How Does Mold Grow?
- Much of the mold growth is not visible on the surface of materials
- Molds will grow if the environmental conditions are right. Molds need:
- Adequate moisture to germinate and then adequate moisture to maintain growth
- A food source; dead organic material to digest
- Appropriate temperature range
- Mold growth starts on the surface of wood, not inside
- In wood, mold can only grow when wood is above Fiber Saturation Point
- Free water is removed first before bound water when drying wood products
HT Sanitizer Mold Prevention Treatment
The HT Sanitizer Continuous Heat Treat System’s “drying” cycle is more precisely a treatment for mold prevention, not a traditional drying method.
Our treatment uses very high temperatures and pressurized, forced high air flow. Wood temperature will be 180 – 220 degrees or higher depending on treatment cycle duration. Compliance for ISPM-15 will be met during this treatment.
Due to high temperatures and air flow, wood surfaces are dried during treatment. Most mold is killed when temperatures reach 140 – 160 degrees F. A fair amount of water is removed during treatment and a steep MC gradient is created resulting in majority of surface moisture content reading to be under 20%. Treatment results in removing most if not all free water at the surface. Mold only grows on the surface when there is free water in the cells.
Treatment for mold prevention was successfully scientifically tested with White & Company in conjunction with the University of Virginia Tech in May 2017 (Download PDF)
As mentioned in several publications pertaining to mold prevention, proper handling and storage after treatment is crucial.
We have pallet companies using the HT Sanitizer Continuous Heat Treat System today drying pallets for end-customers in the food industry. Mold prevention will continue to become more prevalent in the future by other industries.