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Re: GSBN:Leaving bales bare
- To: GSBN GSBN@...
- Subject: Re: GSBN:Leaving bales bare
- From: John Swearingen johns@...
- Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2005 21:21:25 -0800
- Reply-to: "GSBN" GSBN@...
- Sender: "GSBN" GSBN@...
This is an interesting topic right at present, since we're trying to
stack 1000 bales in exposed gable ends in the middle of torrential wind
and rain in California (we've only lost 20 bales to the rain). While
certainly I agree that it's best to use dry bales and get them plastered
quickly, I question whether this principle should be raised to a level
of almost absolute priority. Habib's experiences, and our own, suggest
that the walls are pretty resilient when it comes to moisture.
It seems from what John is saying, that mold growth is jump-started in
bales that have previously experienced conditions of spore growth, but I
would ask whether, or how, this influences the future suseptability of
the wall to mold. It would seem that the humidity level required for
mold would not change, simply that mold would appear more quickly, say
after two winter's wetting rather than ten? If the walls are not likely
to experience serious wetting in the future, is this really a problem?
John Straube wrote:
Rene's observations are similar to mine and I agree with them
However, spores exist is all bales unless they have been irradiated or
equivalent for some time
The difference in why under some conditions things take off and others they
don't is likely (not for sure) due to the level of growth that already
occurred in the bales before the event.
Spores take some time to start growing and when they go dormant, due to
drying or whatever, it takes much less for them to start again.
Hence, I think the reason is that bales that have some growth, not
macroscopically visible, will go moldy really quickly, while those with only
spores take a lot longer to start.
Dr John Straube
Dept of Civil Engineering & School of Architecture
University of Waterloo
Waterloo, Ont. Canada
<a target="_blank" href="http://www.civil.uwaterloo.ca/beg">http://www.civil.uwaterloo.ca/beg</a>
From: GSBN [<a target="_blank" href="mailto:GSBN@...">mailto:GSBN@...] On Behalf Of Rene Dalmeijer
Sent: Monday, January 17, 2005 9:13 AM
Subject: GSBN:Leaving bales bare
A topic I have been pondering recently concerns the logic of rapidly
applying plaster to bale walls. I plead for doing so. Based on the
Fresh dry bales are basically relatively spore free. If these bales are
rapidly encased in plaster there is very little chance that the straw will
be infected with new fungus spores. Therefore seriously improving the
chances of a long life span of the SB wall even in the event of a one time
In the past I have heard about and seen SB houses that have experienced such
a seemingly disastrous wetting without serious consequences. I expect that
the bales were able to dry without fungus growth setting in because of very
low spore levels due to using fresh and dry straw during the build. In other
cases though I have seen bales rapidly growing mushrooms after a seemingly
light wetting. I think the main thing separating these cases is the presence
or lack of- spores in the bales.
I wonder what others feel on this topic. I strongly believe that one of the
main tricks to longevity to SB walls is getting the bales dry in the walls
and then getting the building rapidly out of the after building moisture
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GSBN is an invitation-only forum of key individuals and representatives of regional straw construction organizations. The costs of operating this list are underwritten by The Last Straw Journal in exchange for use of the GSBN as an advisory board and technical editing arm.
For instructions on joining, leaving, or otherwise using the GSBN list, send email to GSBN@...HELP in the SUBJECT line.