University of Toronto

To determine the impact of moisture on fungal growth on common indoor surfaces

  • Amount $249,550
  • City Toronto, ON, Canada
  • Investigator Jeffrey Siegel
  • Year 2014
  • Program Research
  • Sub-program Microbiology of the Built Environment

While it is well known that moisture in buildings is bad for both the structure and the occupants, no one has systematically investigated building material wetness and the associated response of fungal and bacterial communities. This grant supports efforts by Jeffrey Siegel, associate professor of civil engineering at the University of Toronto, in collaboration with J. Gregory Caporaso, assistant professor of biological sciences at Northern Arizona University, to determine the impact of moisture on fungal growth on common indoor surfaces. Sampling microbial community composition on gypsum drywall on three different test scales, Siegel and Caporaso will address how moisture affects microbial growth on common building materials, how different sensors respond to moisture changes in common building materials, which moisture measurements best correlate with changes in microbial communities under various conditions, and which building/materials/moisture factors have the biggest impact on fungal growth and community makeup? The researchers will share their findings through publications in building and life science journals, trade journals, and blog posts and through presentations at national and international meetings.

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