In the outdoors, mold is a helpful organism that helps breakdown dead material. However, you don’t want mold in your home! Mould can live on any living organism and reproduces through spores that can be transported by air, water, or even insects. When the right conditions are present, these spores allow mold to grow. Not only is black mold unsightly and potentially damaging to wood surfaces, it can also cause health problems for those sensitive to allergens.
Causes of Black Mold Growth
In order for mold to grow on any surface, but especially wood, moisture must be present. In homes and other buildings, moisture build up can be caused by many different things. If you have a large household, you have a better chance of finding the black fungus; when we breath we give off moisture. Additionally, hot showers and even cooking can contribute to the moisture-level in homes. However, moisture build-up can also occur from certain malfunctions in your home. Black mold can show up after you’ve had a leaky roof or pipes as any moisture that is trapped can turn into black mold.
Placement of Fans
How to Remove Black Mold from Wood
Because black mold on wood can cause harmful health affects, is unsightly, and can potentially weaken wood structures, it is very important to remove it as soon as possible. Although black mold removal may seem daunting, the job can be completed with just a few steps. There are several techniques that can be used for to remove black mold from wood. Perhaps one of the simplest is using hot water and detergent.
Step 1: First, make sure that your detergent does not contain ammonia. Next, scrub the whole fungus surface with a stiff scrub brush, hot water, and the detergent. Be sure to sponge, mop, or vacuum any remaining water from the wood.
Step 2: Afterwards, use clean hot water to rinse the wooden surface. It’s imperative to dry the wood to be sure that no moisture remains. It can also be a good idea to thoroughly disinfect the area using a mixture of water and bleach to ensure that all mold spores are gone.
Removing Black Mold from Wood using a HEPA
Another method of removing black mold from wood is to use a High Efficiency Particle Air (HEPA) vacuum. These vacuums can be used after the above steps. A HEPA vacuum is good to use in order to make sure that all mould particles have been removed. This can include dust they may have accidentally been spread during your initial cleanup of the black mold. Be advised that if you have fungus in a carpet or mattress, it can be extremely hard, if not impossible to get rid of. In those cases, it may be best to dispose of the contaminated objects.
The best way to prevent black mold from growing on wood and other surfaces in indoor buildings is to make sure that there is proper ventilation and that all fans are placed so that the damp they blow out is going outside and not somewhere inside of the building. Also, if you know that a building has been through any type of water damage, or flooding, it is advised to use one of the above methods to make sure that no moisture is trapped in tricky wood areas that may lead to black mould growth in time. Keep in mind that this fungi thrives with humidity and moisture. It can be helpful to use a humidifier in your home to prevent black mould growth.
Unfortunately, the removal of mold can be dangerous to those who are extremely sensitive to allergens. Therefore, it is best to use protective gear in abundance. For eye and skin protection, gloves that are long and extend up to the forearm should be used to prevent any skin irritation from not only the fungus, but also cleaning products such as bleach. It is best to use “heavy duty” gloves that are made out of rubber or neoprene. For the eyes, safety goggles that don’t have holes should be worn. In certain situations, where heavy amounts of black mold are present, it may be necessary to even wear a full face respirator.
The type of respirator used should be dependent upon the amount of mold in the area you are cleaning. For example, if there is only a small amount of mold, a respirator that only covers the nose and mouth should be sufficient. This type of respirator can be found in most stores. However, if there’s a heavier amount of mold, a half or full face respirator should be used. Again, depending on the amount of mold you are having to remove, disposable clothing may be worn to prevent mold spores from landing on your clothes.
When removing black mold, remember to use caution and follow the above tips for selecting the proper protective gear for your situation.