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Old 09-15-2008, 10:50 PM   #1
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Mold Abatement


What's the de-facto industry standard now for killing mold? We used to use Foster 40-80 disinfectant followed by Foster 40-50 or 40-20 sealant depending on whether we wanted it clear or white. A few years ago we bumped up to Shockwave because my wife (allergic to everything) is very sensitive to odors and the Foster products were pretty heavy on the VOCs, but even the shockwave odor was a bit much for her. I'm using Sporicidin now, but I don't think it is as good as the previous products. We have some issues in a wall now where rain has come under a window frame and I want to make sure and get it under control and sealed while I have the drywall off. We've also got some Serpiflex (really for asbestos containment) coming to seal the wood after the treatment. Anybody ever use this? How's the odor?

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Old 09-16-2008, 06:11 AM   #2
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Well, in a nutshell, mould abatement can require the use of chemical disinfectants and the classes I can think of are sodium hypochlorite and the whole family of quaternary ammonium compounds, of which Shockwave and the Foster products are two examples. But there is more to mould containment than just spraying on Product X and forgetting about it because we all know that's a fools paradise.

It's abit like saying "we have a Volkswagon Jetta and a Chevrolet Optra, both 2.3 litre...which one will get us to the office better...?

I remember selling quaternary ammonium compounds by the barrel at $1 a pound, and the cheapest one was and is still the best - and the one still used in mould abatement and general purpose disinfecting today. And that was back in the 80's!

I see that Sporicidin is a phenolic type disinfectant. These have largely been surpassed by the quaternaries and IMO are less effective and more costly; yon mention VOC's...those are the perfumes they use and Sporicidin would have more of a "VOC" problem that the quats...what prompted you to go for Sporicidin if your wife is allergic? You were probably swayed by the sales talk IMO. Too bad.

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Old 09-16-2008, 08:10 AM   #3
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Thank you for the response! I purchased the Sporicidin because it was readily available and my wife was asking for something other than the Shockwave. I'll have to look into a janitorial supply place to try to find one of the quat compounds locally.

The cleanup process I plan to follow is:
1) Disinfect with one of the materials that we are discussing
2) Clean with a 50/50 bleach and water solution and a wire brush
3) Seal with, at the very least, Kilz or something more industrial if I can get a hold of it in the next few days. I have one can of Serpiflex on the way.
4) Have a contractor come in and fix the problem with the windows leaking in the first place.
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Old 09-16-2008, 11:17 AM   #4
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Sounds like a good plan to me; start with a 50:50 water/bleach solution with a sponge, not a wire brush, and let dry. Don't soak drywall, just wet it. Then apply the quat. Not all quats have excessive perfumes in them as the worng perfume ingredient can messs up the quat, so ask the janitorial company if they have an odourless quat...hopefully they will.

Good luck, let us know how it goes.
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Old 09-16-2008, 11:40 AM   #5
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Just try "Concrobium Mold Control" contains no bleach, ammonia or VOCs prevents and inhibits mold growth I've tried this in my house and it seems to work pretty good plus I don't have to worry about the chemicals. You can pick it up at any home depot for about $10.
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Old 09-16-2008, 05:28 PM   #6
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While on the subject of mold. If mold doesn't get any moisture, will it continue to be a problem!
Does it become dormant if dampness is prevented!
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Old 09-16-2008, 10:19 PM   #7
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As I understand it (and anyone, feel free to contradict), mold can not thrive with less than 50% Rh, which our dehumidifier does comfortably, BUT mold responds to periods of drought with a release of spores, hence the bleach and sealant. I also recall that the key is to interrupt the moisture cycle as often as possible and eventually it will become as inert as it is going to get.
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Old 09-17-2008, 06:58 AM   #8
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Four things are necessary for growth of normally found molds in construction materials. Mold spores, which are everywhere. Temperatures in the range of 40-100 degrees F (that's why we refrigerate foods). A food source (organic materials, such as wood and paper facing facing on drywall). Relative humidity of 60% or greater or an active water source of 0.6. Certain species of molds will thrive in different combinations of temperature and humidity conditions. Some mold species will live on and consume other species as conditions change. Some less common molds will thrive in conditions radically different than those above (molds have been found in Antarctica for example). Mold colonies will produce spores while they are actively growing. When an organic building material is returned to it's relatively normal state, such as having been dried to normal levels of RH, mold growth ceases and the colony will become dormant. For short periods, the colony may remain intact and can become active once again if the material is again rewetted. If the colony remains dry it can basically fall apart into its base components. These components can be a source of allergic reactions to sensitive people, which is why mold should not only be killed, but cleaned up. Undisturbed, the spores left behind by the colony will generate new colonies if the supporting material reaches a temperature/humidity level to promote growth.

That is a very brief description of part of the life of a mold. There are thousands and thousands of species of molds. Some are very uncommon, while others are everywhere. All require an organic food source that we easily provide in our homes and buildings.

Last edited by Maintenance 6; 09-17-2008 at 07:02 AM.
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Old 09-17-2008, 09:12 AM   #9
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Thanks! That's a great explanation!
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Old 09-17-2008, 02:11 PM   #10
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I agree! Thanks for your contribution!
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Old 09-17-2008, 08:27 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rubu View Post
have the drywall off. We've also got some Serpiflex (really for asbestos containment) coming to seal the wood after the treatment. Anybody ever use this? How's the odor?

Once it is really nice and dry, assuming it is not an area that is going to get wet again, I would seal it up with shellac. You can get BIN Shellac from Zinsser at most paint stores.

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Old 09-17-2008, 09:55 PM   #12
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Thanks Jamie, but I just looked at the MSDS for that Shellac... 550 g/l VOC is pretty high. My wife would be walking around here with a respirator for weeks.
The Serpiflex is 76.1 g/l, which is well under the EPA "Low VOC" standard of 250 g/L for latex paints or 380 g/L for oil based paint
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Old 09-17-2008, 10:11 PM   #13
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Ooooooo. Just found this Zero VOC sealer that is actively moldicidal for 25 years... Forticel from Protective Coatings Group, LLC in my home town, Charleston, SC. Here's the MSDS ... anybody ever heard of it?
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Old 09-18-2008, 06:06 AM   #14
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I love products where the MSDSs list the all the components as "Proprietary Ingredients"...i.e. "we don't want you to know what we're selling you because either some of these ingredients may be toxic or they're too common to do any good - but you'll buy it won't you? and we haven't tested it but take our word for it"



And all that from a 'Limited Liabiity Company' with no address... Wow. Nice to know they intend on taking responsibility for the danger moulds may present to you and your family and isn't is reassuring to know they'll even be around when they get called into court.
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Old 09-18-2008, 08:15 AM   #15
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Good point about the unlisted ingredients, but there are business locations listed for PCG in the MSDS and their web site, under "contact us".

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