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    Re: Soda Blasting For Mold Removal vs clean clorox water

    Posted by jmj on 2/19/07

    I am not sure why you posted this JC. You do not communicate very clearly
    and I am trying to understand how what the navy does on a predominantly
    metal (non-porous) ship has anything to do with cleaning mold in New
    Orleans. Using water and Clorox in a pressure washing system is both
    frowned on by the EPA and very ineffective at getting a good microbial
    kill before the active ingredients gas off and leave nothing but water
    behind. This ultimately does little more than irrigate your lovely mold
    crop. Yes, it seems to go away because Clorox bleaches the flowering mold
    clear. Also be aware, Clorox makes NO claim to be an anti-microbial agent
    on porous surfaces.

    Also, something for you to mull around on, New Orleans is in a tropical
    climate. Our average humidity exceeds 50% for 95% of the year. By applying
    200-300 gallons of water to an already mold infested house -and then
    expect it to dry before the mold grows back -just does not make sense. It
    took upwards of 8 months for most of the heavily flooded structures
    (300,000+ of them) to dry to a normal state. The last thing I am gonna do
    is suggest someone start that process all over again so I can pressure
    wash their home for them.

    Cleaning the funkitated homes in New Orleans is a serious business, and so
    are the law suits that will follow the aftermath of the out-of-town, blow-
    with-the-storm companies. Using baking soda as a cleaning agent is not the
    end of the world, as it seems some would have you believe here. It could
    be said that blasting is removing the microbial infested construction
    materials from the structure. The only published suggestion the EPA has
    for those 300,000+ homes is to remove mold infested construction materials
    & replace with new materials (not really fiscally possible to replace the
    bottom 8-10 feet of 300,000+ structures). It has been said that it
    aerosols the contaminates, and you are right, it does. But if the entire
    home needs to have every stud cleaned of flowering microbial growth, the
    traditional method was using good ole' elbow grease, a stiff wire brush
    and a potentially harmful quaternary agent. This, as you can imagine, is
    extremely labor intensive and ultimately very expensive. But the real
    question is "Why would anyone go to such lengths to get rid of as much
    visible microbial growth as possible?" LITIGATION! One word explains it.

    There are four plausible methods to clean & sanitize most homes in the New
    Orleans area:

    1. Plain old chemical treatment- can be very effective if done properly,
    but it does have one major draw back. Unless the application company
    actually scrubs & wipes away the flowering growth, the dead remains are
    still present. These remains can be an allergen when they dry & then
    become airborne. Yes, it may be a dead allergen, but an allergen it is.

    2. Blasting using baking soda- then applying the same chemical treatment
    as above. This removes the physical, visible contaminate from the
    property. You must remember that mold is only an issue INSIDE our living
    space. Once outside, Mother Nature takes over and mold becomes a non-
    health risk. One of this method's major drawbacks is that it is very
    difficult to remove all of the blasting media. The baking soda actual
    explodes on contact with the surface strata and creates an extremely fine
    dust. This is why it is very important to treat chemically after you
    blast, not before.

    3. Blasting with dry ice- then applying the same chemical treatment as
    above. Dry ice offers the best of both worlds: it adds no moisture, and
    leaves no residual media behind to clean up. This method even boasts that
    the extremely cold temperatures that the surface area being blasted
    reaches acts as a microbe killer all by itself. I am not so sure about
    this, but I have seen nothing to disprove this either. The biggest draw
    backs to this method are that it's expense, and has limited availability.
    To get someone to dry ice blast is about 2 to 3 times more expensive as
    using baking soda, even though the clean up for baking soda is much more
    labor intensive.

    4. Tenting and using the newest technology on the market to fumigate the
    structure. This is the same technology the Federal Government used to get
    rid of the Anthrax contamination in the Pentagon and Post Offices a couple
    of years ago. I have heard, not seen, that this process actually
    eliminates the physical flowering mold as well as kills it. It is also
    supposedly capable of killing microbial contaminates in the interior of
    wall cavities in sheet rocked structures. Of course, as you would expect,
    this is by far the most expensive method in use. But it is the one method
    that I have heard anyone in the EPA mentioning as a possible solution.

    I am not a microbiologist and make no claim at being an "expert," but I am
    in the IAQ industry in Louisiana and have seen a lot of weird stuff since
    New Orleans flooded. One thing I am convinced of is this: no one has ever
    seen such a mass flooding that stayed for so long in US history. The
    microbial contamination is like nothing the infant industry of "Mold
    Remediation" has ever seen. The products that worked under more moderate
    conditions have been almost non-effective in my experience in this

    I do not believe that any one solution is the right solution every time.
    Different situations need different treatments, it is as simple as that.
    Using baking soda as a blasting media does make sense in the right

    Posts on this thread, including this one

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