Wood is a magnet for mold, especially the toxic black molds. If you live in a humid area the risks of mold growing on wood is much higher. In humid southern states it is pretty much a guarantee that it will grow when the conditions are right. However, mold is not a death sentence to a wooden surface as long as you are diligent to remove it as soon as possible.
When Mold is Present Act Fast
When you notice mold growing on wood surfaces you need to act fast because it is such a favorable place for mold to grow. The wood is actually a type of food source for mold and it will grow there more rapidly than it would most other surfaces. Fast growing mold must be removed quickly because it could completely invade, stain, or even destroy wooden surfaces beyond repair.
Furthermore, mold is hazardous to your health when it dries and creates spores which are carried into the air that we breathe. The longer it takes you to act, the more you risk an expensive restoration or complete replacement of wooden material. If it is allowed to persist, it can also get into furniture, drapery, and other substances that are less susceptible to wood, but would ultimately become contaminated from close exposure.
Mold Prevention and Removal: Find it First
When indoors, you may first detect mold by the smell of must or mildew before it becomes visually obvious. Whenever you smell mildew, the mold is already there, and you need to look closely for it.
Some molds are not an obvious color when they first begin to grow. You can detect mold visually when you see what looks like uneven coloring, small spots, or just a sort of film over a wooden surface. The longer it stays, the more obvious it becomes. Mold, fungus, and mildew are more likely to appear in areas that are exposed to moisture. You will see it show up in places such as the sink area in a kitchen, wooden blinds, side paneling on houses, surfaces near aquariums, wooden porches, wooden furniture, paneling around the bathroom tub, or basements. Leaving the windows open, leaks, or faulty air conditioners that fail to remove adequate moisture inside are all factors that could contribute to making the inside of a dwelling more hospitable to mold.
Keeping your home adequately cooled and dry and regularly cleaning surfaces without leaving excess moisture will help prevent it from forming. Dehumidifiers can also remove excess moisture within a house.
Continually cleaning outdoor wooden surfaces can cause damage over time, not to mention unrealistically labor intensive. Applying waterproof coating to wooden objects is highly recommended for outdoors porches and furniture. If you know they have a tendency to attract mold. Such surfaces that are protective against molds include paint, varnishes and sun mica.
Obvious areas with dark colorations of mold are older and more mature, and you should definitely inspect your entire house as it has likely spread. Even if you find nothing, cleaning down all surfaces is highly advisable.
After the mold is removed, you want to be diligent in preventative matters. Homes that were once infected may have hidden spores that can easily germinate and recreate a mold issue afterwards. Always applying regular cleaning and prevention will keep mold from taking hold again.
Steps to Take for DIY Mold Removal
Organic mold removers, such as vinegar and essential oils, are the safest measure to kill mold, and you should try these if first. If they do not effectively remove the mold then the next step is to use multi-cleaners to remove it. The household cleaner 409 is a popular product for that but any other multi spray cleaner, or a solution of Clorox and warm water may work as well.
You want to use this as a last resort because chemicals can further damage and stain wood. In either method, use the minimal amount of liquid as possible. There will likely be some damage done and you want to do your best not to add further damage in the removal process.
You need to be patient while removing it to ensure that you do not oversaturate the wood. Thinly apply the solution over the surface and immediately scrub it with either an old toothbrush or a green kitchen sponge. Gently and evenly scrub the wooden surface, and then immediately lift off the moisture with a dry towel. Keep repeating the process until the mold is visually gone. Make sure that you thoroughly dry the surface and leave behind no excess moisture.