Mildew A Problem

Understanding mildew and its causes is the first step to resolving this common problem. Be assured that vinyl wall covering does not attract mildew to walls. Mildew is a product of environmental factors. Mildew exists when humidity, warmth and poor ventilation are present. Mildew requires three elements to survive and thrive: a warm climate, a food source, and moisture. Normal room temperature range provides an excellent climatic environment for mildew growth. Food sources include any organic material such as wood, drywall, paper, cloth etc. The third element, and trigger mechanism, is moisture. Mildew must be viewed as a symptom-- when it exists, you must look for the cause.
 
There is always a pattern to mildew growth. Sometime the pattern is easy to identify, such as the mildew growth is on the same wall in every room. At other times, you need to look for the pattern, such as in only one section of the building or every other wall, etc. Once the pattern is identified you look for the cause of humidity. It could be a water pipe break inside a wall, air-conditioning condensation seeping into walls, or rainwater seeping from windows due to poor seals. Or perhaps the outside wall was not sealed with proper materials (such as good paint), and rainwater has penetrated from the outside wall.
 
In twenty-five years’ experience in this industry, Levwall has visited many sites with mildew problems. In every case, we found the cause for the humidity and were able to rectify the problem.
 
Once the source for moisture is identified and steps are taken to prevent additional moisture from seeping in, any vinyl wall covering present should be stripped off the wall. Next, the wall should then be washed with a solution of half- warm water and half ammonia. Let the wall dry and then use a stain block such as Kiltz. If new vinyl wall covering is to be hung, use adhesive containing mildew inhibitors.
 
Do not use clay base adhesive. After the wall covering is hung provide good ventilation. In unoccupied hotel rooms, it is advisable to run the air-conditioning unit at least one hour for every twenty-four- hour period. We do not recommend use of vinyl wall coverings in areas were high humidity cannot be controlled. In areas where the climate is warm and/or humid and humidity cannot be controlled, our RomaTex® products provide excellent mildew control.