Drought Helps Homebuilders

By: Jim Freeman
By: Jim Freeman

Knoxville (WVLT) - The lack of rain is good news for many construction companies.

For one thing, no rain means no days when crews can't work.

But as Jim Freeman explains, the drought is also good news for people and companies buying those properties.

Tennessee ranks in the top ten in the country when it comes to mold problems and no rain helps keep mold from forming.

A drought does have an upside, allowing builders to really pick up the pace.

Donna May's new home is coming together much quicker than first thought. "We had to hurry up and sell our house a lot quicker as she laughs and adds that the process has just been really quick. A lot quicker than we expected it to be,” she says.

As the sun beats down, builders don't slow down.

"The drought helps, because I'm able to keep my crews on the job,” says Red Door Properties general contractor Melinda Garrett. “They cannot miss work because it's raining."

Keeping a foundation or basement dry during the building process sometimes is a challenge, but certainly not during a drought.

"It allows them to get in and out faster with the cinder block and things of that nature. So I could see it being a definite upside for the construction people for that,” says mold inspector Michael Church.

So when it comes to a drought and building a new home, does the drought actually help cut down on the chances of having mold in your new home?

"Sure. That would less likely happen because of the water. You don't have it. So mold needs water and darkness to grow,” says Garrett.

That's good news whether it's woodwork or the foundation.

"Unfortunately, cinder block is not repellent. It's porous. So water can actually travel through it if you get a lot of rain. So, having a drought has helped,” Church says.

However, the lawn for a new home is another story. Most yards will be put-in in the fall.

And that may be another silver lining to the drought; you won't be mowing your lawn until next spring.

So far this year, in Knox County, a little more than 1,000 new home building permits have been issued.

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