Restoring Your Classic Chevy

Water Damage 101: Restoring Moldy Wood

by Neil Craig

Though water damage represents a threat to most of the objects in your home, objects made out of wood are especially susceptible. Yet if you've noticed mold on your wooden furniture, don't despair. With the right knowledge, you can successfully restore it. If you would like to learn more about how, read on. This article will present four things you should know about restoring mold damaged wood.

Safety gear is important.

Before you get down to work, it is vital that you take precautionary measures to protect your health. Heavy gloves and safety goggles should be considered mandatory. Yet don't stop there--invest in a face mask or respirator too. You see, when inhaled, airborne mold spores can lead to a number of health problems, from asthma, to infection, to organ damage. Thus, protecting your lungs is of vital importance.

Remove loose mold with a vacuum cleaner.

Because airborne mold represents such a potential risk, it is a good idea to start your restoration by carefully vacuuming the surface of the wood. This will remove loose spores that would otherwise be knocked loose. Just be sure that your vacuum contains a HEPA filter. These are specially constructed to trap particles as tiny as 0.3 microns wide. Standard filters, on the other hand, will not necessarily be able to contain the tiny mold spores, meaning they may end up passing right through your vacuum into the air.

Tackle surface mold using vinegar.

Wood that has been finished with paint or stain has a distinct advantage over unfinished wood: it is much harder for mold to work its way below the surface of finished wood. Such wood is therefore much easier to clean. In fact, it may take as little as a generous spritzing of undiluted vinegar. Let the vinegar sit undisturbed for at least an hour, before wiping the mold away using a clean, dry rag.

Fight sub-surface mold using a bleach solution.

In most cases, unfinished wood that has been damaged by mold will require something more powerful than vinegar alone. Instead, make up a bleach solution using detergent, bleach, and cold water in the following proportions:

  • one part detergent
  • ten parts bleach
  • twenty parts cold water

Use a sponge to apply this solution to the wood. Don't be scared to apply too much, or even to give it more than one application. You want the wood to soak up as much bleach as it can, in order to successfully kill any mold living below the surface. If you are still able to see mold after the wood has dried, repeat the process until it has disappeared.

If you aren't comfortable performing any of these tasks, or if the mold problem persists, call in a professional, like Fire & Flood Services Inc, to help repair any damage and restore your wood to proper condition.