Therma-Stor Helps School Eliminate Mold Growth

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The Problem

A local school district faced a monumental problem during the annual year-end cleaning. A routine inspection uncovered a mold growth outbreak in several schools, which could have had disastrous effects on school attendance, budgeting, and future district funding.

Indoor mold problems are health risks which often result in school closures and multi-million-dollar renovations. Additionally, school districts and administrators are then forced to deal with panic and negative media attention caused by mold.

The school district couldn’t afford the expense of the redesigned HVAC system they thought they would need, or the hundreds of thousands of dollars it would take to install and operate the machinery. Instead, they contacted the team at Therma-Stor, hoping to find an alternative solution.

The Solution

Understanding the budgetary and timeline constraints of the local school district, the team at Therma-Stor sought to provide a more affordable, practical solution to eliminate mold growth in the affected schools. The goal – avoid the costly mold remediation and mitigation measures necessary after a widespread contamination, including a several-hundred-thousand-dollar renovation and a new HVAC system for each of the contaminated facilities.

The Therma-Stor team met with members of the school district maintenance team to uncover the source of the mold problem. Poor ventilation and high humidity seemed to be the root cause – both of which are common in older public schools and libraries. Therma-Stor offered several solutions utilizing products from the Quest complete line of Energy Star rated climate control equipment. The primary benefit being that the Quest solutions would work within the existing HVAC systems already in place at each school.

Making sure the solution would fit the schools needs, the team at Therma-Stor installed humidity monitoring systems in two classrooms. Just one classroom conforming to the ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers) recommended ventilation rate of 15 cfm per person will bring approximately 2 gallons of water per hour into the classroom at 75°F and 50% RH . When taking the whole school into account, this number becomes astronomical. Shown below is a graph showcasing the relative humidity levels from two classrooms over a span of just five days, one with mold control [green] and one without [yellow]. The room with mold control used a Dry 70 dehumidifier and an air conditioning unit, while the one without was limited to an air conditioning unit. Even from the spikes in humidity that are to be expected during school hours, the room with mold control maintained a substantially lower level of humidity, protecting the room against aggressive mold growth and degradation of any materials in the room.

The Result

The Quest 70, 105, 155, and 205 Dehumidifiers were chosen for several locations and installed in conjunction with the existing HVAC system. These systems are designed to remove 105 to 205 pints of mold-loving water per day from the air and are installed and ducted within the existing HVAC system. They also purchased several portable Hi-E Dry 195 units for targeted modular humidity control.

Quiet and classroom friendly, these systems offered what the schools needed – improved indoor air quality in the structure 24 hours a day. Twice as efficient as most standard dehumidifiers, the Quest products offered an attractive and affordable price point for the school district, while completely eradicating the ongoing mold growth problem.

The school district could use mold remediation and cleaning techniques to remove the existing mold from the facility and the new dehumidification system to prevent future mold growth. Because of the affordable pricing and fast turnaround from Therma-Stor, the school district’s affected schools could open on time and were able to avoid a costly renovation.

Therma-Stor Solves Complex Mold Problems

For schools and other public facilities, mildew and mold can have severe negative implications on public health. Therma-Stor understands and has experience working to resolve mold problems, and we work with clients in the public sector who are focused on keeping costs low and projects complete on time.

By working with the experts at Therma-Stor, you can protect your facility with energy-efficient climate control equipment that will work for you all year round.

For a customized analysis and recommendation, contact the team at Therma-Stor today.