Framing

In most homes, wood is the primary construction material and hence, important to focus on when building a healthy home. The wrong wood used in the wrong way can lead to a significant amount of toxins or toxic mold in your home.

 

Extra Cost: <$500 


There are four key items when it comes to framing:


1) Prevent Your Concrete From Causing Mold In Your Framing.

What: Put a water barrier between wood and concrete.
Why: Water can easily transfer from concrete to wood without a barrier in between. This can lead to mold and rot in the wood.
How: Use FortiFlash or a similar product.


2) Avoid Highly Toxic, Pressure Treated Wood

What:  Pressure treated wood is often used when wood is touching concrete.
Why:  Pressure treated wood contains some of the worst, unhealthy chemicals. 
How:  Use Borate treated wood instead.  It is just as effective, similarly priced, readily available, pest resistant, and non-toxic.1


3)  Use Low VOC Plywood

What: Avoid interior grade plywood.   

Why: Interior grade plywood uses high VOC glues that seep into your house's air.

How:  Use exterior grade plywood.  It has a different type of glue than interior, and that glue is much less toxic.2 


4)  Avoid Mold In Your Walls

What:  Let the framing wood dry out to <19% moisture before closing up the walls with drywall.

Why: Nearly all framing wood is "green" when it is delivered, and has a very high moisture content.  If you enclose the framing wood in the walls before it has time to dry, you will trap the moisture in the walls and cause mold.

How:  Don’t close the walls up before 3, and ideally 6, months. You can get a moisture meter to test the wood, if you want. But the longer you let it dry, the safer you are. You can also get kiln dried wood, which comes pre-dried, but it’s a lot more expensive.  



References


1. http://www.healthybuilding.net/arsenic/hbn_wood_factsheet.html

2. http://www.kalimantimber.com/plywood.php



 
Borate treated wood + Moisture Barrier
Exterior grade plywood used on the inside of the house