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Subcommittee on Biological Deterioration Seeking Participation in New Test Method on Resistance to Mold Growth

ASTM Committee G03 on Weathering and Durability is inviting any interested parties to participate in the ongoing development of a test method on mold growth. The proposed title of this standard, which will be under the jurisdiction of Subcommittee G03.04 on Biological Deterioration, is Test Method for Resistance to Mold Growth on Building Products in an Environmental Chamber.

Since the energy crisis of the 1970s, construction trends have moved toward the development of commercial buildings and homes that are energy efficient. Because energy efficient homes have a reduced amount of indoor air leakage to the exterior environment, any rain or flood water that enters the home is likely to be retained, resulting in the growth and spread of mold in the building.

Mold may not always be visible, as it can become established on the concealed surfaces of the building materials used in the construction of the home. The purpose of the new standard, according to Subcommittee G03.04 chair Scott A. Brown, is “to provide to manufacturers of building materials a procedure by which the relative resistance to mold growth of various types of building materials can be assessed.”

Brown, protection and hygiene technology manager, Avecia Biocides, New Castle, De., also says that the susceptibility of building products to mold will vary, depending on the nature and type of raw materials used to make the finished article, as well as the processing to which the article is exposed. Processing could include the addition of a surface coating or sealant. In addition, it may be desirable for some building materials to incorporate anti-fungal agents, either into the article itself or into an applied coating. The new standard would be used to evaluate the impact of these changes to the building material. “The standard may well be used to help manufacturers select a product or process that provides an acceptable level of mold resistance,” says Brown.

Brown also notes that this new standard activity is being done to parallel similar activity that began in Subcommittee D01.28 on Biodeterioration. He says that, given the scope of each of the committees involved, it is likely that coated building materials will be evaluated by the new D01.28 standard, while non-coated building materials will be evaluated by the new standard being developed by G03.04.

For further technical information, contact Scott Brown, Avecia Inc., New Castle, Del. (phone: 302/472-1353). G03 meets June 20-23 in Boston, Mass. For membership or meeting details, contact Tim Brooke, ASTM International (phone: 610/832-9729). //

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