Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to our most commonly asked questions.

How does the SterileTec Anti-microbial work?

The active ingredient in our antimicrobial forms a colorless, odorless, positively charged polymer, which chemically bonds to the treated surface. You could think of it as a layer of electrically charged swords. When a microorganism comes in contact with the treated surface, the quaternary amine sword punctures the cell membrane and the electrical charge shocks the cell. Since nothing is transferred to the now dead cell, the antimicrobial doesn't lose strength and the sword is ready for the next cell to contact it. Normal cleaning of treated surfaces is necessary to prevent build up of dirt, dead microbes, etc. which could cover the treatment, prohibiting it from killing microorganisms.

What is the purpose of the silane portion of the molecule?

Our Anti-microbial is an organosilane. Silanes are extremely efficient bonding agents, which can be coupled to other molecules and then used to permanently bond these molecules to a target surface. In other words, it is the "glue" that holds the "spike" to the surface. This process modifies surface properties of building materials and transforms them to a material that will not support microbial growth.

Is the technology in SterileTec Anti-microbial a quaternary compound?

The sword part of the molecule is a quaternary amine. Unlike traditional quats without the silane portion have a very short effectiveness our Ani-microbial provides long-term protection, and controls a very broad spectrum of microorganisms (including Gram(+) and Gram(-) bacteria). Plus, it is easier to use.

What is the difference between SterileTec Anti-microbial and other antimicrobial treatments?

Conventional products penetrate living cells and kill by way of poisoning the organism. They are designed to act quickly and dissipate quickly to avoid adverse effects to humans and animals due to their toxic ingredients. Most commercial antimicrobial products used for treating building surfaces do a great job of getting a quick kill on bacteria and fungi, provided they are allowed to remain on the surface for the necessary dwell time. Our technology takes a totally unique approach. If provides an effective initial microbial kill when applied, like the conventional methods, but it also provides long-term control of growth on treated surfaces. The surface itself is modified to make it antimicrobially active for a long period of time on the substrate, which it is applied, unless the ST Anti-microbial is abraded off the substrate.

Is there a test method to determine if SterileTec Anti-microbial is present?

Our technology is based on an active ingredient that, in most cases, can be easily detected with UV dye.

How does SterileTec Anti-microbial react to commercial and residential carpets?

The newer solution dyed carpets are excellent with our Anti-microbial. There have been some instances of slight color fade with certain acid dyes. All carpets and upholstery should be tested for dye fastness prior to treatment.

Is SterileTec Anti-microbial permeable to moisture?

Yes, moisture that is in or on the treated material or surface passes through the treatment. After curing, the treatment is somewhat hydrophobic (water repellent), but it should not be considered a replacement for commercial water repellents.

Does SterileTec Anti-microbial give off gases during or after application?

No, it does not volatilize, dissipate, or leach onto other surfaces or into the environment. Its chemistry polymerizes where it is applied and forms a permanent bond that lasts for the life of the treated surface. Normal cleaning should not remove the treatment, although it can be abraded away if the surface comes into contact with a gritty compound.

How long does the treatment last?

Since the cured antimicrobial is in-volatile, insoluble, and non-leaching, the treatment should last for the life of the treated surface. The life of the treated surface depends on a number of factors, not the least of which is surface preparation. If you treat a dirty or unstable surface, when the dirt comes off or the surface is disturbed, the effectiveness of the antimicrobial will decrease. Abrasive or caustic (pH 12.0) cleaners will also shorten effective life. In our experience,  our applicators have seen effectiveness for a minimum of one year with normal housekeeping.

Is there re-growth after treatment?

SterileTec Anti-microbial, because of its unique chemistry, provides long-term protection against re-growth and future contamination on treated surfaces . Porous surfaces, which are contaminated below the surface, will occasionally experience some growth, which breaks through a treated surface, like grout if the space behind the wall is wet.

What preparation is necessary prior to applying the treatment?

Surfaces should be thoroughly cleaned and any residue from cleaning agents must be rinsed from the surfaces to be treated. The final rinse should come off without any signs of dirt or foaming from the cleaners. ST uses an EPA registered cationic disinfectant and cleaner on needed surfaces prior to the electrostatic application of ST Antimicrobial to improve attraction of the Anti-microbial molecule to the substrate.

How should a contaminated surface be treated?

Microbes can be extremely hazardous. Severe contamination with hazardous organisms may require cleaning protocols similar to those for asbestos removal. For normal contamination, solid surfaces should be thoroughly cleaned before treatment. Soft surfaces such as carpets and upholstery should be well vacuumed or professionally cleaned. Insulation can be cleaned and treated if only superficial growth on the surface is present. Insulation that has heavy growth or is damp should be removed and replaced.

How does the SterileTec Anti-microbial product get applied?

Trained and certified technicians match the latest application techniques to the specific project's scope of work following established Protocols. Using those guidelines, technicians choose from hand-wiping, coarse spray/fogging, or an electrostatic application process. Hand wiping is used for small jobs where spraying applications are not prudent such as small, constricted areas or on a surface that requires delicate handling. Coarse spraying/fogging is used when a surface is very irregular and deep penetration is needed - carpet is a good example. Large areas most generally require the use of the electrostatic process, which utilizes spray wands and nozzles that impart an electrostatic charge to provide a very uniform and thorough coverage of the targeted surface.

Have Questions?

If you have questions about SterileTec treatment services or our products, please use the contact form below or give us a call at (940) 233-8100.

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