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Old 09-18-2008, 10:35 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Rubu View Post
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
For what it is worth, it is alcohol based and alcohol evaporates and dissipates rapidly. I suspect most of it's voc number is due to the alcohol content.


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Old 09-18-2008, 11:08 AM   #17
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That's good to know, thanks again!
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Old 09-18-2008, 12:46 PM   #18
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I would also like you to be aware that the base material for true shellac is organic and could be a food source for molds. A latex stain sealer like Kilz or Zinsser is what we use on materials that cannot be removed and replaced.
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Old 09-18-2008, 01:15 PM   #19
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I would also like you to be aware that the base material for true shellac is organic and could be a food source for molds. A latex stain sealer like Kilz or Zinsser is what we use on materials that cannot be removed and replaced.
I based my comment on information provided by Zinsser:

Regarding BIN Shellac (they are speaking of water damaged burnt environments where mold is rampant):

Biocidal effect – Alcohol is a well-known biocide and shellac resin is not a particularly tasty food
source for mildew. This makes shellac an excellent choice for application to mildew-stained and
mildew-prone surfaces in an environment where mold and mildew spores are rampant.


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Old 09-19-2008, 07:56 AM   #20
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Well alrighty then. Shellac would not be my top pick, but if Zinnser says it will work, who am I to argue? It may be a case where they are blending it with other materials. I've seen mold growing on shellaced wood trim in older homes but it could be a case of the mold eating the dust embedded in the finish. Shellac softens at pretty low temperatures and will absorb dirt and surface crud. It is pretty inert though.

You have to watch the wording on some of these products. Many things are "biocidal" and will kill bacterias which are pretty fragile. Biocidal does not necessarily mean fungicidal. Some mold spores are tough cased critters. Incidentally, alcohol is a product of the consumption of sugars by fungi (fermentation process by yeasts).

Last edited by Maintenance 6; 09-19-2008 at 08:07 AM.
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Old 09-19-2008, 09:19 AM   #21
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FYI: I contacted one of the more highly recommended Mold remediation companies here to see what the industry was touting this year and was directed to the EPA site regarding mold where, he said, they are basically saying that plain old soap and water is the recommended cleanup agent now, and that the use of biocides or chlorine bleach is overkill, except in special circumstances, such as around Immuno-surpressed individuals or those with extreme allergic reactions... like my wife. She reacts to a few parts per billion of Penicillum or Aspergillis like somebody hit her in the face with a mallet.

I'm in the middle of finding and treating individual areas under my windows where the moisture barrier has been compromised by nail holes (more on that in another thread) and I exposed a new area with mold yesterday and attempted to clean the area with just soap and water and afterwards removed the dried residue with a HEPA vac, and her reaction upon coming home was much worse than the reaction to the areas where the cleanup involved the Sporicidin and the 50/50 bleach mix. I guess I'll keep using the biocides and bleach, but for most of you, soap (detergent, not surfactant) and water will suffice to kill and clean mold, as long as the residue or contaminated materials are removed and the source of the moisture stopped.

The most useful sections of the EPA site seem to be:
"A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home"

"Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings"

Thanks everyone for their input in this thread. I know that there are as many methods of dealing with this problem as there are people doing it, and I know the guidelines regarding the products are ambiguous, but it's good to compare once in a while.
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Old 09-19-2008, 10:10 AM   #22
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Thanks for the reply...one issue I have is the use of soap, known as the reaction product of an oil, or a fatty acid, and an alkali. Soap thus obtained is not free-rinsing and some residue remains after rinsing. Given that many soaps use natural fatty acids or oils and their residue could provide a food source for mould, then I would tend to go for a bottle of detergent rather than a soap product for that reason.

Many detergent products are free-rinsing and some are derived from petroleum derivatives containing phenols. Those are the nonionics. Seems to me a detergent residue, if any, might contribute to mold abatement...IMO anyway.
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Old 09-19-2008, 11:14 AM   #23
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It's unfortunate that your wife is apparently one of those relatively few individuals that suffers from hypersensitivity to things like molds. In my previous post, I made the statement that mold spores can be tough cased critters. I do not wish for that to be mis-construed. Mold spores are generally tougher than other micro-organisms, but are not bullet proof. Many, many things will kill mold spores. Mold remediation is still an evolving industry and pretty much un-regulated. There are more than a few companies promoting mis-information about mold in order to sell magic formulas to do something that practically any household cleaner will do at a fraction of the cost (and in some cases, much more safely). Some of these products come with thier whole set of "side effects" that could be worse than the effects of the molds themselves. I'm sure you realize that Sporicin is a glutaraldehyde based product and that glutaraldehyde has generated it's own raging debate and a set of NIOSH exposure standards of it's own. (A case of the cure being worse than the disease?) Unfortunately, there are plenty of people out there who are disseminating mis-leading information in order to further thier own agendas, selling magic potions, performing expensive and often un-necessary remediation or selling "deadly mold" test kits. At present, no one central organization can be quoted as the supreme authority on molds. Until that happens, the best you can hope to do is investigate all of the information. Sort out the hype and B.S., and formulate your own plan. Personally, I find the best information has come from the EPA and the NIH (National Institute of Health). For what it's worth, infection control authorities recommend no greater than 10% bleach concentrations be used indoors. 10% will kill practically any organism you are likely to encounter and will minimize the production of irritant gases such as chloroform and others.

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