"Help of the building ministry
In the year 2004 the german building ministry wants to give user independent dwelling ventilation systems with a public campaign backing. ... The ministry reacts therewith to the new hygienic and health challenges of the in Germany prescribed low energy building methods. The insulated and airtight house prevents also the air change next to the warmth exchange. So quickly consumed air accumulates. If the people do not want to suffer the disgusting smell they have two alternatives: Complete air exchange by widely opened windows all four hours and throw away the so expensively and laboriously saved heat energy or the installing of ventilation technology. ... P. h."
DIE WELT 27.5.03:"Energy saved, but fungus spores in the lung instead
By Ulla Bettge
Stuttgart - Old fashioned windows are fitting best for an old house with high rooms and traditional style:
but ... sometimes the decision is made: new air tight
windows must come in. ... Then the air exchanges are blocked
- and warmth and moisture loving mould will get perfect life
That applies especially for low energy houses, which ... are padded with plastic as well as polystyrene and fiberglass. ... According a study of the Friedrich-Schiller-University of Jena more than 15 million German citizens in about seven million dwellings have a mold problem in their walls like sponges that perfectly are growing by 85 to 95 percent air humidity. Trend increasing. ..."
Comment K. Fischer: As you can read also in The Holy Bible mold and damp walls do exist since all times. So the former home builders used building materials, which could stand the problems best:
"Old fashioned building materials as well as bricks, clay and wood are porous for humidity and therefore can dry out porous damp, but the new buildings of the last decades with concrete and polystyrene seal the rooms hermetical. Plastified latex coatings and plastified wallpapers make it worse additional and create a steam barrier. Thus the natural drying out process is stopped and moisture accumulates between plaster and coating.
Also central heatings are favoring high concentration of humidity in dwellings in which the water consumption with toilets, shower, bath, washing machine increased a multiple in comparison with the 1960s. ...
Only fresh air and air passage can help against the excessively increased dampness in houses....
In ... damp air the bacteria, viruses and spores distribute themselves everywhere ... docking also at house dust particle, with which they swirl through the air. ...
The very small spores are inhaled from the air and can reach the lower respiratory tract. So the internal organs of persons with a weakened immune system can suffer also fungus diseases. 100,000 actual known fungus type and house dust mites are previously the most important sources of allergene of the inner room air. Allergic persons react to the "air pollution" with cold, sneezing, shortness of breath and cough up to severe bronchial asthma.
Newspaper Mitteldeutsche Zeitung MZ 7/02:"Mold Becomes The Problem
MZ/rgu. More than seven million dwellings in Germany are attacked of mold and damp damage. Therefrom approximately 15 million persons are concerned, said Sabine Brasche of the University Jena yesterday in Halle. They could release allergy and breath troubles. The scientist introduced the national association of the Chimney-sweeper, that holds off its annual conference until Friday in Halle, the results of a representative study (of the Friedrich-Schiller-university Jena). ... It belays that approximately seven million dwellings show damp damage and mold attack. They place a "considerable risk potential for the health of 15 million people there, so the author, Sabine Brasche. ...What does the politics, media and economy against it? Nothing at all, despite more agitprop for insulating and caulking our houses.
With room air sample you can measure the pollutant salaries of the contaminated rooms - here a installation appropriate for wood protection poison.
Click: R-value-foolishness - one of the most dangerous and mold spreading false doctrine of modern buildling technique, basing only on cooling of heated air molecules on the surface of the proof material, not the different transports of warmth energy through the proofed materials to the other side. So light materials with minor density must (!) get better R-values, materials with more density must have worse - the prefabricated result of false, at least charlatanesque installation of "scientific experts", sold by insulation industries.Physicians sheet in the notebook 45 of the 10.11.2000 (S. B 2531): " Medicine reportMycology
The mold - an unpleasant co-inhabitant
In order to save energy costs, insulation treatments are undertaken today, which perform that the fungus attack in inner rooms feed.
Of increasing medical meaning with regard to allergic diseases is significantly higher the prevalence of thermophile mold species in the inner room area, that than in outside areas. Such aeroplankton-freights caused especially by aspergillus fumigatus. As reported by Dr Axel Schmidt (Wuppertal) on the 34. Scientific conference of the german mycological association in Berlin, in the public an intensive clarification working with regard to insulation of houses urgently is required.
Many home owners and apartment tenants performed the hermetical insulation of dwellings because of the rapid climbed heating costs with exaggerated measures to the thermal insulation. But an indoor mold attack is the expensive price for thus "savings". It should be referred therefore regarding the structural facts to justifiable insulating strategies, insulation, circulation of air and glazing because of the possible effects on the mold growth. The inhabitants must become informed regarding a correct ventilation behavior (continuous and in no case intermitting air ventilation) and the effects by water attack and humidity, caused by wrong furnishing, floor coverings and house dust mites load. ... Dr Ferdinand Klinkhammer"However the opposite is happening.
Mold at the wall - causes and removal
The subject of mold today is the long runner. Usually mold is caused by incorrect methods of building to fit false doctrines of building physics, incorrect air ventilating and insufficient heating techniques. The most frequent case formations are reported here.
Ahead : Mold attack is not only a structural deficiency. Often it is common with harmful bacteria and disperses even toxic substances. Considerable health dangers are connected therewith. Not only for childrens, but rather also many adults become victim of typical mold symptoms as well as for example asthma and allergy. As too high air humidity will became visible on the room surface as a trigger of the mold attack and will moisture up the wooden parts, also an attack with damp can cause wood parasite as well as dry and wet rot, white pore sponge, brown cellar sponge as well as wood worms and other wood destroying insects like termites. Therefore the following recommendations may not be understood as binding solutions, they must be accomplished by specialised medical, mycological and technical know-how.
Damp and mold in the living area
Usually it concerns mold in not so high warmed up bedrooms and other cooler areas. Shall we fix interior and/or exterior insulation in order to increase the wall temperature and to avoid the "icy wall"? This the irreal building physics demands again and again, often construction mistakes and building damages will follow.
All that insulating strategies will help nothing at all. Mold needs damp. This comes excessively - besides of extremes as building damp out of new concrete grounds, cement floor and plaster or plumbing damage, leaky roofs or wetting old chimneys - out of the air humdity in the room. From ca. 65% rel. humidity mold can increase. Every day a four persons household brings out between 7-15 liters of water into the room air by cooking, washing, bathing, showers, flowers, breathing etc.. On the other hand the room ventilation by opening the windows some minutes all couple of hours helps nothing at all.
The air is too damp, it condenses at cool surfaces and forms fluid water in the building material pores. In order to evaporate this, energy would have to be spent.
Room ventilations delivers however no energy in the water filled pores filled by condensed damp. The exterior walls cool off more and more, often supported by diminished heating (night reduction), the condensation in nightly cooled facade walls will increase, in winter as icy frozen condensation.
Icy frozen condensation on an external thermal insulation (bright shiny front parts) with low thermal conductivity on a half-timbered framework house at a sunny 9.1.06, 8:00.
At the same time the condensed water will get in parts where the convection of heated air will not come to sufficiently: in the connection zones of wall-ceiling and -floor, in room corners, at socket zones, in the area near the windows where the cold air comes to by current opening and behind furniture. A lot of dampness can remain in the surrounding of the bathroom and shower. This will cause not only mildew /mold at the room's surface, but also the breeding of worms behind hollow tiles, in cracks of the shower walls (so called 'shower worms', which are larvae of insects like flies, beetles etc.) or other warm and wet hiding places. By the usual calculation of the building physics a correct prognosis of this cooling and moisturing effects is impossible because it's tunnel view theory doesn't offer prerequisites for these realities.
This currently cooled areas by common heating technique becomes misinterpretted as so-called warmth bridges. Consequently "experts" demand technically wrong insulation of the wall. Some pictures out of my consults can clarify that:
Black Mold in the bathroom 2: Short-termed appearing high air damp cannot be buffered in tiled walls. That causes especially high damp load of the remaining plaster surfaces, just in the cold, by short-term ventilating again and again cooled window area. In the upper region the attack corresponding with the air streams appears most extensively and decreases below. Impossible, if it would be actual a "warmth bridge".
Black mold attack at the wall-floor and wall-ceiling-transition. Hyper-airtight windows, convection of the heating air, nightly temperature reduction! Superelevated condensation and mold are the logical sequence. Motto: skin sick asthmatic kids cough better.
Damp and dirt of transporting heating air stream over the wall surface.
This molded wall corner is in a cellar floor / ground floor. Leaky ground pipes moistened up the wall.
Mold at the inside of the roof boards. Insufficient ventilation of warm damp air follows moisturing up of cooler surfaces by air humidity.
Mold plague thanks to soaked mineral wool insulation. The attempt to produce durably airtight connections in mobile and partly constructive complicated frameworks must fail! Millions of american dwellings and thousands of "Passive houses" and "Low energy Houses" in german speaking countries will attest this irrefutable
Mineral wool insulation soaked interior + Mineral wool insulation rotted at the facade - super pictures of Mr Bammer from Austria
Mold on the soaked wall paper - outside coated by polystyrene layer, inside coated by plastified latex paint. Naturally accomplished by airtight windows.
To bring it to the point: Each type of fibered, porous and wooly insulation is a fake. Both heating costs comparisons of insulated and not insulated houses as well as the so-called Lichtenfelser Experiment (after an experiment done first 2001 in the franconian city Lichtenfels) testify, that temperature increases on the one side of materials will penetrate the usual insulation materials in large speed to the other side. Contrasting and with no relevance to the super R-values. Only solid building materials as well as wood and stone can slow down the deduction of warmth and temperatures. Their good absorption of warmth energy in their dense surfaces will not harm their supreme blockade of permeating warmth by IR-radiation, the predominat way of warmth transports through materials.
This figure of our 'Lichtenfelser Experiment' shows the material temperature after 10 min IR-radiation by a red lamp bulb. Temperature in the beginning (START) 20 °C. Each material of different U-value/R-value is 4 cm thick, the temperature is measured under the material opposite the radiated surface. Materials from above: mineral wool/fiberglass, polystyrene, foamglass, solid brick, wood fiber board, gypsum cardboard, solid pinewood. Result: The U-value/R-value is not all for building construction under real situation. Broadcasted by several TV stations in Germany and a big shock for insulation industries and their friends in building branche and political administration. Result: Saving energy costs by using typical thermal insulation with low thermal conductivity must consider the storing of solar energy in the walls and the summer heat also - on this link is the evidence from reality.
This figure shows the consumpted heating energy in three rooms of different wall construction and different U values/R values/k values (k-Wert) during a winter period, proved by Fraunhofer Institut for Building physics. The insulated walls R: 0,16 and 0,32 are worse, the not insulated brickwork wall 0,46 is best! Details.
Two simple means can help:
Once the sufficient permeability of the windows for air exchange. Rubber lips density airtight windows are the typical triggers of the mold problem. Remedy on simpliest type performs the removing of the rubber lips sealings at the upper frame area so the rain spray could not penetrate! And not unconditionally at each window, but rather gradually until the success adjusts itself.
The old windows without rubber lips sealing worked therefore technical perfect and detoxified surplus the occuring damp mold
free through condensation at the glass. If airtight windows however are a must, an expensive artificial ventilation
will be recommended by the "experts". So the room will become an incubator for mold, mildew, fungi spores, sponges, insects and dangerous
bacterias, quickly the filters settlement store capable bacteria slimes in the condesate covered cold ventilation tubes.
How to get rid of the fog and condensation between the double panes in the window? Belonging the old fashioned windows there is no big problem - more and sufficiently airing the room - and the condensation will be finished. If you are trying to tighten the frames to stop the condensation you can get big problems with mold. The condensate will be sucked up from your room envelope construction ond on the moistured surfaces the risk for mold breeding is high. Otherwise the case with modern thermopanes. They have special damp sucking salts in the frame construction. If the salts are drained with condendsing water, their drying function is finished. So you have to change the panes - sorry. But all medals have two sides, isn't it?
Horrible black condensate slime soups out of the air pipe at the ceiling. How does it look therein?
At the ground under that molds the soaked wallpaper. Also a heating and dehumidifying airing system cannot prevent condensate in cooled base wall aereas.
A sufficient temperature of the wall surface without any mold risk is guaranted only by IR-radiation heating. The convection heating system warms up in priority the room air, the exterior walls will be cooler than the heated air. Additional the heated damp air stream causes permanent draft - not the suspected old window! In contrast to the old oven heating, the central heating cannot detoxify the room by transporting the consumed air through the chimney and will not deliver 'automatically' dry fresh air through the slightly but sufficient opened window joints. Condensate in the wall and mold are the consequence.
A simple supplement of the heating tubes can solve the problem with few meters tube placing: A "heating circle" with permanent circulation of warm water in not insulated heating pipes on the socket strip. A radiation heating will warm up in priority the materials and not the air. Anyway the air heating systems are harmful to your health: they abuse and pollute our most important food - the breathable air. Moreover the air heating can and will in the aerea of the cooler facade walls moisture up also valuable museum exponates, exclusive interiors of monuments, canvas paintings and all sorts of wooden constructions so they can be damaged by rot and woodworm, by corrosion etc. The IR-Radiation Room Envelope Heating System (germ.: 'Huellflaechentemperierung') therefore is advantageous not only as perfect mold protection.
Hidden mold attack caused by leaky pipes
There are many reasons for leaks in draining and plumbing pipes. Condsider also the condensation of air humidity at fresh water pipes. In this context building components as masonry, plaster, cement floor, insulation etc. moisture up and can store dampness by lack of sufficient drying onto The Latest Judgement. Possible bitter result: Hidden mold increasement and or growing up of dry or wet rot. Symptoms: f.e. musty smells, indisposition until heavy health interferences without clear causes, but also myzels of the sponge attack or visible mold spreading at the socket strip.
A must for the discovery and anlysis of the mold attack are the physical conditions as well as the microbiological status. Maybe the nose of a well trained "mold dog" is working well near the floor area but it cannot perform a correct analysis and therapy. Remedies are to be decided according to the situation from the technical drying to the complete exchange of the rotten and mold materials etc..Mold attack through damp by newly built construction
The high and long lasting moisture amount of wet incorporated components like plaster, coating, cement floor, masonry, concrete etc. is underestimated very often. It causes increased room air humidity, that must leave the building in order to avoid mold. A weekend with closed doors and windows after the rendering - on monday all room surfaces may surprise with a thick mold layer. Countermeasures for better drying out as well as controlled air exchange and suitable heaters, but also the preferring of dry building technology will help.
For the long-time evaporating of damp storageing concrete floors, ceilings and cement pavement, that will also cause the after months surprisingly appearing floor damage like concave and convex deformation, mold attack, etc., usually very extensive measures unto construction exchange must be chosen. Dry building technology, permanent heating of the danger zones will work for sufficient damp reduction and fight agains mold attack.
Mold attack as a result of wet building surfaces
First of all the warm air is condensating on cooler surfaces as it is told above. As cellar walls or unheated rooms are especially cool compared with hot and moistured summer air, they can get an extreme amount of condensate out of it.
Molded puzzle by condensation in a cellar. Not rising damp, but condensate from outside air humidity coming in the unheated rooms lets grow up mold, wet and dry rot and sponge.
Molded walls and ceiling areas, plastified or organic coatings of paint after some years, together with stored condensate a good breeding ground for black mold attack.
C3A-loaded cement plaster with the damp underground filled with CaSO4 will react to a swelling salt mineral (Ettringite) with huge volume enlargement. As result the plaster (and also tile) 'explodes' from the underground. In addition to the black mold attack.
Air exchange should be work therefore only if the outside air is cooler than the surface of the walls. This is impossible in entrance areas as well as in all unheated rooms with outside air connection during hot summer days. Here materials with good capillary drying as pure hydratic (not hydraulic! not even 'natural hydraulic'!!) lime render and plaster and limewash are advantageous.
The so often proudly promised 'vapour diffusion value' of many plastfied coatings are unfortunately without any relevance. Their waterproof components block the capillary drying out of the pores. Important: the water transport in building materials works 1000 to 1 more fluidly in capillar pores than in the form of vapour. So the vapour diffusion does not work at all and is a typical hoax and fake of our beloved building chemistry.
Dry rot myzel under the floor covering the aired cellar. Simple and cheap methods can create here remedy, also if many 'experts' waffles of the house damaging and poisoning toxic means against woodworms, beetles and other wood damaging insects. To get rid with all those damaging 'friends' you won't kill them with poisened fluids. Take the rotten parts out, repair, and keep your house dry (wood < 15% humidity, air < 65%) by better heating and permanent slow air ventilation. If your house is poisoned, maybe thus expert advice would be working against such friends, but is it friendly with you and your familiy?
The second damp source comes out of the ground. But it is not the so-called "rising/ascending" damp/dampness. This is quite impossible in the usual masonry: there is no capillary transport from fine pored stones to the rough pored mortar. Damp-proof course and injected chemical soups and sauces help nothing, but rather damage the masonry.
The Algae are blooming especially in summer and the crumby coating are no results of 'rising damp'. Expensive and cruel measures as well as DPC or 'Remedial plaster' can do nothing at all against this damp.
The real damp cause usually is a watertight pit, water permeable filled up, perhaps additional leaky drain pipes. By abundant raining the water fills the pit and overwhelmes the given building seal thanks to high pressure of the side, but also of the bottom as oppressive damp. A defective drainage can deliver water in addition.
Sealing of the pit with watertight 'normal' and cheap clay can help. As a comparatively simple method, this you can do also in DIY. Leaky pipes can be located economically by video techniques and repaired then in the required damaged aerea.
Mold and algae on the facade
Unfavorable weather situation and damaging methods like outside thermal insulation with low thermal conductivity are the prerequisite for black, green and brown molded facade. A dryout blocking plastified coating will enhance the chance for the attack by thus house friends. Condensate from air humidity and the cracked aged polymer coating penetrating by rain will moisture up the facade. The plastfied coatings capillary density blocks then the drying.
In addition a synthetic coating offers quite perfect breeding for algae and fungus. Therefore such coatings are poisoned up with algicides and/or fungicides. Unfortunately that poisonous chemical weapons can help only short time, the poisons must be water-soluble and will be washed out by rain. Then your garden soil is poisoned.
Thermal insulated facades with low thermal conductivity but without sufficient storage capacity for warmth, whether made of pored stones, foams, fibres or wools will every evening very quickly cool off. The then also cooling off air condenses into the cold facade surface and delivers the growth prerequisites for mold and algae. The warmer dowel plates will have less condensate. Their aerea will get therefore fewer mold. Industry however found quickly remedy and offers now better insulated dowel, so the algae growth is uniform over the whole facade ...
Now you can clean molded facade as an ever lasting maintaining, again and again newly repair cracks and coating with poisoned plastified paint. The classically facade repair with algicide alcalic lime products, sufficient weather protection and - if it really must be - well drying board planking are offering better alternatives.
"Algae attack on the thermal insulation plastered facade" out of '[Research] Thermal Insulation; in: 'Bautenschutz und Bausanierung', periodical for building maintenance and monument care, January 2002, S. 44, foto author: University Wismar, scan K. F.
Repair and cleaning of the attack
The repair, the cleaning and the newly coating of the attacked surfaces onto the complete exchange of the contaminated materials requires working precaution and a monitoring of the effects. Without abolishing the attack causes, there is naturally no remaining success.
Pay attention also that certain surface materials are working as permanent substrate for mold. Best breeding material as well as wallpaper, cellulosis, synthetic joint filler, plaster and coating or naturally algicide and fungicide materials as alkalic lime mortars and lime wash - you can decide by yourself.
For the cleaning of molded surfaces, cheap white spirit alcohol (easily inflammable!) delivers the best result. Alcohol dehydrates the underground free of residues, that kills the mold into the depth. Other poisonous means or vinegar acid can not be recommended. Molds love the sour milieu with pH < 7-8 that just synthetical coatings allocate. The high alcality of pure lime products protects against new attack - without health risky poison addition (chemistries fungicides/algicides).
Perhaps you will not find all informations you need here to get rid with your special mold attack. Therefore the 'Old Building and Monument Care Information' offers you over 1500 more sides to a lot of relevant topics.
Dipl. -Ing. Konrad Fischer, Architect BYAK, Hochstadt a. Main