How to Remove Mold from Wood


how to get rid of mold on wood
Mold on wood

Mold growing on wood poses more danger than just to your health. It can easily destabilize the integrity of wooden home structures and roof frameworks, thereby contributing to the weakening of such said structures and resulting in costly repairs. Which is why getting rid of mold on wood should be treated with urgency. In this article we will reveal why and how wood molds, how to remove it and what you can do to try prevent it from occurring again in the future.

Table of Contents
  • What causes mold on wood?
  • What you will need
  • Removing mold on wood
  • How to prevent wood from molding
  • Products that prevent mold on wood

What causes mold on wood?

Wood is the ideal place for mold growth because of it’s ability to effortlessly absorb and hold significant quantities of water. Furthermore, wood is a natural substance with lots of pores and cracks which makes it even more ideal for mold growth. Inspecting wooden structures in your home on a regular basis and dealing with it immediately will go a long way in preventing costly repairs from structural damage.


What you will need

Dealing with moldy wood requires all of the same basic safety gear as with other materials. What you will need are safety googles, a breathing mask and rubber gloves. In addition you will need a scrubbing brush, a sponge, some sandpaper, cleaning detergent (will cover later) and a HEPA filtered vacuum (optional).


Removing mold on wood

Step 1:

First vacuum the moldy area and surrounding areas to suck up any potential loose spores lying around. In this step a HEPA vacuum would be ideal but if you do not have one then a regular vacuum would have to do.

Step 2:

If the wood you are dealing with is finished wood then the mold would not have penetrated. In this case gently scrub it down (soft brush) with warm water mixed with dish washing detergent. Apply some white vinegar to the infected area, let it soak for an hour, then lightly scrub it down again. This should be sufficient for finished wood surfaces and no further steps are required.

Step 3:

If dealing with mold on unfinished wood then the mold itself would have dug its roots underneath the surface which requires additional steps for removal. After removing the surface mold in step 2, use sanding paper to gently rub the surface down. Wash the surface down again with warm water, cleaning detergent and some bleach.

If mold is still prevalent then it means the mold has made its way deep below the surface and you might have to replace the actual wood itself. You could try sanding it down again and applying more detergent or call in a professional for advice. If, however the mold is not visible anymore your job is done.


How to prevent wood from molding

There are some steps one can take to prevent mold on wood from forming in the first place. A popular method is by applying a coat of good quality wood sealer. By doing this water cannot be absorbed by the wood and thereby making it near impossible for mold or mildew to form.

Humidity levels also plays a huge role. By controlling the humidity levels in your home you will make it much less likely for mold to get a foothold. Read more about controlling indoor humidity levels.


Products that prevent mold on wood

Below we have listed two of the highest quality wood sealers. Minwax wood finish which is ideal for interior wood and Thompsons WaterSeal TH.A21711-16 Advanced Natural Wood Protector for outdoor use.


Minwax Wood Finish Penetrating Interior Wood Stain, 1/2 pint

Minwax Wood Finish

Minwax Wood Finish Penetrating Interior Wood Stain is America’s leading brand of wood finishing products. It’s oil based and gives off a beautiful long lasting color. It penetrates wood cracks and pores thereby helping to seal it off from mold growth and preventing water absorption.

Minwax Wood Finish is available in half a pint and is perfect for all types of indoor unfinished wood. Apply one coat to wooden doors, hardwood flooring, cabinets and any type of unfinished wooden furniture.


Thompsons WaterSeal TH.A21711-16 Advanced Natural Wood Protector

Thompsons WaterSeal TH.A21711-16 Advanced Natural Wood Protector

Thompsons WaterSeal TH.A21711-16 Advanced Natural Wood Protector is for outdoor use. It provides wood with a long lasting protective coat which is resistant to mold and mildew, color fading, water and sun damage.

This product is water based which means it can easily be cleaned up. Simply apply one coat to outdoor decks, outdoor furniture and fences to preserve the life and integrity of wooden items. The product doesn’t give off that dark glossy look. Instead, all wood items coated with Thompsons Waterseal maintains its original unfinished look but with a lot of added protection.