Q&A with USG specialist offers insight into building safer structures
by Elizabeth Manning
April 25, 2016

In addition to completing a project on time and on budget, construction business owners must also consider taking preventive measures to ensure the safety of the people who will be using the building after a project's finish. One of these measures is effective moisture and mold mitigation.  CBO caught up with USG's new moisture and mold mitigation specialist Bill Harrill to talk about his role with the company and current trends in mold mitigation. See his insights below. 

 

CBO: Tell us about your new role as moisture mitigation specialist. What does that entail?

 

BH: My role at USG centers on education and technical support; I am a resource for customers when questions and issues arise on projects. Getting ahead of potential issues and problems is extremely important, as the remedy is likely very expensive. The better I can help an architect, a building owner or an engineer understand concrete moisture, alkalinity and the investment made in flooring materials, the more likely it is that moisture mitigation will not be overlooked, ignored or value engineered out of a project. This in turn ensures longevity for the building.

 

CBO: Is USG working on any new products, especially in relation to moisture & mold mitigation, that are innovative to the industry?

 

BH: Industry standards are constantly being updated and products have to be modified to take these changes into consideration. With moisture mitigation, there are many facets involved in product development. Testing is very important to determine if a new or alternative product is marketable.

USG also listens to customers. Whether it be taking into account their feedback or considering the challenges they are facing, USG responds with solutions. From our use of engineered, lightweight aggregate in USG Durock Brand Fast Finish Floor Patch to the USG Durock Brand Glass-Mat Tile Backerboard with a proprietary cementitious coating, our customers know they can count on us for a solution. This has made USG successful, and will continue to be a cornerstone of our research and development.

 

CBO: What changes are you currently seeing in building materials as it relates to moisture mitigation?

 

BH: As the industry moves forward, it is important to remember that concrete is a micro-porous substrate. There will always be a need to close the pores and capillaries of the concrete and the best moisture mitigation system is a 100 percent solids epoxy system. This is—by far—the most traditional form of moisture mitigation, and it is still alive and well. 

In industry sectors that specifically relate to flooring, there have been a number of significant changes. Adhesives, for instance, have evolved over the last 20 years. With continuous advances in both organic and inorganic chemistry, we can expect to see even more changes over the course of the next 10 years.

 

CBO: How does the growing interest in sustainable building affect what materials are used & bought?

 

BH: Similar to how consumers want to know what is in the food they eat, they also want to know what types of materials are in the buildings where they work and live. They also want to use or specify products that are environmentally responsible. For example, if you properly install a high performance moisture mitigation system on your concrete, it is possible to leave that moisture mitigation in place, even when replacing the finish flooring system multiple times. This is important to many people, not only because it saves future costs, but because it reduces future emissions into the environment from the manufacturing process for the additional material, that would have been needed for subsequent applications.  

For more information on Harrill and USG, visit the USG website