How Insect- And Mold-Resistant Are Monolithic Structures?

How insect- and mold-resistant are monolithic structures? Not only are monolithic domes able to withstand Mother Nature, they are also completely termite free. And because the relative humidity in a monolithic dome is low, interior mold is a minimal concern as well.

Every home has some vulnerability to molds and insects, but if you keep the air moving in your home and keep the interior humidity down, you should have very little interior mold in your monolithic dome home.

David South is co founder of the Monolithic Dome Institute and Monolithic Constructors, Inc. He has been designing and building dome homes for almost thirty years. Monolithic Dome Institute experiments with interior and exterior dome care so they can give their customers the most conclusive advice on caring for their monolithic dome.

"Mold on the inside is a function of humidity. If you keep the building under 60 percent relative humidity, you'll never have a problem. If you have a closet, and in the back of that closet you have no air movement and your relative humidity is up in the 60 to 80 percent range, then you're going to have mold," says David.

With a conventional home, the likelihood of mold is much higher, especially in the ceiling and down the inside of the walls. Rainwater leaks through the roof and into the crawlspace. The wood and drywall absorb the water. Since there is no circulation there is no way for these areas to completely dry, this is a perfect place for mold to grow quietly undetected for years.

By comparison, "But, surely nothing remotely approaching what happens in a conventional home because the dome walls are hollow. There is nothing in there - nothing that would be feed stock for mold," says David South

It is possible for a monolithic dome to grow mold on the outside. Regular washing, however will take care of the problem. David South advises, "Mold on the outside can be a major problem. When we wash out a building here, we use a bleach and water solution to knock the mold off. We wash them about once a year."

Pests are a possibility in any building. Insect eggs can stick to a person's shoes or clothing and be carried into the home that way, or they can get in through an open door or window.

However, monolithic domes have fewer places for the pests to hide and make nests. Some pests, like termites are dependant on nearby wood for food. Those types of insects won't be interested in a monolithic dome because it's made of concrete.

David South explains, "Termites are completely out of the equation in a monolithic dome. You definitely won't have termites eating your dome home. Roaches -- you will bring them in over time. Like when the kids leave or the dog comes inside. They could get underneath some cabinets, but it is extremely minimal. If you keep the humidity low in your home, you decrease your chances of infestations of insects."

One more advantage to the concrete construction of a monolithic dome is a reduction of of allergens in the environment. Less mold growth and fewer insects mean fewer allergy and asthma problems for many people.

"Since mold and insects are actually two of the most common allergens, living in a monolithic dome would give you a nearly allergy-free home. In fact, these homes are about as allergy-free as you can get in a building. If you have anything in there that you are going to be allergic to, it's because you hold it in with humidity. I've built some allergy-free dome homes for people. You lay ceramic tile floor, and you use rugs that can be washed regularly - maybe cotton ones. There is no way you can build a more allergy-free house," says David.

There will always be insects and molds in our outside environment. The concrete of a monolithic dome provides one more way to keep unwanted pests from our homes.

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