mold treatments
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johnleeke
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Joined: 20 Aug 2004
Posts: 2999
Location: Portland, Maine, USA

PostPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2015 2:18 pm    Post subject: mold treatments Reply with quote

A common treatment for wood that has mildew and mold is household bleach. Typically it is mixed with water, 4 parts water and 1 part household bleach.

If using household bleach, rinse thoroughly with plain water soaking into the surface and joints and flowing off all surfaces to carry away residues. I have been using this treatment for decades with good results on exterior woodwork and window parts. Ten years ago I placed some tests comparing this treatment with peroxide treatment and heat treatment. Testing was done on exterior clapboard siding and windows. This past year I've gotten some results.

Bleach and peroxide treatments can result in loss of primer adhesion in some situations, especially when not rinsed well. They are effective at treating the insides of joints because they soak into the joints, which can be important if mold is present inside the joints. These wet treatments, especially with effective water rinsing and drying can take days to implement on woodwork with a lot of joints, like window sash.

Heat treatment to disinfect wood surfaces of mold growth can be very effective and take much less time. A typical treatment schedule is to raise the temperature of the wood to 140 F. for 20 to 40 minutes. This can be done in a dry-heat convection oven, but an infra-red lamp is more effective because the infra-red rays wiggle down into the wood (past the surface of the wood) to treat parts of the mold organism and mold spores that may be beneath the surface. Treatment times with infra-red are 5 to 10 minutes with a surface temp of 140F. With the oven method there is a risk of drying the wood and opening up surface checks related to medulary rays. This is much less pronounced with the infra-red lamp method.

Based on these results I am shifting my standard practice over to the infra-red heat treatment for extreme mold where it is practical. Your results may vary from my experience. I suggest you do your own testing before implementing.

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