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Mold belongs to the fungi group and is a greenish-grey matter that grows in areas that are high humid levels. Mold emits an earthy pungent smell. There are different types of mold that can be identified by their color. We have black mold-greenish-grey, white-white, brown, and black. You can easily notice the presence of mold on wooden surfaces in your home when you see grey rings. These rings are a common feature near areas that have had exposure to water.
What Does Mold on Wood Look Like?
It is hard to identify mold on wood because naturally, wood comes in different shades of colors. And the growth of mold is gradual, that you might not clearly spot the color difference.
Also, since there are different types of mold, we have white mold that has a white appearance on wood and is loosely attached. The black and grey mold is also found on wood after the wood has previously been soaked in water and was not properly dried.
How to Remove Mold from Different Types of Wood
For you to effectively clean and prevent any type of mold from growing back, you need to first identify the cause. You, therefore, have to prevent conditions that favor the growth of mold.
When the mold is not properly cleaned, it leaves behind stains. It should therefore be properly removed using the correct cleaning agents and tools.
General ways of cleaning mold off surfaces are basically by scrubbing it off the surfaces and by use of the correct cleaning agent. It is also important to use wood-friendly cleaning agents that do not cause damage to your wooden surfaces.
As a general concern, for your cleaning to be effective, if possible clean your wooden from the outside for the portable ones. And for the ones attached to your house, clean while your windows and doors are open to allow them to dry well. Also, move them away from the wall. This allows for good ventilation.
Make sure that you wear protective gear. And vacuum the area after cleaning so that you avoid the spread of mold spores. If it is necessary, sand the area to eliminate residual mold.
Also, carefully select an appropriate cleaning agent to avoid damaging the wooden surfaces or totally discoloring them. It is also advisable that you apply a protective coat on your wooden surfaces so as to minimize the chances of the mold growing back.
Let us consider specific situations:
a. Wooden Chair
Here, there are several ways which include wiping the chair with diluted dish detergent or beach, among other methods.
Spray the chair with your preferred detergent, using a soft bristle brush, and scrub gently in a circular motion. Rinse the chair with clean water and allow it to dry.
Only use bleach for stubborn mold stains. Remember bleach discolors surfaces. Also, consider using sandpaper if the mold stain is really tough. Otherwise, sandpaper also discolors your chair.
b. Wooden Cabinet
First, remove all the contents from the cabinets. Spray the cleaning agent you settled on onto the cabinets. Using a soft bristle brush, gently scrub the mold off. Rinse thoroughly with warm water and a soft rag. Allow them to dry properly before using them.
c. Wooden Cutting Board
This is a kitchen appliance, so a lot of care should be taken during cleaning. This will help avoid poisoning of food. Many people prefer to use natural methods. Lemon and coarse ground sea salt are efficient. Apply the mixture onto your kitchen board and gently scrub the mold off, wipe it and allow it to dry properly.
Bleach is also allowed but you should be cautious and rinse it off thoroughly, to avoid contamination with other surfaces or food.
d. Wooden Window Frame
You need to spray the window frame with your choice of detergent. Allow it to soak into the wood. Have a sponge, and using hot water, gently clean the window frame. When you are satisfied with your cleaning, rinse it thoroughly. Dry it with a clean cloth and allow it to dry.
e. Wooden Door
Removing mold from a door is quite complex, for wood is porous. At times, you might be cleaning the outer surface yet the source might be deep in between the wood. If your door is painted, however, it would be hard for the mold to penetrate through.
Use the required detergent, and spray it on the door. Using a soft bristle brush, scrub the mold off in a circular motion. Rinse the door with clean water, wipe it and allow it to dry.
f. Composite Deck
This is more difficult due to the porous nature of the composite deck. Ensure that you remove all items and expose the whole surface that contains mold. Ensure that the deck is dry, then apply the cleaning agent. Gently scrub the mold. Rinse it up with clean water and allow it to dry.
g. Wooden Deck
Clear off the area. Make sure that you expose all the surface that has been infected with the mold. Then use the cleaning agent that you settled on and wipe off or scrub the mold. Allow it to dry properly. You can then put back whatever was there.
h. Wooden Floors
First, you need to clear all furniture from the floor and expose all the mold-infected areas. You can then apply your preferred mold cleaning agent.
Clean as per the instructions, that is wiping away or gentle scrubbing. Rinse with clean water then ensure that the floor dries up well, before putting your furniture back.
Keep checking on the spot regularly to avoid chances of the mold growing back unnoticed.
i. Wooden Walls
First, you need to access the damage to determine the type of cleaning agent to use. Using your cleaning agent, spray the wall and allow it to soak. Using a soft brush, scrub off the mold in circular motions. Rinse with clean water, and wipe with a clean cloth. Allow the door to dry.
If your wall had insulation, cut open the material to expose the extent of the mold. Clean it up and allow it to dry. However, if a lot of damage has been caused to your wall, consider replacing the damaged parts.
Black mold is a type of micro fungus that has a dark green or black appearance. They are found in humid and warm areas. They grow on surfaces like laundry rooms, basements, and wooden surfaces, among others. In order for you to remove the black mold on wooden surfaces, you have first to identify whether the substance is indeed black mold or not. To find out this, you need to use chlorine bleach and when the stain disappears, then it means that the substance is black mold.
Fill a spray bottle with water then add a teaspoon of soap. Shake the bottle to mix the soap then spray it on the wooden surface that has mold. Scrub with a soft-bristled brush then rinse with clean water. Dry the surface with a towel.
You have to identify the color of your wood then look out for the black mold signs which take the form of grey, brown, or greenish-black colorings. Some of these spots appear in the form of rings and are potentially damaging to wooden surfaces. Another way of identifying black mold is the pungent earthy odor that it emits.
Causes of Black Mold on Wood
Moisture is a key component for the growth and spread of black mold. The following are some of the causes of black mold on wooden surfaces:
1. Improper placement of the fan
This can occur when the air vents from your house open up in the wrong place like inside your house instead of the outside. If the air vents open inside your house, they shall cause dampness, a factor that triggers the growth of black mold.
2. Water leakages
This happens when your water pipes have leaks and water soaks into your furniture. This water shall be a breeding ground for the mold.
How to Remove Black Mold from Wood
First, you need to find out whether the mold is loosely attached to the surface of the wood or whether it is a big bulky mass. For the loosely attached black mold, it is quite easy to remove using the common cleaning and bleaching agents. The big mass buildup of the black mold is a bit cumbersome and, in most cases, you would need the help of an expert to have it thoroughly cleaned out.
For this exercise, you need a shop vacuum, bleach, N-95 respirator or mask, heavy-duty cleaner, drywall saw, painter’s tape, safety glasses, oil-based primer, scrub brush, and plastic garbage bags, rubber gloves, paintbrush, utility knife, and sandpaper. You then remove black mold from the wood as follows:
1. Identify a cleaning agent
This should be a good cleaning agent that penetrates the wood and kills the fungi. There are cleaning agents like distilled vinegar, bleach, and rubbing alcohol, among others. However, you should carefully select the cleaning agent so as to avoid a violent reaction of the detergents from happening, that is, avoid mixing ammonia with any bleaching agent.
2. Wear protective gear
This includes putting on gloves and long-sleeved shirts depending on the cleaning agent that you settled upon. Other safety gear that you can consider include protective goggles, a respirator, and coveralls. If you do not have all these protective gear, you can always improvise but choose good quality materials that can easily be cleaned or disposed of after the cleaning.
3. Vacuum the surface
Make sure you use a vacuum with a HEPA filter in sucking up mold and mold spores from the surface of the wood. As you vacuum, ensure the mold gathered is in a tightly sealed plastic bag for disposal. Otherwise, you may simply spread it to other areas in the home.
4. Scrub the affected area
Here, you need to carefully select a scrubbing brush that is friendly to your wooden surfaces but at the same time can effectively remove the black mold. This will help you retain the nice appearance of your wooden items. You need to scrub the affected area gently in circular motions until the black coloring is no longer visible.
- Fill a spray bottle with water then add a teaspoon of soap.
- Shake the bottle to mix the soap then spray it on the wooden surface that has mold.
- Scrub with a soft-bristled brush then rinse with clean water.
- Dry the surface with a towel.
5. Sand the area
The essence of this process is to prevent further growth of the mold after you have cleaned. You need to ensure that you remove all the roots of the fungi. Sand the area then repeat the scrubbing as done in process number 3 above.
6. Dry the area
When you are satisfied that you have thoroughly cleaned the affected area, remove all the residue from the area and allow it to dry properly. You need to carefully put all objects that came into contact with the black mold into the garbage bags for disposal. To be more cautious, tie the garbage bag with tape so as to avoid the mold debris from spilling and contaminating otherwise clean areas.
Sometimes, you might have properly carried out the cleaning process but you still see the mold on the wooden surface. In such a case, you will need to reapply the cleaning mix and allow it to be absorbed for some time then scrub the surface slowly again.
Cleaning tips for mold on wood
When cleaning mold of any type from wooden surfaces, follow these tips:
- Avoid cleaning wooden surfaces with bleach if the mold is deep inside the wood since it doesn’t get into the wood fibers. Instead, only the water in bleach solutions will enter the wood. This will instead provide better conditions for the further growth of mold instead of killing it. However, bleach kills mold effectively when it’s on the surface of the wooden surface.
- It’s advisable to clean if it is furniture, from the outside so as to avoid contaminating other surfaces with the black mold since it spreads in the air very fast.
- Use a vacuum to suck all the mold spores that might have escaped into the air. This ensures that your home is free of mold in general. Empty the vacuum canister from outside into the garbage bag and have the bag sealed properly to avoid the escape of the black mold particles.
- Very light surfaces with black mold are easy to clean by just having them aired under direct sunlight. This will eradicate the earthy smell and the mold coloring will also disappear after some time. You can also spray your furniture with a mixture of water and vinegar before airing them outside.
- You can also remove light mold by spraying your furniture with cheap vodka. After spraying, air the furniture under direct sunlight. You might need to paint your wooden surfaces with anti-molding substances. These are gotten from the paint shops and are mixed with normal paint. Their work is to prevent black mold from growing back to your wooden surfaces or furniture.
With these tips, cleaning mold from wood shouldn’t be hard. Some of these methods can be used to remove mold from stucco. If you can’t do it by yourself, consult an expert instead.
How to prevent Black Mold On Wooden Surfaces
The main methods to prevent black mold from growing on your wooden appliances include the following:
- Control the moisture content in your home. Make sure that you control the dampness in your home, always dry all wet surfaces, and ensure that your house is well ventilated. Have a good air duct system.
- Have all the water leakages repaired. This will ensure that there are no wet surfaces that can afterward accumulate dampness.
- Any furniture that is resting on your walls, pull it away so that it does not come into contact with the wall and build up moisture and foster ventilation.
- Dust and disinfect your furniture regularly, to avoid growing back of the black mold.
These pointers will help keep black mold away from the wooden surfaces in your home.
How To Prevent Any Mold from Growing on Wood
In solving the problem of mold in your home, you need to look at the causes that make the mold grow and prevent them. Here, the best approach is to eliminate all conditions that facilitate the growth of mold.
Mold thrives in areas that have a high moisture content. So the best way of eliminating the presence of mold in your home and specifically on your wooden appliances, try to eliminate moisture. Here, use dehumidifiers and air conditioners. This will reduce the moisture content in your home. It is also advisable that you keep your house at humid levels below 60%.
Your house has air conditioners, here, you need to keep the filters and drip pans as clean as possible. Ensure that the Ac system is clean and without any form of obstruction. This will ensure an efficient Ac system.
At times it is good to insulate surfaces that easily get in touch with water. These could be wooden walls, floors, or chairs. Insulation will reduce the amount of exposure to moisture content.
It is very vital to always dry wet surfaces as soon as you notice the presence of water. As earlier discussed, water has moisture, which is an essential element in the growth of mold.
When you have any leakages in your drainage or water system, ensure to have them repaired. When water leaks onto your wooden surfaces, mold can start to grow there. Have your drainage and plumbing system regularly checked to avoid any form of leakage.
On your cooling and heating system, have it checked by a specialist to ensure that it is of the correct size according to the house. And that it is properly working. Also, ensure that there are no leakages in your duct system. This will ensure the efficient elimination of moisture and prevent the growth of mold on your wooden appliances.
During warm weather, open your windows and doors to allow free circulation of natural air. This will allow your house to dry up in most areas.
While in your kitchen and you notice moisture building up on your windows, it is good to turn off some appliances that are not in use. On kitchen appliances like chopping boards, you can oil them with a coat of any safe oil. This will prevent the growth of mold, as oil does not allow the absorption of moisture.
When it comes to surfaces that can be painted, consider using an anti-mold type of paint. You can paint your chairs, and window panes, among other surfaces with this type of paint.
In the event that you clean up your wooden appliances, ensure to have them dried up thoroughly to avoid them becoming damp and attracting mold spores.
It is also important to regularly clean your house with mold-killing products. You can always wipe your chairs, window panes, and other wooden surfaces with these anti-mold cleaning agents. This way, you shall be preventing the growth of mold in your home.
To avoid a lot of moisture in your bathroom, open the windows while taking a shower.
The above discussed are ways of identifying mold on wooden surfaces, how to clean it up and how to prevent its growth on wood.