Mold can destroy the appearance of natural wood grain, both inside and outside your home, but that’s the least of your worries.
Mold is highly allergenic and can cause serious respiratory and skin reactions in people and animals, and it can weaken organic materials like wood if it is left untreated.
Therefore, timely removal is essential. However, mold is difficult to remove from most surfaces, especially grainy and uneven materials like wood and will sometimes require mold remediation from a professional service like A+ Restoration & Cleaning.
Types of Mold Found on Wood
Wood holds on to moisture, so it is a prime environment for mold growth. There are three types of mold that are commonly found on wood surfaces, including outdoor porches and decks, as well as indoor cabinets, floors and exposed wood in areas like the attic.
Black mold is the common name of Stachybotrys chartarum, one of the most dangerous species of mold. The mycotoxins released by black mold are extremely harmful, so it needs to be removed as soon as you notice it.
Black mold grows in especially damp places, and it is harder to remove than other types of mold because it has deep roots that can remain after the surface mold has been removed.
White mold, like the kind you’ll find on bread, fabrics, and wood, has a powdery texture. It can be easy to miss, but it will spread eventually and make itself more evident.
Luckily, this type of mold isn’t considered toxic, although it can still make you sick if you’re in close quarters with it on a regular basis. And it can still damage wood and other surfaces by eating away at them.
Green mold is actually a term assigned to several different species of mold that appear green, with a soft, furry appearance. These molds are common on food, such as fruit and bread, but excess moisture anywhere can cause green molds.
Green mold is a danger because it feeds on the organic material on wood and the wood itself.
How to Remove Mold from Wood
No matter what type of mold you have identified on your wood, it needs to be removed. The sooner, the better, because mold rarely dies on its own. If the conditions are right for mold to begin, then they are not likely to change.
Follow these tips to remove mold safely and completely from any wood surface in your home.
First, choose the right product.
- Specifically designed products – You can find a wide range of mold control and mold removal products for commercial use. They are effective enough to remove mold, but also safe enough for wood. Many of these products offer extended mold prevention.
- Borax – Borax has a multitude of household uses. It is effective for removing mold from non-porous wood like pine, redwood, and cedar. Mix borax with water at a ratio of 1 cup per gallon.
- Dish detergent – A high quality dish detergent can also remove mold from wood. There’s no need to measure. Just use a generous amount of dish soap (one long squeeze should do it) and mix it into warm water to make sure it completely dissolves.
- White vinegar – Distilled white vinegar is a natural household cleaner that many people embrace because it is non-toxic. However, it can still be very effective for killing mold. You don’t have to dilute vinegar before spraying it on surfaces with mold.
- Peroxide – Hydrogen peroxide is used to clean wounds because it is powerful against fungi, viruses, and bacteria. For these same reasons, you can incorporate it into your cleaning regimen and even use it to kill mold. Spray undiluted peroxide on mold just as you would vinegar, then wipe away.
One thing to remember: Do not use bleach to remove mold on wood! Bleach can cause irreparable damage to wood and remove necessary oils from wood. Additionally, several national health organizations have recently stopped recommending bleach for mold removal for all surfaces.
Next, use an effective technique.
Decks and porches
Wood structures outdoors are very susceptible to mold since they have little to no protection against mold. Covered areas are more likely to develop mold than those in direct sunlight.
- Scrub the wood aggressively with a mixture of soap and water.
- Purchase a special deck cleaner with oxygen bleach if you have stains you’d like to remove.
This method can be used for other indoor wood as well.
- Move everything that you can out of the room.
- Spray a soap, vinegar and water solution on the mold. Let it sit for 10 minutes, then wipe away.
- If the mold is deeper than surface level, you can spray it with peroxide or a specified mold removal product, then scrub to penetrate the wood.
Moveable furniture is not as likely to develop mold, and, fortunately, it is easy to clean if it does show signs of mold growth.
- Move furniture outside, if possible. Mold does not like direct sunlight.
- Scrub furniture gently with a soft brush and a strong dish soap and water solution or borax and water.
- Spray the furniture with distilled white vinegar. Leave for one hour, then wipe clean.
Finally, prevent future mold growth on wood.
- Seal decks and porches with a protective coat when the wood is completely dry.
- Indoors, you can run a dehumidifier to reduce the amount of moisture in the air.
- Repair water leaks immediately, especially in rooms where wood is present.
Professional Mold Removal from A+ Restoration & Cleaning
Removing mold can be dangerous because it releases spores that were once attached to the colony. This makes it easy for you to breathe them and get sick. It is also a common way that mold spreads around a home.
Professional mold removal from A+ Restoration & Cleaning is a good idea if you have pre-existing health concerns. It’s also a good way to make sure that you don’t end up creating an even bigger mold issue due to improper cleaning methods. One-time mold remediation is affordable and an excellent way to protect your home and the people you love most.