Does ozone kill mold? Ozone and mold is a controversial topic. Most government agencies do not recommend ozone mold removal based on an older study which said ozone does not kill mold.
However there are many other studies that show ozone does kill mold. And today many contractors are using ozone for mold remediation. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-ozone_shock_treatment
The fact remains that ozone is capable of killing molds, bacteria and eliminating odors. It can remove mold odors, tobacco and pet odors and it is widely used in industrial settings as a sterilant.
“Ozone is used in industrial settings to sterilize water and air, as well as a disinfectant for surfaces. It has the benefit of being able to oxidize most organic matter. On the other hand, it is a toxic and unstable gas that must be produced on-site, so it is not practical to use in many settings.
Ozone offers many advantages as a sterilant gas; ozone is a very efficient sterilant because of its strong oxidizing properties (E = 2.076 vs SHE, CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, 76th Ed, 1995–1996) capable of destroying a wide range of pathogens, including prions without the need for handling hazardous chemicals since the ozone is generated within the sterilizer from medical grade oxygen.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sterilization_%28microbiology%29
Ozone Mold Remediation
Using ozone for mold remediation has become popular recently. It can be used to shorten the mold removal process and save time and money.
But before you consider using ozone as part of the mold remediation process it is important for you to understand what ozone can and cannot do.
Ozone can kill black mold or other household molds on surface areas and in the air but it can not penetrate inside walls. For this reason it can not be used as a standalone procedure for mold remediation.
Once a home has been gutted, ozone shock treatment can be used to kill mold on those surfaces instead of costly and messy sanding or sand blasting procedures. This can save time and money, allowing homeowners to return sooner. Because it is a gas it has the advantage that it can be used to get into hard to access areas like venting.
One of the biggest problems with black mold removal is containment. Since mold is microscopic it can easily spread without being seen. Ozone generators can be set up to shock treat a home after mold removal and prevent this spread and assure that there is no mold escaping to other parts of the home.
Home Ozone Generators
Reasonably priced home ozone generators are now available. These lack the output of a commercial ozone generator but are suitable for cleaning up a good sized room.
Some units only produce ozone while others may include a HEPA filter to remove air particles. Some include anion emitters to help remove particulate matter from the air or UV lights to sterilize the air further. These multiple function units are probably best for most home situations. You can eliminate odors, get rid of mold and improve your indoor air quality.
A word of caution is due here. First, it is not safe for people or pets to be in a room with an ozone generator running. Home ozone generators have timers built in so you can set them to run while you are at work or away from home. With some units you can use them without the ozone and just filter and freshen the air.
Secondly, using a home ozone generator is not a substitute for performing a proper mold removal because ozone only affects surfaces. Because they can’t penetrate into wall cavities and kill the mold there these devices are only suitable as a temporary measure until a proper mold removal is done.
It is also important that all moisture problems be dealt with and corrected or the mold will simply grow back again regardless of how it is removed.
A home ozone generator can be useful to remove odors and help filter out airborne mold spores and particulate matter like pollen and pet dander, thus improving indoor air quality.
Be wary of any contractor who offers a low bid and tells you he can just use ozone shock treatment to get rid of mold. However ozone treatment for mold along with conventional mold removal techniques is very effective.