Black Mold Is Toxic
You may find wooden furniture at bargain prices when you go to a yard sale, and they may look good from afar until you notice mold growth. The same problem can beset the furniture you store away for a while if the storage area is dark and damp.
The good news is that you can try to remove the mold yourself so that you can still salvage your furniture and home furnishings.
You should wear old clothes, preferably long pants and shirts with sleeves. The mold spores can get on your skin so that these clothes can protect you. Afterward, if you plan on still using these clothes, you should clean them in hot water.
Gloves are also a good idea, as you really don’t want to touch the mold. Using a HEPA respirator also makes sense, and it’s necessary if you’re allergic.
You’ll also need:
- Garden hose with spigot
- Pressure washer (if possible)
- Spray bottle
- Stiff scrub brush
- A vacuum cleaner with HEPA filter and brush attachment
- White vinegar or bleach
- Wood oil or finish
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- The first thing you need to do is schedule this project on a warm and sunny day. Mold thrives in dark and damp conditions, so you want your environment detrimental to mold growth.
- Transfer your moldy wooden furniture outside. It should be a level area, and you sought to have enough space around to work in. It should also be close to the hose bib, as you’re going to need that water.
- Remove any fabrics or cushions from the furniture.
- Remove any loose mold spores using the HEPA filter and brush attachment with the vacuum cleaner.
- Is this wooden furniture sturdy instead of delicate? One example of sturdy wooden furniture is designed for the patio, but delicate wooden furniture pieces include antiques and those with fragile or ornate features. If it’s sturdy enough, you can use your pressure washer (if you have it) to remove the mold. Use the highest angle for the spray nozzle, as this isn’t as harsh and aggressive as the direct streams of water. Don’t get the nozzle too close to the wood, as the water pressure may also damage the wood.
- Mix a solution of a gallon of water in your bucket with either a cup of white vinegar or four tablespoons of bleach. Put some of this solution into your spray bottle.
- Spray the wood and then let it soak for about an hour. You may have to re-spray intermittently as you don’t want the wood to dry.
- After about an hour, scrub the wood using the scrub brush after dipping it into your cleaning agent bucket.
- Thoroughly scrub the wood, and then rinse it off with fresh water. If the result looks good for you, let the wood dry in the sun.
- Use protective oil (such as linseed oil, mineral oil, or tung oil) to rehydrate the wood and protect it from future mold growth. But it would be best if you spotted test your protective oil first by applying it to a small area that’s not too obvious, and it may change the color of the wood.
What if you weren’t satisfied with the results when you scrub the wood? What if there’s still mold? In that case, you have to sand and refinish the wood.
Black Mold Risks
If you have the patience and DIY skills, then you won’t have to use professional services for the job. However, there are risks involved.
One is the risk of black mold. This is toxic mold, and it can cause a wide range of medical issues ranging from headaches to chronic ailments. When you have black mold, you better leave it to the experts for your own safety.
But despite its name, it doesn’t have to look black at all. Black mold may actually look black, blue, green, or even white (which does seem ironic when you think about it). What’s more, if it looks black, it can still be a non-toxic mold.
However, the threat of black mold is quite rare. The chances are that your mold problem isn’t black mold. But it’s tough to determine whether or not it is black mold. You can buy test kits at your local hardware store, but they aren’t foolproof either. The only way to be sure is to get it tested at a lab, but if you’re going to do that, then you may as well get an expert to do everything for you. It’s safer faster, and you can be more sure of the results.