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September - October 2003

From the Publisher

 

Bringing Mold into the Fold
by Tara Taffera

If you were one of my coworkers you would know from the amount of sick days I take that I am one of those afflicted with acute allergies, which causes severe and frequent sinus infections. In fact, my allergist told me I am the worst case heís seen. 

Iíve tried strong medicine from the doctor, mattress and pillow covers, even some experimentation with herbsónone of it worked. This is why, a few weeks ago, I decided to listen to a presentation by a representative of a company that sells a system that is designed to purify the air in your home. 

The representative talked about how the air purifier system will help prevent the formation of mold in your home. As the publisher of a magazine that often contains stories about mold and other housing issues, I couldnít help but give the subject a little thought. 

When the sales rep first arrived at our house, he looked for mold in our heating vent with his flashlight, and told us how the builder of our 14-year-old home used a type of duct board insulation. He told us this type of insulation isnít the best as dirt and dust can stick to it, eventually causing the formation of mold. He added that this method became popular in the late 1980s and early 1990s as many builders liked the fact that it was an alternative to more costly installation methods. 

A few days after his visit I came across a copy of the presentation given by Todd Shraiberg of Reed Business Information which he gave recently at the Window and Door Manufacturers Association annual technical conference. The presentation focused on who has the most influence on buying decisions for the homeóthe homebuyer, builder, architect, dealer/distributor or trade contractor. Across the board, the builder almost always came out on top, whether it was the type of door specified (the builder has the most influence 70 percent of the time) or the type of heating and air conditioning unit used (the builder exerts the most influence 65 percent of the time).

When I started thinking about builders of course I started thinking of the relationship between window manufacturers and builders. Several of our columnists have talked about how the window industry should encourage builders to use products such as low-E or the new self-cleaning glass in their homes. I always thought this was a great idea (and still do) but now I realize why builders may not jump at the chance to put these products in homes (besides the price) automatically. I also realized that itís not just the window manufacturers who are asking builders to specify their high-end products. 

So, if builders can only choose a few upgrades do they opt for a better HVAC system or a better floor? Where do windows and doors fall on the buildersí priority list? 
As a window manufacturer you have direct contact with builders. Iíd love to hear about some of your experiences. What reasons do builders give for not specifying the window and door products you may suggest? Send me an e-mail at ttaffera@glass.com or call me at 540/720-5584. I look forward to your input. 

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