Impact of Rain on Home Construction - 8 News NOW

Michael Geeser, Consumer Editor

Impact of Rain on Home Construction

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(Feb. 26) -- Forecasters aren't the only ones wondering what the weather will hold for us. Homebuyers are also keeping a close watch on the forecast. Usually a summer shower has little to no effect on construction, but this week is a little different. A steady rainfall and high humidity have changed the conditions allowing the wood framing on homes to dry. What impact that has on the structure of new homes depends on whom you talk to.

It's impossible for homes to stay dry when the only thing standing is the frame. Builders in the Valley admit there is no way to keep homes under construction completely dry. But one framer wants to assure all homebuyers that even if a wet wood stud gets covered over with dry wall, it will dry out.

Richard Thomas of Gary Day Construction says a constant water source is needed for mold to grow within wood, "So if you had a plumbing leak and it's leaking inside that wall, then you could have mold, but with just the moisture that we're getting from the weather, and it got dry walled, eventually its gonna dry out."

But Dr. Linda Stezenbach of UNLV says the wood is only half of the equation, "What's really the problem is the paper that holds the gypsum core that gets wet, and that material will hold water for weeks and months, doesn't dry out very fast and certainly allows mold to grow."

Even if the mold dies off, Stetzenbach says there's a chance that toxins could still exist. But Thompson says they build homes in parts of the country where it rains a lot more than in Las Vegas. He says if they build them there, they can build them here, "In my opinion, they don't have anything to worry about, it will dry out." Eventually, most of it will. But it's hard for anything to dry out when more rain is in the forecast.

There's a big difference between what's called toxic mold and lumberyard mold. Lumberyard mold is the stuff that grows on wood while it sits outside. It's actually fairly common according to builders. Mold on wood that doesn't go away and gives off spores is what affects a person's health. Dr. Stetzenbach says the most obvious sign for a homeowner that mold is present, is smell.

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