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# Posted: 25 Apr 2012 21:10

The guy who built my cabin didnt have it finished on time. I had him place 1"x10" rough cut hemlock on the interior walls and they were wet when he put them down .Needless to say they never dried all the way. I ran heat in the cabin a number of times in an effort to dry them out and left the windows cracked to get some air flow. I hadnt been able to get up to the cabin in a month and when I was there last I had mold on most of the walls. My question is (or looking for suggestions) is:

What should I do to get it off the walls? I was just going to sand them down. Its bad but not that bad,it smells a little musty but I think I can fix the problem. I left the windows open all the way this time. It never heated up in NY if anything it got colder and worse.Thanks in advance

# Posted: 25 Apr 2012 21:35 - Edited by: MtnDon

Don't sand. Wear protective gear. I'm not an expert on mold, but I do know that sanding and breathing in the dust and mold spores can be bad.

The big concern is, IMO, what is behind the boards inside the walls? Mold prefers to grow in dark places like inside walls. I would pull a few random boards to check on that. Was the carpenter supposed to use green wood?


Best of luck.

# Posted: 25 Apr 2012 22:04

MtnDon thanks You seem like knowledgeable guy. I am a decent outdoorsmen but not a handy guy. Do you feel there is any merit to this report from the University of tenesee?
Mold on wood

Recently there has been increased concern about mold on wood. Reports of so-called "toxic" molds in particular have caused people to be more interested in preventing, detecting and eliminating mold on the wood in their homes.

Mold can be seen as a fuzzy or discolored layer on the surface of wood. Molds are a kind of fungus that can grow on wood, concrete, bread, oranges, or any surface that provides a suitable combination of temperature, moisture and food. Molds feed on nutrients on the surface of wood they do not eat or weaken the wood itself.

Molds produce millions of microscopic spores that can be carried in the air. If these spores land on the surface of wood (or other materials), and conditions are right, then a new growth of mold will result. Mold spores are all around us and in the air that we breathe. High concentrations of mold spores may cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals.

The particular concern over the "toxic" molds is due to the fact that these molds can produce mycotoxins special chemicals that may be poisonous. Despite the alarming name, the dangers of "toxic" molds are often over-emphasized. The musty smell of mold is not caused by mycotoxins. Most molds don't produce mycotoxins, and even those molds that can produce mycotoxins don't produce them all the time. In general, while moldy wood may be an unsightly nuisance, it is not usually a health hazard.

The best way to prevent or stop mold from growing on wood is to keep the surface of the wood dry. This means that bathrooms, kitchens and basements should be well ventilated. Existing mold can be removed by washing with water, and bleach or detergents can be used to eliminate discolorations. Unfortunately, if the conditions for mold growth remain, new spores will land on the wood and fresh mold will grow.

Chemical treatments exist that can kill mold and prevent future mold growth. However, the warm, wet conditions that lead to mold may also lead to wood rot, so preventing the conditions for mold growth is the best solution.

# Posted: 25 Apr 2012 22:07

bleach and water. spray, leave to sit, and wipe (wearing mask) We do everything we can to avoid mold. We have latex and foam mattresses, plastic covers for the winter, and everything fabric stored in space bags. do everything you can to dry the place out, and then bleach water the place and make sure that you keep it dry. just my thoughts

# Posted: 25 Apr 2012 22:33

As a Realtor I get to see "mold" on a daily basis in many foreclosed homes. Mold must be tested to determine if it is in fact mold. Most of the time it is mildewand easily taken care of. Less than 1% of mold is in fact deadly or toxic. I often use Tilex Mold and Mildew sprayed lightly on the affected areas..let it sit for 10 minutes and wipe clean or if the surface is to rough to wipe let it sit until dry and vacuum clean. Air that place out, get the woodstove cranking and crack some windows...dont use propane heat as it adds alot of moisture to the air....At our place 15 minutes before we leave after a winter weekend we open all the windows and doors to get the excess humidity out before we leave. Never had a problem.... hope this helps...

# Posted: 25 Apr 2012 23:00 - Edited by: MtnDon

I think the article is right when they state most mold is not toxic and the danger of toxicity is overblown. But ya' don't know what it is unless it is tested. And yes, mold spores are all around us.

Mold does stain and discolor wood. It will come back until the conditions that permit it to grow are gone; mainly that's the moisture in the wood.

More info

and more

It might be useful to have a few readings taken to determine the moisture content of the wood. Some paint stores (like Sherwin Williams, and other) have meters available for free or cheap rental.

Quoting: Sustainusfarm
dont use propane heat as it adds alot of moisture to the air..

Only valid if the propane heater is of the unvented or vent-free type. Direct vent are perfectly okay.

A dehumidifier could help, but does require electrical power

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