to evaluate if products used to kill
mold or remove mold stains are effective
and if using these products effects the
accuracy of testing for residual mold
using surface samples (tape-lifts).
Daniel Sith, BSE, CMC, CIEC
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This paper describes an experiment that
was performed to evaluate the
effectiveness of products sold as mold
killers and mold stain removers and if
using these products inhibits the
effectiveness of using surface samples
(tape-lifts) to test for mold. Surface
samples (tape-lifts) are routinely used
by consultants and mold inspectors to
verify the effectiveness of mold
remediation projects. Surface samples
are used to verify the surfaces are
clean and do not contain any actual mold
growth. Some of these products may leave
an invisible residue that acts like an
encapsulation preventing spores from
being transferred to the tape. This may
lead to the false conclusion that mold
is not present when it is.
A mold contaminated utility closet in a home was used. Products were
applied to keep surfaces wet for at
least 10 minutes. Surface samples were
taken before treatment, six hours after
treatment, and twenty-four hours after
treatment. Based on an analysis of
surface samples collected (tape-lifts),
the conclusion is that products alone do
not remove all the mold that is present
and that the use of products may inhibit
the detection of residual mold if tape
lift samples are collected. The products
appear to encapsulate the surfaces
altering the way spores transfer to the
tape. Use of some products may make it
difficult to use tape lifts as they are
traditionally used to test for mold.
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February 10, 2014.
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