Last Updated: February 2, 2023
Mold on wooden decks, floors, or other surfaces within the home is a common problem. If you want to know more about how to remove mold from wood, what causes it, and how to prevent it, stay with me and find out in this article.
What Is Mold?
Mold is a type of fungus that is very frequent in households. Similar to all living organisms, it needs water to survive; mold cannot grow without it. It also needs other conditions like food source, temperature between 40°F and 100°F, and oxygen.
Before I discuss what kills mold on wood, it is good to know that generally, it grows on water-damaged walls, wet carpets, constantly moist bathroom walls, around sinks, bathtubs, and windows. It can sometimes be found in AC systems, too.
People with fragile immune systems are particularly susceptible to mold-related issues. These can include sinus or nasal clogging, asthma, skin irritation, and coughing. That’s why it’s useful to know how to get rid of mold on wood.
|DID YOU KNOW: Home warranty policies don’t cover mold-related issues because they aren’t part of the damages occurring from normal wear and tear. Molds are seen as maintenance issues, which aren’t covered under warranty company regulations.
Types of Mold
There are a few most common types of mold that you can recognize by their black, green, and white colors. You can find them on food, wood, fabric, plants, and other organic materials.
Later in this article, I’ll explain how to remove white mold from wood but for now, let’s see what white mold is. Like most fungi types, white mold prospers in moist areas like basements, bathrooms, and wet walls. It spreads and thrives only if it has a steady source of food like sugar and starch, which can be found in anything made of wood like wooden floors, furniture, beams, and ceilings.
Green mold is a broad term that alludes to multiple mold species in different hues of green. You can recognize it by its soft, woolly look. It can be found as a green speck on rotting bread, fruits, and other foods, but it can also survive in moist areas of your house like walls, wooden furniture, and carpets. That’s why it’s good to know how to remove green mold from the wood deck and other fungi-friendly surfaces.
Thriving in damp places, black mold lives off of cellulose materials, such as paper, wood, and cardboard. It can also be found in some cellulose-rich and low-acidic foods. As with any other mold type, it grows in wet areas, especially if the ventilation in the room is poor, or if the room has leaky pipes.
People who live in mold-contaminated spaces should learn about cleaning mold off wood and other mold-friendly materials. As this research on Stachybotrys mycotoxins suggests, mycotoxins from Stachybotrys Chartarum can be linked to some health issues like chronic nosebleeds, headaches, changes in mood, and respiratory problems.
|DID YOU KNOW: Each year, mold destroys more raw wood material than fire and termites combined.
What Kills Mold on Wood
Those fungi-type organisms can be very tenacious. But, don’t worry about that. Let’s take a look at some of the products and substances that kill mold on wood:
Molds prefer a habitat where the PH level is between 3 and 7. Borax is a natural salt-mineral compound made from boron. It has a 9.3 PH level, and it is very alkaline. When you cover the fungi with borax, it creates a hostile environment for its growth.
Sporicidin is a disinfectant. It cleans, disinfects the spot, and prevents mold and mildew growth. You can use it on walls, floors, wood, and common areas with high moisture levels. It is effective against any type of fungicidal and mold infestation.
Before you remove mold from wood furniture with Sporicidin, you should clean the surface first. Apply the solution and wait for 10 minutes, so you can be sure that the fungi growth is successfully annihilated. Sporicidin can be used with sprayer, mop, sponge, etc.
Vinegar is a great fungus killer for households. It contains light acid that kills up to 82% of all known mildew organisms and can prevent future infestation. If the mold colony isn’t too big, you can clean it by yourself with vinegar, otherwise, you should hire professionals. Vinegar is also better at killing mold than bleach.
Does bleach kill mold? You can reduce it, but bleach only works against mold spores on the surface level of the affected materials. So if you choose bleach, there’s a fair chance that the mold will grow back.
Another way to deal with mold and mildew is to use a chemical cleaner, such as the Mold & Mildew Killer + Quick Stain Remover spray from Mold Armor. All you have to do is spray the infected surface and wait for 10 minutes. Then rinse the place with water and a sponge. Make sure you rinse it within a maximum of 15 minutes from rubber or plastic surfaces.
Vodka contains a high percentage of pure alcohol, which makes it a great remedy against fungi. Use a low-quality vodka brand. The cheaper ones are distilled much less than the top-quality brands; that’s why they contain more chemicals called congeners which are poisonous to fungi. So, if you are wondering how to prevent mold on wood, occasionally rinsing wooden surfaces with a bit of vodka can also be a good idea.
If you mix liquid dish detergent with hot water and a bleach solution, you’ll get an effective mold killer. The bleach will take out the surface mold, while the deeply rooted mold will be killed with the detergent. Be cautious when you handle the bleach, wear protective gear and old clothes.
As a common household product, hydrogen peroxide can be very effective against fungi because of its antimicrobial properties. It kills fungi, viruses, and mildew spores. When applied, it works by decomposing the essential components of the microorganisms, like their vital proteins.
|Mold is a kind of fungus that can grow anywhere in nature, including your home.
|There are many types of mold – white, green, and black. All of them need moisture and food to grow.
|What kills black mold on wood? Try solutions like borax, sporicidin, Mold Armor, vodka, detergent, vinegar, or hydrogen peroxide.
|Bleach is less effective at killing mold, because it only removes it from the surface, allowing it to regrow.
How to Remove Mold From Wood Surfaces and Furniture
Let’s inspect the ways in which you can preserve your wooden furniture from the harmful effects of mold growth:
Put the Furniture in Direct Sunlight
The sun emits UV radiation, which effectively stops most spores from spreading, and that’s the reason why mold doesn’t grow outside. Take your furniture outside and leave it in direct sunlight.
Do you want to know a way to remove mold from wood cabinets, floors, and furniture using borax? This is the recipe for the “Borax mold paint”:
- In a saucepan, mix half a cup of borax with 2 quarters of boiling water, stir it until the borax is fully melted.
- You’ll need a paintbrush to apply the solution to the wood; make sure you cover every bit of the mold colony.
- Leave the substance to dry.
Due to its high percentage of alcohol, vodka is another great way to get rid of mold. Here’s how to remove black mold from wood using vodka:
- Pour some vodka into a spray bottle and spray the affected place with it. Allow it to work for about 20 to 30 minutes.
- Spray the place with another dose.
- Rub away the remaining dirt with a wet rag.
To make a detergent solution that works, you’ll need to follow these steps:
- Combine two and a half cups of bleach, a quarter cup of household dish detergent (or liquid soap), and 5 cups of hot water.
- Mix all the ingredients together evenly.
- Apply the solution wherever there is mold on your furniture.
|DID YOU KNOW: Most home warranty providers refuse to fix damage caused by water or mold. They consider such damages out of their services’ scope, so it’s best to be prepared with effective methods on how to get rid of mold on wood.
How to Clean Mold off a Wood Deck
Since wooden decks are outside, they are susceptible to molds because of the rain and warm temperatures. These conditions encourage its spread, but what can you do to clean it off the deck? I have a few suggestions:
Make a Strong Cleaning Product
When you mix borax and vinegar, you get a very strong cleaning blend. For this recipe you’ll need to:
- Measure 2 teaspoons of borax and mix them with half a cup of white vinegar and pour it in a spray bottle.
- Spray the mixture on the mildew and let it do its job for about 30 minutes.
- Wash the place with clean water and let the surface dry thoroughly.
Wear Protective Gear
Regardless of which method you choose on how to remove mold from your wood deck, it’s recommended to wear at least the minimum personal protective gear. This includes eye protection goggles and an N-95 face mask that covers your mouth and nose. It protects you from harmful particles, filters 95% of them, and it’s widely available.
Use a Hard Brush for Decking
For an outdoor wooden deck, it’s best to get a strong and sturdy brush that can tackle the buildup of moss and mildew. The brush should have stiff bristles that are not abrasive but can be effective under pressure.
If the Wood Is Stained Because of Mold
How to remove mold from a wood deck? If you need something stronger to clean the mold-stained wood, use chlorine bleach for stubborn mold stains. This can also be used on unsealed wood.
To prepare the solution, follow these simple steps:
- Mix 1 spoon of dishwashing detergent, 1 cup of warm water, and half a cup of chlorine bleach.
- Rub the compound on the stained area with a soft bristle brush.
- Let it dry and polish with a soft cloth.
|DID YOU KNOW: Mold is one of the earliest life forms, and it has existed for thousands of years. Mold is present almost everywhere as is dust or pollen. Mold was the trigger for the discovery of penicillin.
How to Get Mold off Wood Floors and Other Surfaces
If you find traces of any type of fungi on your ceiling, floor, or another surface, follow these steps:
Wear Protective Clothing
It’s a good idea to wear protective clothing when you spray against mold, as well as an N-95 respirator, gloves, and safety goggles.
Find the Source of the Mold
Because of the high percentage of humidity, it’s very probable that mold comes from the bathroom, particularly sinks and toilets. Also, it’s good to check if there are any broken pipes or some kind of water damage. Keep an eye out for any water leaks or cracks on the walls of your house.
Clear the Entire Room So You Can Clean It Off
To get the best results when setting out to clean the mold off wood, get as many furniture items out of the infested room as you can. It’s important to have free space, so you can maneuver more effectively.
Make a Cleaning Product
You can use some of the recipes I provided in the article, Borax, strong alcohol like vodka, a powerful detergent solution, a vinegar mixture, or hydrogen peroxide.
Start Wiping the Room With Wet Cloth Material
After using any of the solutions, you should wash off the spot with a wet cloth, and later use a dry one to remove the water.
Alternatively, Use Some Other Product and Spray It on the Surface
If the infestation is particularly large, the best way to kill mold on wood would be to use the disinfectant Sporicidin or a chemical mold blocker like Mold Armor.
Sanding the Area
Finish off by sanding the affected surface of the wood. Make sure you only sand the molded area, so you won’t damage the clean surface.
|DID YOU KNOW: Some cheeses are made with the help of mold. Different molds are used in cheese production; some of them include Geotrichum Candidum, Penicillium, and Rhizomucor Miehei.
How to Prevent Mold
After cleaning the mold off wood, it’s good to know how to prevent it from reappearing in the future. Here are a few tips:
- Keep the wood surfaces dry and away from exposure to water as much as possible. It’s hard for molds to stay alive in a dry environment. So, as long as there is airflow in the room, you won’t have to worry.
- If you notice that you have high humidity in your home, you should get a dehumidifier to control the moisture. This will help a lot in preventing mold and mildew growth.
It can start with just a tiny spot of harmless black mold on wood, but it’s important to recognize the signs of this kind of infestation. Some things to watch out for are a musty smell, dark grout between the shower tiles, or white spots, and darker areas on your wooden deck.
Even if you find these tell-tale signs of mold infestation, don’t worry. You can easily get rid of it using some of the homemade solutions and methods I mentioned in this article.
The most important thing to consider is the amount of mildew that is present in the infested space. Let the vinegar solution stay on it for at least one hour before you clean it up.
When it comes to killing fungi, vinegar is a better solution than bleach. Most of the time, some “background spores” remain after you treat it with bleach, as it removes only the surface of the mold. Not removing all of the mold’s spores, there is a good chance that it will grow back again.
If there is some stubborn mold left in your house, mix a tablespoon of borax with one cup of warm water and scrub the area with a soft brush. The highly alkaline salts and minerals in the borax should help kill the remaining fungi. You can also go ahead and try the other methods of how to remove mold from wood mentioned in the article.