Ask the Scientist
The Persistence of Mold

From D+D Print, May 2013

by VC Bud Jenkins, Coatings Scientist Consulting Services

Mold is a common coatings problem that cannot be simply coated over. In this article, Jenkins examines the biology of molds and the chemistry of antifungal additives....
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Tagged categories: Good Technical Practice; Mold; Mold/mildew-resistant coatings; Rehabilitation/Repair; VC Bud Jenkins

Comment from Bruce Tuttle, (7/21/2013, 9:41 PM)

From a disaster clean-up service, I heard that they do not use bleach in their mold remediation because it breaks down later and actually then supplies a compound on which the new mold can flourish. I did not catch what they use, but can you add any comment?

Comment from VCBud Jenkins, (7/22/2013, 4:27 PM)

Hi Bruce: I looked on line for mold remediation chemicals and there are many. The best rundown on all the chemicals to use was found at where they listed bleach, Borax, vinegar, ammonia, Hydrogen Peroxide, Detergent, Baking Soda, Tea Tree Oil, Grapefruit Seed Extract with the pros and cons of each. Hypochlorous Acid, HOCl, does not contain carbon, which is what mold and fungi metabolize to sustain life. There might be some carbon available from the detergent used to make the water penetrate the pores deeper but after it is consumed, the mold would starve. There are a lot of mold remediation chemicals, so look on line and pick the one that sounds the best. I have worked with Hydrogen Peroxide before with good results. It is important to get all the mold off before painting and then to use a paint with a mold preventive package. Nano silver has a good history of working well.

Comment from Kevin Hanley, (7/30/2013, 9:27 AM)

Folks there are new and exciting products(paints and Coatings)on the market that can offer immediate help and provide a long-term solution. They are also non-toxic Zero VOC as well without any fungicides!

Comment from Tom Schwerdt, (8/5/2013, 2:55 PM)

Bleach and trisodium phosphate (TSP) are listed by ASTM as methods of killing molds/mildew on a surface prior to paint application. TSP powder is commonly available at big-box home improvement stores in the paint section. Bleach breaks down to sodium chloride (table salt) and water.

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