Mold is a nuisance that gets everywhere. Whether it’s your kitchen sink, bathtub, or ceiling, any areas of dampness will attract mold. And mold isn’t confined to common objects in and around your house; it can eat into exposed wood, causing it to weaken and break. Due to the porous nature of wood, mold is able to breed and thrive and removal is very difficult.
If you happen to find your wooden furniture has become a playground for mold, do not panic. There are many ways to remove mold from wood and help your antique furniture return to its former glory.
Types of Molds
Though there are many types of mold in existence, wood usually attracts the following types of mold:
● Black Mold
Black mold is the most common type to be found on wood. It can also be the most dangerous, with one in particular – Stachybotrys chartarum (also known as toxic mold) – being the most hazardous.
Black mold, as its name suggests, has a dark or black appearance, often appearing as clusters of spots. Its high need for water means it will most often grow on wooden surfaces, as wood absorbs water quite easily.
This kind of mold has the deepest roots, making it harder to remove than other kinds.
● White Mold
White mold is not toxic, unlike black molds, and will have a stringy, powdery appearance when it grows. Though it can still be dangerous for you and your family, white mold is much more dangerous to wood.
Removing white mold quickly is vital. When white mold grows on wood, or other materials such as carpet, fabric, or food, it can accelerate rot. This means that anything affected by white mold will be more likely to break down and sustain permanent damage.
● Green Mold
Green mold is much softer and has a fuzzy look to it. Although it is typically found growing on food, it can also affect wood and other materials if there is enough moisture.
Green mold only really causes harm if consumed, making it far less dangerous than other types. Regardless, it should still be removed as soon as it is found, as it can spread fast.
How to Remove Mold from Wood
If you find mold growing on the wooden surfaces in your home, your first step should be to identify the severity of its growth. If the wood it is growing on is part of your home’s foundation or important internal walls, great care must be taken. Ideally, you should seek professional Utah mold clean up services, as large portions of your woodwork may need to be removed and replaced. However, If the area of growth is small – like on the inside of a cupboard door – you should be able to remove it by yourself.
If you plan to remove mold without professional help, ensure you are adequately prepared for the task. As mentioned earlier, mold can affect you in several ways and most often gets into your lungs as you breathe. It can also get into your eyes or any cuts you may have. Therefore, we suggest you make sure you have the following safety equipment before you begin your mold removal:
- Safety goggles
- A face mask or respirator
- Rubber gloves
When you are ready, you can use any of the following products to remove the mold:
- Vinegar is a common substance that can kill mold roots by being absorbed into unvarnished wood.
- The alcoholic content of vodka works well at killing mold on stained or painted wood while disinfecting the surface.
- Dishwashing Detergent, when mixed with warm water, is also good at killing mold on stained or painted wood.
- Hydrogen Peroxide has many properties that make it great at killing and keeping mold off unpainted wooden surfaces. It is antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial.
- Borax mixed with water will kill mold and stop it from coming back. Be careful, though, as it can be absorbed by porous wood and make things worse. Only use it on non-porous, treated wood.
Other items you will need to remove mold include:
- A vacuum with a soft brush attachment
- Sponges and scrubbing cloths
- A spray bottle
- A soft cloth
1. Clean the area
First, you will need to clean the area of mold growth. Using a vacuum with a brush attachment, gently clear off the top layers of the mold. This will remove any spores and make the area easier to clean without spreading the fungus.
2. Dry the area
If the mold growth is still damp, it will first need to be dried. If you can expose the area to sunlight, this will help, but if not, using a dehumidifier can do the trick. This will help kill off the surface layer of mold and prepare it for whatever you use to kill it.
3. Spray the area with your chosen substance
What you use will depend on the type of wood or its treatment. For treated, varnished, or painted wood, you can use vodka, dishwasher detergent, or borax. For untreated or porous wood, vinegar or hydrogen peroxide will work.
Dilute your product with water in your spray bottle and spray it on the mold. Wait for the liquid to soak in and begin to work. Before it dries, use your sponges or scrubbing cloths to scrub down the area and remove the surface growth.
4. Allow to dry, and repeat if necessary
If the mold is still prevalent after drying, repeat the process. However, if it is gone, you can treat or stain the area to help prevent any further mold growth. As mentioned earlier, products like vodka and hydrogen peroxide are antifungal and antibacterial and can help prevent recurrences of mold growth.
Mold is, unfortunately, a fact of life. But if you are quick to find and remove mold growth, you can prevent it from becoming a problem. So long as you stay vigilant and remove mold from wood and other surfaces, you can be sure your home will remain safe and secure. Contact us if you need help with mold clean up in Ogden, Layton, or surrounding areas.