Structure Cooking to Rid It of Mold?

[Editor’s note: This letter is in response to the article “Mold in New Home Sends Owners Packing,” Aug. 20.]

My question to the industry is, can a structure be heated to a temperature that will kill all of the mold entirely? We have all seen the articles from New Orleans all the way to local structures that are being torn down because of mold infestation. Many of these structures are solid buildings that may be revived by killing the mold infestation.

The question that I have is, can the mold be killed to the level that the building can be reused, instead of wrecking it?

Why can’t mold be killed with heat? At what temperature would a building have to be heated to be sure that the mold would be killed?

I am trying to imagine the process, strip the wallboard in the structure down to outside walls and studs. This structure could be cleaned with pressure washers, left open for a few days to dry, then heated to some temperature that would kill all mold. The pressure washing would rid the structure of surface mold, then you would “cook” the structure to a point that you could be assured that the mold is dead.

Does anyone know to what temperature would the structure need to be cooked to, and how long would the structure need to be maintained at that temperature to ensure mold was killed? What damage can it cause to the structure?

It would seem that cooking the structure is just as safe and much more economical than demolition and rebuilding.

There are thousands of structures in New Orleans that are in jeopardy that may be salvaged with heating the structure to the point of killing the mold. The structures would probably need to be elevated to prevent future flooding, but it seems like a waste to just demolish them and start over.

The moisture source that is polluting any structure should be cured first. Then the “heat curing” process could begin.

Bill Johnson
Co-Author of Refrigeration and
Air Conditioning Technology
Charlotte, N.C.

Keep Speaking the Truth

[Editor’s note: This letter is in response to the article “How to Survive the Missiles of Business, Life,” Sept. 10.]

I just read Rob “Waldo” Waldman’s article inThe NEWS, and it is an applicable message for our industry. We like to be independent and accountable to no one. Keep speaking truth into our lives. This is the first article of its type I’ve seen in our HVAC trade magazines.

Joe Ranck
Robert H. Ranck Inc. Plumbing,
Heating & Air Conditioning
Lancaster, Pa.

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Publication date:10/08/2007