Wood Mold Removal

How to Get Rid of Black Mold on Wood

Dealing with black mold on wood surfaces can be a challenging task, given wood’s natural tendency to absorb moisture—a prime condition for mold growth. Whether it’s furniture, flooring, or structural beams, when wood gets damp and isn’t dried promptly, it becomes a breeding ground for black mold. This guide will walk you through the effective strategies on what kills black mold on wood and how to kill black mold on wood, ensuring you tackle the problem safely and prevent further damage to your property and health.

Black mold removal on wood should be handled by a Mold Remediation specialist. Call us at (877) 349-1231 for a free consultation with a licensed remediation expert available 24/7 near you.

How To Clean Mold Off Wood

When attempting to locate or clean mold on wood, both you and professionals should use appropriate PPE. Whether wood mold is inert, allergenic or toxigenic, be sure to wear all of the following safety equipment:

  • Goggles
  • Face mask
  • Rubber gloves

You will also need the following mold cleaning supplies: 

  • White distilled vinegar
  • Water
  • Sponge or soft bristled brush
  • Towels
  • Fan or dehumidifier 
  • Sandpaper (optional)

protective equipment for wood mold removal

Additional PPE and containment supplies may be needed depending on the severity of an infestation and whether the mold is toxigenic. For cleaning fungus from areas larger than 10 square feet or dealing with a toxic mold species and strain, certain precautions may be necessary. These include half- or full-face respirator and setting up plastic sheeting. Additionally, fans should be utilized to create a containment environment with negative air pressure.

    If you suspect that toxic black mold is growing on wood, make sure that any respiratory equipment you use is rated to protect the wearer from exposure to mold spores, microbial volatile organic compounds and mycotoxins. An N95 or P100 mask is an adequate base level of protection to wear while cleaning mold off of wood. 

    1. Check the Condition of the Wood

    Depending on the extent to which mold has developed, it may be necessary to either tear out or clean and restore wooden furniture, fixtures, flooring or paneling. Property owners and mold inspectors should both wear appropriate PPE for identifying whether moisture and mold are so insinuated in the wood that irreversible rot has occurred. Seal up and dispose of rotten wood and replace the affected articles or materials.

    moldy wooden wall

    Solid wood that is not permeated by mold growth may be cleaned and restored. All wood is porous and can absorb moisture, potentially supporting mold colony spread. However, wood that has recently developed mold or has only superficial mold growth can be treated. It can be sanitized, scrubbed, or even sanded to remove the multicellular filaments or roots known as hyphae.

    2. Apply Vinegar on Wood Instead of Bleach

    Vinegar is the best natural mold killing treatment for the surface and sublayers of porous materials such as wood. Most mold remediation experts recommend diluting distilled white vinegar in a 5% to 6% cleaning vinegar solution in water or spraying onto moldy wood at full strength.

    Be aware that full-strength or diluted vinegar may have the potential to damage waxed wood or other delicate finishes. If you are not sure whether to clean mold off of any article made of wood or wooden surface, consult with a mold restoration expert.

    Apply a vinegar cleaning solution to materials that tolerate this treatment and then wait a full hour for the substance to sink in before scrubbing and wiping the surface. Reapply the vinegar as needed before toweling off wood and speeding up drying by running fans or a dehumidifier. Lucy’s distilled white vinegar is the best harmless solution on how to remove black mold on your wood. 

    vinegar mold removal

    Lucy’s Family Owned – Natural Distilled White Vinegar, 1 Gallon (128 oz) – 5% Acidity

    Unlike bleach, vinegar penetrates deep into wood grain to eliminate every trace of mold. Chlorine bleach is only effective for disinfecting surfaces, and the water in this cleaning solution could be absorbed into wood and reignite more mold growth. Wood treated with bleach may also become damaged and discolored.

    If vinegar is not a good choice for a particular type of wood or is not available, diluted baking soda, dish soap or the alkaline mineral salt Borax may be good alternatives for killing wood mold. Depending on how deep an infestation goes, it may be necessary to remove the surface layer of wood with 100-grit sandpaper to completely eradicate the hyphae or roots.

    After sanding wood, it may be helpful to reapply vinegar or any cleaning solution other than bleach. These substances will sink into the unfinished wood and can clear out any residual roots that could readily renew the growth of mold by remaining intact. Allow treated wood to dry out completely prior to applying an anti-fungal finish or primer and paint that contain Mildewcide.

    how to get black mold out of wood

    3. Vacuum or Scrub Visible Mold on Wood

    The best and least harmful cleanup approach varies based on whether the wood can be cleaned outdoors or needs to be addressed indoors. If you are able to clean the wood outdoors, vacuuming followed by sealing and disposing of the mold spores is the most effective method. This strategy significantly reduces the risk of personal exposure to mold while effectively removing mold from the wood.

    If the mold species is non-toxic, or if a toxic species is being removed from a fully contained area with negative air pressure, employing a HEPA-rated vacuum can effectively lower indoor spore concentrations, mVOCs, and mycotoxins. Professional equipment and expertise are essential for containing mold spores during cleanup. The United States Environmental Protection Agency recommends this approach for infestations that cover more than 10 square feet of a structure. This gentle preliminary measure can increase the effectiveness of subsequent scrubbing and wiping.

    If vacuuming isn’t an option, start with a mild cleaning solution like diluted dish detergent or vinegar on the wood, allowing it to sit before scrubbing. This method prepares the wood for thorough cleaning to prevent anymore mold spread.

    After vacuuming, apply a gentle wet cleaning solution such as dish detergent diluted in water or diluted or full-strength white distilled vinegar. Encourage the vinegar to penetrate into the wood by waiting at least 60 minutes between application and scrubbing with a firm brush or scouring pad that is then sealed and disposed of along with any other cleaning equipment that is difficult to thoroughly sanitize.

    scrubbing mold on wood

    4. Treating Black Mold on Wood To Prevent Reinfestation

    A wood mold infestation may recur in a structure as long as conditions remain conducive to fungus growth. Water damage or high relative humidity levels provide the moisture and wood contains cellulose, which is a rich source of nutriment for mold. While it is crucial to take measures to stop leaks or lower excessive moisture, treating wood can also prevent a problem from recurring.

    If a single application of vinegar does not get rid of mold on wood, consider reapplying this treatment at a stronger concentration, up to full 5% or 6% strength. In some cases, Borax, an alkaline mineral salt cleaner, may be a better choice. This substance gets absorbed under the surface of the wood. Once wood is treated with Borax or vinegar has completely dried, furniture or building materials are ready to be treated with a mold-resistant finish, primer and paint.

    Know When To Seek Professional Mold Remediation

    Building owners with mold infestation affecting more than 10 square feet should contact remediation professionals. Trained experts can implement limited or full containment if necessary to keep spores from spreading and intensifying a mold problem.

    Mold infestations that affect a significant portion of a structure may require limited containment. This measure involves sealing off the infestation with a single layer of plastic sheeting with a slit covered by an outside flap to allow for entry and egress. Full containment for toxic mold or large infestations requires the use of double layers of plastic sheeting along with an airlock or decontamination chamber.

    Remediation professionals have access to the cleaning equipment, PPE and restoration materials that are necessary to eliminate wood mold from any residential or commercial property. Valuable wood furniture or building materials may particularly benefit from the expert application of cleaning solutions and the use of commercial-grade equipment. This is particularly the case for expensive or rare articles or materials, waxed wood or wood with any other delicate finishes.

    Major infestations in which the mycelium or root structure of mold penetrates deep under the surface of wood may lead to rot and ruin. Short of this, proper cleaning and restoration practices for wood furniture and building materials can eliminate wood mold once and for all.

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    mold removal from wood