How To Get Rid Of Mold On Wood Framing — And How To Prevent It

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The good news is that mold, an invasive fungus that can put fear in the heart of any homeowner, can be treated and prevented. The not-so-good news is that it takes a little grit and elbow grease to make it happen, especially if the mold has already established a hold in a home. We’ve researched the most effective ways you can banish mold from wood framing and how to prevent mold from taking hold in the first place. 

Mold and mildew removal must always include:

  1. Personal Protection
  2. Preparation
  3. Cleaning
  4. Drying

Mold and mildew prevention may include:

  1. Keep it Dry 
  2. Sealant
  3. Anti-Fungicide

While it may seem like a clear-cut, problem-solution situation, there are many parts that factor into staying safe while getting rid of mold and mildew. Many products on the market promise fast solutions, and there is a wide swath of advice on the techniques and ratios of chemicals to get rid of mold. There are also many ideas of how to prevent it in the future. Keep reading for more information on this complex problem.

New house construction interior framing, How To Get Rid Of Mold On Wood Framing -- And How To Prevent It

Mold and Mildew Removal

Protection

Mold spores travel fast. They can even infiltrate a fan or vacuum used during the process. Therefore, begin with the end in mind; anything used in the course of mold removal may need to be discarded at the end of the project to prevent contamination in other locations.
 
Personal protection is a must when working with mold removal. Masks should be worn and should have two straps in order to keep them over the nose and mouth tightly enough to keep out spores. Masks often recommended for mold removal are labeled as N-95, also known as N-95 respirators. 
 
 
 
Gloves are another important consideration and should fit to reach over the wrist. If using a detergent for cleaning, any household glove should hold up to use. If a more aggressive treatment, like bleach, is needed after the detergent cleaning, consider gloves that are stronger and less permeable. Avoid gloves that would rip or tear easily.
 
 

Preparation

Preparation for mold removal is important because the process takes time, and a contained work area is needed. If the mold has attacked wood framing that is for a project currently being built, or an outside project,  an outdoor workspace is the best solution because of ventilation concerns and the sun’s natural drying power.
 
However, if the wood framing is on an existing structure, take precautions to prevent spores from spreading to other rooms or areas. This may include covering areas without mold with plastic sheeting, at least six-millimeter thick, and tape the edges. Also, turn off any air conditioner or furnace. It is important to cover the vents or ductwork within an area to prevent spores from spreading throughout the HVAC system. 
 
If removal of drywall or carpeting is necessary before accessing the wood framing, make sure to wet the area first using a spray bottle or pump-sprayer of water. This prevents spreading as well. Most importantly, if there is electricity in any of the impacted areas, always make sure the power is shut off to the area first. 

Cleaning

After your worksite is secure, cleaning is the next step. If the wood has been painted or stained, it is possible the mold will only be on the surface. First, try an application of detergent and warm water with a soft-bristle brush.
 
Another stronger solution is to use a combination of bleach and water to get rid of mold. Combine 32 ounces of warm water for every 1/2-cup of bleach. Spread or spray onto the wood. Let the solution sit on the wood for 10 minutes. Then, wipe it down with a moist towel. Never wash or rinse the area. 

Does vinegar kill mold on wood?

Vinegar does kill mold – it is a natural fungicide. Using a spray bottle, spray vinegar over the entire impacted area, and let it sit for one hour before wiping off the surface with a clean, damp rag. 

Drying

Sunshine is the best solution. If the worksite you are using is outside, make sure all of the wood framing has a sunny spot to dry. It does need to dry thoroughly and two to three days is generally considered best. 

If the worksite is inside, now is the time to add dehumidifiers, and fans to windows and ceilings. These should run for at least three days, although some advice suggests one to two weeks to make sure everything has dried completely.

Click here to see Vremi’s large area dehumidifier on Amazon.

Once everything is dry, seal the affected area with a mold and mildew-resistant sealant. Some sealants that double as primers you can readily find are KILZ, an oil-based primer, or shellac like BIN.

Mold and Mildew Prevention

Keep it Dry

If there is a problem that consistently introduces moisture to wood framing, it is important to fix the source of the moisture before doing the work to get rid of the mold. If outside, it can be difficult to keep worksites dry and wood mold-free. However, if moldy wood framing is used for the construction of a home or outbuilding, the end result will not suit anyone’s needs. 

Sealants and Anti-Fungicide

Sealants can provide a good protective barricade to mold and mildew spores. As mentioned earlier, KILZ, an oil-based primer, or shellac, like BIN, can be an appropriate prevention measure to mold taking hold on wood framing.

Anti-fungicides act to prevent mold and mildew as well. These are chemicals that do not provide a barrier so much as a layer of warrior protection destroying any spores they come into contact with. Sometimes wood framing will already be treated with anti-fungicide, just as it may be treated against termites.

Click here to see Zinsser’s Mold Killing Primer at Amazon.

What kills black mold on wood?

Black mold can be cleaned with the process discussed above. First, use a detergent and warm water combination. A soft bristle brush is the most useful in order to scrub in the mixture. If, after wiping off the detergent and water, mold persists, consider the use of vinegar, or chlorine bleach. 

What kills white mold on wood?

White mold can be treated with the same process as black mold. If mold is pernicious, consider using baking soda mixed with water. Like the others, spray the mixture onto the affected area of the wood and let it sit. Wipe off with a damp, clean cloth. Regardless of the type of mold, if it persists after cleaning, sanding can provide another option to get the spores that may be below the surface level of the wood. Make sure to treat with a sealant and fungicide after sanding to prevent further issues. 

How do you remove mold from wood joists?

As with other framing, chose which solution of detergent, vinegar, or chlorine bleach you wish to begin with. The difficult part with joists is that the spray needs to be spread as evenly as possible, inches away from the joist. To do this without having spores spray back into your face, safety goggles and a mask will be important for personal safety. 

Final Thoughts

Mold and mildew grow quickly. Regardless of the treatment, treating mold on wood framing is most important once it is found. Time is of the essence. It is crucial not to leave a problem such as this untreated. Mold and mildew occur in more places than wood framing. For tips and tricks on how to get rid of mold that has encroached into your shower grout, click here.

Prevention is always best, and mold can easily begin on something as simple as the shower curtain. Find the “5 Best Shower Curtain Liners to Avoid Mildew and Mold.” 

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