DOB Turns Attention to Mold

By Andrew J. Pisani

For building owners and tenants alike mold is an extremely unwelcome guest. Dangerous from the get go, many strains of mold can turn toxic in short periods of time. Resilient and quick to spread, once it’s established, the problems really start. In fact, we’ve actually seen instances where the path of least resistance was actually to demolish a home rather than face the expensive, time consuming clean up. Extreme, yes, but a possibility.

Knowing the damaging abilities of mold, the DOB has taken decisive action. On January 1, 2015, new requirements were put in place to prevent problems from starting. Mold resistant drywall is now required in the following areas in all new construction or when contemplating a renovation project as per 2014 Building Code Section 2506.3 and 2509:

– Walls of Bathrooms (if this is not required to be cement board)

– Portions of walls within 2 feet of a kitchen sink up to 4 feet high

– Portions of walls within 2 feet of a kitchen stove up to 4 feet high

– Interior faces of exterior walls of basements, cellars and other below grade rooms

– Walls and ceilings of laundry rooms

– Walls and ceilings in service sink closets

– Portions of walls within 2 feet of a mop/service sink up to 4 feet high

– Walls and ceilings of spaces containing condensers, water tanks, water pumps, and pressure reduction valves

The new requirements take aim at all ‘wet’ areas, the root of the problem. Following these guidelines will go a long way towards keeping apartments, homes and buildings safe and healthy.