In general, homeowners know that it isn’t good to have black mold on wood in their homes, but few people are well-informed enough to know exactly how harmful it can be to them. It is therefore a good idea to monitor your home and check that there aren’t any surprise mold growths, particularly if you live in a humid environment.
What is black mold?
Toxic black mold flourishes in warm and humid environments, particularly after it has rained heavily or is wet and not dried completely. It usually grows in the basement, bathroom or kitchen or any area exposed to water as in a leak from below the sink in the kitchen or bathroom.
Toxic black mold is better known as Stachybotrys chartarum and is extremely dangerous to human beings. It is said to be toxic because it produces toxins known as mycotoxins.
Recognizing toxic black mold: It is greenish-black in color and gelatinous in texture with a slimy layer on the surface.
What are the symptoms of reaction to black mold?
Among the most common risks and health effects of mold are allergies. Some of the most common allergy symptoms of mold include runny nose, wheezing, rash, itchy and watery eyes, redness of the eyes and coughing. Mold also irritates the airways and eyes and skin and causes fever and respiratory problems. Those with low immune systems or chronic lung disease can develop serious lung infections due to mold allergy. Other reactions to black mold include damage to internal organs, mental damage, exhaustion and nausea. In extreme cases, it can also be fatal.
How to remove black mold on wood
There are many ways of killing black mold that appears on wood. Here are some of them:
- After cleaning the mildew of its spores, using a vacuum cleaner with a hose, soft brush and HEPA filter will go a long way to get rid of loose spores. Throw all the spores into a plastic bag and put it in your trash can.
- You can also wash wood with water and a washcloth. Spray the water on the affected parts and rub vigorously with the cloth. Wipe with a paper towel.
- To get rid of mold on outdoor wooden furniture, rinse it with a garden hose and wipe it dry with a sponge so that no dirt or dust remains.
- You can also use a solution of dishwashing detergent and warm water and apply it to your wooden furniture. Brush it vigorously with a scrub. If it persists, make a vinegar solution and apply it to your stubborn mold stains.
- Sanding the wood is another way of getting rid of mold that’s deep inside the wood. Once sanding is done, refinish the wood so that mold doesn’t strike again.
- Which natural products can be used to kill black mold? There are several natural products that can kill black mold, such as:
- Ammonia: Ammonia contains bleach, which is effective in getting rid of mold. It also works as a disinfectant. To use it to get rid of mold, make a solution of ammonia and water in equal proportions. Pour it into a bottle and spray it where required on wood. Let it remain for about 10 minutes. Brush all the scuff that comes off and wipe it clean.
- Bleach: Using bleach on hard surfaces like wood with mold kills the spores it comes in contact with. However, it can only eliminate mold that grows on non-porous surfaces like bathtubs and countertops but cannot enter porous materials, so does not reach the mold that is beneath the surface of wood. To kill mold using bleach, use one part bleach to 10 parts water and apply this solution to non-porous surfaces with mold growth. Leave it for some time without drying it up.
- Tea Tree Oil: This eco-friendly product doesn’t need to be used in plenty to get rid of black mold. It’s a natural fungicide that can kill mold easily, besides working as a cleaner and a mold preventative. To use tea tree oil, add one teaspoon of it to a cup of water. Stir, shake and pour into a spray bottle. Spray it on the affected wood parts and wipe with a dampened towel.
- Vinegar: This green product can go a long way in getting rid of mold deposits in the home. Its mild acidic nature makes it safe for use for mold removal. To use vinegar, use white distilled vinegar to clean black mold by pouring it directly on the mold deposits.
- Baking Soda: If you’re looking for an alternative to ammonia and bleach, baking soda is a good one as it removes black mold efficiently and its odors too. This natural cleaner is also safe to use. To remove mold from your home, mix baking soda and water in equal proportions and make a paste that can be applied on mold deposits. Allow it to dry and scrub the deposits using a small brush. Wipe away mold debris or any remaining baking soda-water paste and you will find your wooden furniture not just mold-free but free of its odors too.
- Grapefruit Seed Extract: Here’s a natural and non-toxic product that works wonders when used to remove black mold at home. It helps by disinfecting and deodorizing the wood and is safe to use in a home with kids and pets. You can also use it to prevent any future outbreaks of mold. To use grapefruit seed extract, mix 10 drops of grapefruit seed extract oil to a cup of water and make a solution of it. Pour it into a spray bottle and spray it onto the mold infestations. Keep it on for about 10 minutes for mild stains and for an hour for stubborn stains. Clean the area and wipe it away. rinse and The acids in the grapefruit seed extract will continue to penetrate mold growth as well as prevent any future mold spores from coming back.
- Other products that can be used to get rid of black mold on wood: Apart from the above, there are certain other products that can also help get rid of black mold on wood:
- Borax: Add one cup of borax powder to a gallon of hot water. Fill up a spray bottle and spray it on your wooden furniture. Allow it to remain for a few minutes and wipe it with a dishcloth. Do not rinse.
- Hydrogen Peroxide: This non-toxic, environmentally-friendly product doesn’t leave a residue, is inexpensive and does not give off toxic fumes. It is also antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial, so is an ideal choice for use at home. To use it, make a solution of two parts of water and one part of a solution of 2 parts water and 1 part of 3% hydrogen peroxide. Fill a spray bottle with it and soak a towel with this liquid and let it remain for a few minutes. Wipe the mold infestations and see the difference.
- Home cleaning solution: If you find mold in your attic, seal the area and dry it. Remove mold deposits and clean with a cleaning solution, topping up with a dry-ice gun. Next, sand the mold infestations. After you remove them, coat the surface of your attic with antimicrobial material and ventilate the area.
- Alcohol: Wipe the area using a clean cloth dipped in alcohol. You can also use antibacterial wipes.
How to prevent black mold
You can prevent mold from developing on your wooden furniture in these ways:
- Make your home mold-resistant: Check for problem areas in your home, such as the basement, condensation on your window upstairs or leaking faucets. Once you do an audit of your home, you can begin to take concrete steps to get rid of mold or at least prevent it from spreading.
- Eliminate moisture from your home. Mold needs warmth and humidity to grow, so get rid of any seepages after a heavy shower or leakages or water accumulation in carpets, furniture or bedding. Don’t leave wet items like clothes in the washing machine or any other around lest they develop mold.
- Ensure good ventilation in your home. Check that your kitchen, laundry room and bathroom are well-ventilated as these parts of your home are considered high-moisture. Stoves and clothes dryers attract moisture; hence ventilation in these parts is essential. Install dehumidifiers and AC units to suck up the moisture and clean them periodically to make your home is energy-efficient humidity-free. Keep the windows open or use an exhaust fan.
- Use mold-resistant products. Whether you’re renovating your existing home or building a new one, it helps to use mold-resistant products such as drywall or mold inhibitors if using paints. Drywall helps in moisture-prone areas like kitchens, bathrooms and laundry rooms.
- Check indoor humidity levels. According to the US Environment Protection Agency (EPA),indoor humidity levels shouldn’t exceed 60%. Humidity can be detected at home by condensation found on walls, windows and pipes. To eliminate condensation, close leaky taps, repair them and dry the area.
- Reroute water away from your home. If your home doesn’t have a natural slope that makes it dry and free of water around the foundation, create a water path with a slope so that it doesn’t find its way into your basement or foundation.
Now that you’ve come closer to knowing a lot about how to remove black mold on wood, you can prepare yourself and your home to be entirely mold-free.