Most of us have experienced finding an unsightly spot of mold on lumber or another wooden item. You may wonder if this small patch of spores can damage the structural integrity of the wood, and question how this mold appeared at all. This article will examine why wood seems to be so susceptible to mold and what to do when those sneaky spores strike.
Why Does Wood Become Moldy?
An important concept to understand is that wood, no matter how strong, is still an organic material. Wood is composed of sugars and starches even after it is cut down, which mold craves to consume. This means that wood can and will be decomposed by mold if left in the right conditions.
What Conditions Allow it to Thrive?
Think about the areas where you commonly find mold. Most likely you’ll find it growing around shower tiles, sinks, or somewhere in a basement or cellar. Mold always survives best in warm and wet conditions. In order to protect wood from becoming moldy, we must try to secure it from moisture. Wood can oftentimes become exposed to moisture discreetly through condensation, so it is important to remain vigilant when storing lumber.
What Should I Do if I Find Mold?
Luckily, mold isn’t always detrimental to the structure of wood. Many times the mold can simply be cleaned off as it hasn’t penetrated the wood’s surface. However, it is important to check whether or not the wood is rotting, especially if it is being used as structural support.
How to Check for Rotting Wood
It is easy to tell whether mold is causing the wood to rot or just sitting harmlessly on its surface. Take a nail and try to push it into the wood. If it can be forced through completely, the wood is most likely rotten and should be thrown away. If not, the wood is structurally sound and needs only a quick clean to get rid of the surface mold. It is always good to get your home tested for mold, since some parts of homes have mold hiding in their attic.
How to Remove Mold from Wood
Mold can be easily removed with bleach and a little scrubbing. It is important to spray down the area with a cleaner before wiping to ensure that mold spores aren’t being spread into the air. Check that the storage space is completely secure from moisture before cleaning off the mold. Otherwise, you’ll most likely have to repeat this process.
Now that you understand why mold occurs so frequently on wood, you can easily prevent a mold outbreak from happening in the future. As long as your lumber is stored properly and you use a cleaner to prevent spores from spreading, you will have to worry about your wood rotting no longer. Be sure to share this information with your friends and family so that they can combat wood mold, too.