Mold is actually a fungus which propagates by airborne spores that attach
themselves to a surface and then start multiplying. There several types of mold.
Some are harmless, beneficial actually (Penicillin is made from a mold) and some
are poisonous and very bad for you. It’s best to know which is which because
once mold begins to develop, it's almost impossible to remove.
When the environmental conditions are right, mold can quadruple in area in as
little as 24 to 48 hours.
According to a Harvard University School of Public Health study, over 50% of our
homes have indoor mold. Once you have mold spores, it’s incredibly easy for
those spores to latch on to a moist surface and multiply. That leaves several
million families vulnerable to the possible health effects of indoor mold:
Watery or itchy eyes
Respiratory problems (Mold can lead to upper respiratory illness).
In fact, a study at the University of Arizona suggests that mold spores are a
suspected cause in the tripling of the asthma rate in the past 20 years.
By knowing the facts and all about mold, you can keep your home and family,
safe and healthy. Use the internet as a learning tool. If you want to learn more
about mold, here is a good place to start;
Some health fears are real, ranging from mild reactions to acute neurological
disorders. Mold can be especially serious for people with Asthma, allergy
sufferers, small children and pets.
What about recordings
Records and audio tapes of all types are subject to mold. Cardboard containers,
record jackets and sleeves are especially vulnerable and very difficult to
decontaminate. I usually replace the sleeves.
I have treated several collections for mold and here's the mold remediation
process that I use:
I normally use white vinegar or hydrogen peroxide. You can also use a strong
solution of isopropyl alcohol and use the strongest solution that you can find.
However, there is some information that alcohol is not the best chemical to use.
After assessing the situation, I decide which chemical is best to use. Hydrogen
peroxide, won’t mix with vinegar and any kind of solution with alcohol will damage
acetate base audio tapes and some 78 RPM records and lacquer coated records.
White vinegar is generally best on anything paper or cardboard because it will get
down to the roots. Use the strongest white vinegar solution that you can get
because you have to get the cardboard jacket or paper sleeve as wet as you
dare. Don’t rub cardboard or paper items once they are wet!
The remediation process that I use is completed outdoors because I don't have a
clean room with a filtered, air evacuated bench. I usually suit up completely in
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and wear an N95 respirator. I spray the
items with the chosen solution and set them in the sun to dry. All of the items to
be remediated are turned at least once while drying in the sun. This is done about
four times over the course of a week. Ultraviolet light works well indoors, if you
have an air evacuated workbench. I haven't used ultraviolet light outdoors to
Then, while suited up completely (once again) and wearing a respirator, I treat the
items a second time. Because I'm anal about mold, I use disposable PPE and
dispose of it after one use. The one exception is the respirator, which gets rinsed
with 91% isopropyl alcohol and I change the filters after every use.
Reel-to-reel tapes are wound from one reel to another, one at a time, using a
8mm film editor that I have modified. While being transferred, the tape is wiped,
on both sides, with a cloth soaked in whatever solution that I am using.
The original reel is inspected, then soaked in denatured alcohol, dried and the
tape is rewound while being wiped (a second time) with another clean cloth that is
soaked in the solution. The cardboard tape box is sprayed again with white
vinegar, before the reel of tape is placed in it, (unless I’m using Hydrogen
peroxide) and the whole thing is set indoors to dry. After about 2 days, the tapes
and boxes are checked for any signs of mold. If there is none, I'm finished. For
cassette based media, I use transports that I have modified so that I can access
the tape. Sometimes, taking the cassette apart is best. Otherwise, the procedure
is the same.
At the end of the day, all equipment, including the work surfaces, are sprayed
with denatured alcohol or, at least, 91% isopropyl alcohol.
The procedure is also listed in the article: "
The Ken Slater Tapes
So, if you can see it, obviously you have an infestation and if you can smell it, it's
everywhere because traveling the air currents is one of the ways that mold spores
Please contact me with any questions or corrections.
© Corey Bailey Audio Engineering
DO IT YOURSELF?
BAKING AUDIO TAPE
LUBRICATING AUDIO TAPE
REPAIRING A BROKEN 78
FLATTENING A RECORD
A Little About Sound
Optimizing your PC
Packing Records for Shipment
People I have Known
Playing Records Wet
Playing a Wire Recording
Saving Your Family Video
The Ken Slater Tapes
Tubes vs Transistors
What Type of Wire?
Your Digital Data is at Risk