Mold is notorious for discoloring wood surfaces and leaving them with a musty odor, not to mention the fact that it poses a health risk to humans. Mold is responsible for a number of respiratory diseases, including asthma, and it can trigger allergic reactions in some individuals. The most common areas where you can find mold are drywall, carpet, wood and tiles. The reason why mold grows on wood is that when wood soaks up water and retains it, it contributes to making an ideal environment for the mold to flourish. The key to how to kill mold on wood is to act fast and not wait until it spreads to a larger area. You can remove mold from a small area of wood without the help of a professional. If the mold has spread over an area that is larger than ten square feet, you have to call in professionals to remove it. Here’s how to kill mold on wood.
Step 1: Safety precautions
Before you start mold removal, you should take appropriate steps to keep yourself safe. Wear a safety air mask so that the mold spores don’t enter your lungs. Wear rubber gloves and don’t forget to wear goggles. While most people prefer to use a HEPA filter vacuum, some try to kill mold by using bleach. Bleach is a harmful chemical and should be used with proper safety considerations. If you are using chemicals that have strong or dangerous fumes, ensure that the room you are working in is well ventilated.
Step 2: Which is the best cleaning solution for your needs?
There are a wide variety of cleaning solutions available on the market, so make sure that you have picked one that fits your situation. To kill mold on wood that is finished and painted, you can use mild cleaning solutions because you will in fact be removing mold from the surface. However, if the mold is growing beneath the surface of the wood, which is usually the case with unfinished wood, you might need a strong solution that will penetrate the wood and kill or inhibit the growth of mold. For finished or painted wood you can use a homemade solution consisting of a detergent and water solution consisting of baking soda or borax solution. For unfinished wood you should go for a commercial product, bleach mixed in a detergent solution, ammonia or hydrogen peroxide.
Step 3: HEPA filter vacuum
Most people apply the cleaning solutions directly to clean moldy wood. But it is better to first vacuum the moldy wood with the help of a HEPA filter vacuum by using its brush attachment. This will help loosen the mold spores and mold. After you have vacuumed it, apply the cleaning solution.
- Soak a cloth in the cleaning solution and wring it to remove extra moisture. Too much solution will add to the dampness of the wood.
- Use this cloth to rub the wood.
- It would be better if you start by testing a small area to check whether the cleaning solution is discoloring the wood. If it isn’t, then go ahead. Do not use brush or scrub pads if you are working on finished or painted wood.
- Let the solution sit for some time. If you are using a commercial solution, check the instructions of the manufacturer.
- Now with the help of a disposable cloth wipe the area dry.
You won’t be able to kill mold by just doing this process once. You will have to repeat the process until the mold is completely removed from the wood surface.
Step 4: Sand the area if required
If you see that the mold has seeped deep into the wood, you may have to lightly sand that area. Sanding will help in removing the mold. You should sand the wood when it is damp and not dry, as this will prevent the mold spores dissipating into the air. Once you have sanded the wood, apply the cleaning solution according to step 3.
After sanding the wood, you will have to refinish the wood, not only because it will look aesthetically pleasing, but also because it will prevent mold from entering that area again.
Step 5: Let it dry and clean up
After you get rid of mold on wood let the area dry. You can keep the wood in a warm, sunny and dry area. People living in high humidity areas can use dehumidifiers. Check for signs of mold. Often wood smells moldy after the clean up, but don’t worry, that will go in a few days. If the smell persists and you still see some mold, you will have to repeat the cleaning process.
You have just read our guide on how to kill mold on wood. Hope that helps you. But there is no way around keeping your house clean and preventing mold growth.