploring the potential of the small-diameter ... ..more »