A few weeks ago, the Internet lit up with rumors that Cabela´s and other big box stores were installing grout seals to help seal the interior of their stores.
Now, a new study out of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign suggests that the grout can actually increase the amount of mold that gets into the interior and cause problems.
The researchers looked at the mold in the grouting of more than 4,000 items at stores across the country and found that, when measured with a vacuum seal, the average size of the mold was 6 percent larger in stores where the sealers were installed than in stores that did not.
Mold in stores with the sealer is usually found on the inside of the packaging.
But the researchers found that even in stores without sealers, the amount that was being trapped inside the grouts was significantly higher than the amount being trapped on the outside of the grouted products.
So the sealant is really just making the product worse.
The study, which appeared in the Journal of the American Dental Association, found that the amount trapped inside a grout was about a third larger than in the same grouted product in stores equipped with the same sealer.
Cabela`s and Target were the only three major chains that didn’t install grout, according to the study.
But the research also shows that the problem with sealers doesn’t just happen in the back of the store.
“Grout is really not the only thing that causes mold,” said lead author and assistant professor Andrea R. Lopes, a professor in the Department of Dental Surgery and a professor of integrative dentistry.
It’s the sealings that are causing the problems.
“So if you don’t have sealers in your stores, the mold will also be trapped inside, and then when it’s exposed to air, it gets sucked into the grates,” Lopes said.
So when you see a lot of people complaining about mold on their products, I think you might be surprised to know that sealers actually help with the problems of mold, Lopes explained.
In a study last year, Lamps found that a typical sealer costs about $40 to $60, and it’s only available in two colors.
Lopes believes that consumers who think the seal is good because they think it looks good, or because it is the best sealer they can find, might actually be getting a bad deal.
If you think about it, the seal actually does have to go in the front of the product, she said.
And sealers can actually damage the seal.
She says that the seal can also cause the product to have more friction when it is being applied.
Because the seal gets in the way of air circulation, it’s not good for cleaning the seal and also it can increase the risk of bacteria being released.
“It can cause mold growth in the products,” Lamps said.
“So sealers that you are really going to be buying for your shelves, just don’t buy them.”