Mold-Resistant Interior Panels

March 26, 2003
An Important Technology to Help Minimize Mold Concerns
What four-letter word is capable of striking terror in the hearts of building owners and facilities managers everywhere? Mold.Mold development can be the result of any source of water – from leaky pipes or air-conditioners to moisture that becomes trapped in wall cavities because of non-breathable material on the walls. With so many different scenarios as to why mold can be found in building interiors, you might think mold growth exists everywhere. However, that is just not the case. In order for mold to grow, four conditions must be present simultaneously: sufficient moisture, the correct temperature range, mold spores, and an available food source (organic materials). Think of these four elements as the recipe for mold growth.Building product manufacturers have been busy developing new products that reduce the amount of organics in their products, including the manufacturers of gypsum board panels.One new interior panel product goes a step beyond the more traditional construction by removing the paper from both the front and back of the board and reducing the organics in the core of the board. The result is a panel with fiberglass mat facings on both sides of the panel. With the highest resistance to mold on the market, this board is ideal for any structure where the concern for exposure to mold growth may be particularly significant.How do you know if your gypsum board provides the most mold resistance available? The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) test for mold growth, ASTM D 3273, is the standard test method used by most companies in the building products industry. During this four-week test, a sample of the subject material, such as a gypsum board, is placed in an environment that is ideal for mold growth. Each week, the testing laboratory monitors the gypsum board and measures the extent, if any, of mold growth.At the conclusion of the test, the product is reviewed on a scale of one to 10: one being a high degree of mold growth and 10 being virtually free of visible mold. The higher the ASTM D 3273 rating achieved by a product such as a gypsum board, the more resistant it is to mold growth. The new two-sided fiberglass mat product described above scores a 10, the highest rating.There is no single solution to resolving potential mold growth problems in the construction of buildings, but the industry is developing a number of best practices. By taking immediate corrective steps in the event of a leak, properly venting appliances, checking out condensation spots, and using products engineered to resist the growth of mold, owners and facilities managers should be able to rest easier.Chris Beyer is national marketing manager for Atlanta-based G-P Gypsum Corp. (, a leading manufacturer and distributor of gypsum products in North America.

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Buildings, create an account today!

Sponsored Recommendations