White mold on wood is pretty unsightly. Obviously when you see it, your first reaction would be “how to remove it?” But not all that ‘unsightly’ white on wood can be white mold. It can be efflorescence too. Read on…
So what is white mold?
It is a type of fungi. Though there are some beneficial kinds of fungi that you can eat or use to make medicine, there are those that are dangerous to our health.
Mold can be found indoors and outdoors. When found outdoors, you can be sure to see it in humid, dimly-lit areas. Indoors, you can spot it in attics, bathrooms, basements, leaky windows and pipes, etc.
How to identify white mold on wood
Though white mold is often seen in homes, yet it lacks the attention that its black counterpart receives. White mold growth is often mixed up with efflorescence, a structure that grows in crystal form on masonry and concrete surfaces. Whenever water is passed through a masonry structure, efflorescence results. It brings a lot of free salt to the surface. As soon as the water evaporates, it leaves in its wake a white fluffy structure, similar in appearance to white mold.
Differences between white mold and efflorescence
- Efflorescence can dissolve under a spray of water while mold growth won’t.
- Efflorescence can only be seen growing on bricks and other masonry surfaces and on concrete. So, if you find a moldy growth on wood, you can be sure it’s not efflorescence.
- Efflorescence has no distinctive smell of its own but mold growth is musty in odor.
What is mold remediation?
White mold remediation is a process by which this fungus is removed and repaired when its deposits are found at home. This complicated process must be done with utmost care so that the wood is not further exposed to dangerous mold spores. It can be found in bathtubs, tiles, wood, drywall and carpets. These parts of the house should be cleaned thoroughly and if it still doesn’t go, they should be removed and replaced with new substitutes.
Mold can grow in all kinds of places in the house—where you can see them and where you can’t. For instance, it can grow in walls, below carpets and above ceiling tiles, just as it can grow inside the ducts of heaters and air conditioners. Spotting all of the mold deposits in your home may be difficult if not impossible, and if you miss out on even one, it will grow at that point.
Mold removal is a tricky business because remediation throws up mold spores into the environment, thereby enhancing the risk of mold-related diseases such as rash, chronic rhinitis, night sweats, fever and cough. If you feel you have the symptoms of mold-related diseases, do not undertake remediation jobs or you will further expose yourself to mold and worsen your symptoms.
Problems of mold remediation
If you want to clean up your mold deposits at home, don’t let its color or odor deter you. You can get an allergy even from non-toxic molds, so be careful. You might find that though molds are white, they aren’t allergenic. Since it is not known just to what extent these allergenic molds are dangerous, they should all be treated in the same manner.