[Strawbale] A question about mold and insurance

RT ArchiLogic at yahoo...
Mon Oct 5 20:21:28 CEST 2009

On Mon, 05 Oct 2009 13:00:05 -0400, <gsbn-request at greenbuilder...> wrote:

>  Wendy wrote:
>>  Have you or do you know of anyone who has researched mold
>> in strawbale houses. I have just been denied insurance because the
>> underwriter states that sb houses are prone to mold. All my
>> research over the past 10 years and during the building process is
>> quite the oppisite, but i need facts to persuade the ignorant. Also
>> my motgage co would love to cancel my loan if the insurance does
>> not come thru. We have been with this company for 4 years and 3 of
>> it during the building process. Are you able to help?

Graeme North <graeme at ecodesign....nz>  wrote:
> I have seen strawbales that have gone rotten and/or mouldy in poorly
> designed or constructed leaky s/b houses, but generally the good
> insulation value of strawbale walls prevents exterior wall getting
> cold enough for condensation to occur on the interior surfaces of
> strawbale walls and without moisture condensing , mould will not
> start to grow.

There are a few CMHC studies/monitoring reports  of SBH in Canada that I  
have on hand that may be of use, and I think a couple more that I don't  
have on hand (or more correctly, can't find at the moment) that also may  
be of use.

The first two are:

	(i) Pilot Study of Moisture Control in Stuccoed Straw Bale Walls
                   by Bob Platts  June 1997

                 In this study, the research contractor selected a sample  
of Quebec SB houses that had been out in the Real World
                 for up to about 10 years.  Holes were cut into the  
plaster, the straw inspected and photographed.

             (ii) Strawbale Moisture Monitoring Report
                   by Rob Jolly,  August 1998

                   In this study, moisture sensors were placed into the  
walls of 4 Alberta houses, the data collected and compiled.

My defective/clouded memory is nudging me with the notion that Kim  
Thompson in Nova Scotia and Habib Gonzalez in British Columbia  have also  
done reports for CMHC on this topic but I may be mistaken.

Both of the above will be available at the CMHC website    
either as downloadable PDF files and/or in hard copy upon  request .

I disagree with Graeme North's assertion about the inability of mould to  
That should probably be re-discussed in detail.

=== * ===
Rob Tom
Kanata, Ontario, Canada
< A r c h i L o g i c  at  ChaffY a h o o  dot  C a >
(manually winnow the chaff from my edress in your reply)
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