EDUCATION

A Mold Story

Mold is a common threat to any indoor growing facility. When mold starts to form within the walls of a facility, it can quickly make its way onto the plants. Far too often, new growers overlook the threat of mold during the construction phase of their facility.

Daniel Afari recalls one instance in which a client came to him concerned about their facility. The facility was made of wood, stubs and drywall, and after several years of operating it had developed a mold infestation. The mold was growing in the drywall which quickly became a systemic problem for the entire cultivation. The client had a 4 foot of plastic wall liner to protect the wall from water and other moisture, but discovered the black mold covering the entire wall when they removed the FRP. The client reached out to Daniel for advice on how to get rid of the mold. Daniel advised that he should completely clear out the drywall and replace everything with insulated metal panels that would help protect against mold. Only looking to save money, the client laughed at Daniel, saying that it would be far too expensive to replace everything.

After a couple of weeks, Daniel reconnected with the client and asked what he was doing to remediate the mold situation in his facility. He explained that he found a contractor that removed the mold-infested drywall, sprayed everything with bleach, and simply put in new drywall. As the client put it, everything was “just fine” with the facility. A couple of months passed and Daniel and the client crossed paths again. Daniel inquired about his facility and how the new drywall was working out. Unfortunately for the client, the black mold had already repopulated in the drywall and he ended up having to shut down the entire facility because of it.

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Before attempting to fix the mold problem

Before attempting to fix the mold problem

After attempting to fix the mold problem – the mold reappeared in the new dry wall after just a couple of weeks

How do you Prevent Mold in a Cultivation Facility?

The first mistake that this client made was hiring a contractor who was unfamiliar with cannabis construction and the threat that mold plays in these facilities, especially if not built with the proper structure and materials. His second mistake was trying to mitigate the situation with bleach, as this did nothing to fix the root of the problem – the fact that moisture easily builds up in drywall, leading to mold. In an effort to save some money in the short-term, the client lost his entire revenue in the long-run..

There are several common types of molds that can develop in cultivation facilities including black mold, grey mold, blight, and powdering mildew (PM). For indoor grow-houses, the first step you can take to protect against mold is using insulated metal panels as the walls of your cultivation facility. These panels will not trap moisture like drywall and other porous materials. We only use the industry leader in insulated metal panels known as Diversified Panel Systems (DPS) on our projects.

While these panels play a significant role in preventing mold, there are many other factors that can lead to mold growth within a facility. Other than building your facility with insulated metal panels, you can also protect against mold by utilizing proper environmental controls, air purification and filtration systems, mold control equipment, and sanitation processes for workers in the facility. As part of our turn-key build out, we build clean room facilities so that cultivation professionals can sanitize before they reach the clean air inside the grow room. In addition, we will set up all hydroponic systems correctly and train facility workers how to properly operate these systems to help prevent against mold growth.

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