How to Kill Black Mold on Wood
LESLIE: Next we’re going to go to New Jersey where Mark has a mold question.
Mark, what’s going on?
MARK: Oh, well let me tell you. I’ve got a virtual nightmare.
LESLIE: Oh, gosh.
MARK: I live in Central Jersey, which is great because any direction I travel I’m leaving. (Tom and Leslie laugh) But besides that, I have brand new railings I put on my deck myself.
LESLIE: What are the railings made out of?
MARK: Standard 4×4 and spindle post, walmanized, pressure-treated wood.
TOM and LESLIE: OK.
MARK: OK, now I went through great lengths to pick out straight boards and straight grain and all that. I don’t want to mention the place I got my wood – unless you want me to.
TOM: No, sorry. Put the soapbox away.
MARK: I primed them twice over, so I made sure I sealed this wood so nice.
MARK: I do custom carpentry.
MARK: And I know what the benefit is of sealing anything, especially sheetrock. When people don’t use primer and they just paint right over sheetrock, I’d like to string them up because that’s totally the wrong way to do things. (Leslie chuckles)
TOM: OK. (chuckles)
MARK: So I know to prime my wood. And me and my wife spent hours priming this stuff beautiful. We used nice, oil-based latex – oil-based paint, exterior grade, and we painted two coats on this wood.
MARK: And not even a couple weeks later it was growing mold.
MARK: Black mold. It’s exposed in the sun. It doesn’t sit anywhere where it’s especially moist. It’s out in the open, nice breezy spot. And everybody I talk to has the same problem. No matter how many times you hit it with bleach, no matter how many times you paint over it, it seems to come back and come back with more virulence.
TOM: Hmm. Now have you tried to use an oxygenated bleach product that you put on, let it sit, let it lay for a while and then rinse it off? Because controlling this level of mold growth is really a process of managing it. Have you tried an oxygenated bleach?
MARK: No, I haven’t tried an oxygenated bleach.
TOM: Why don’t you …?
LESLIE: And that works even better in the sunshine.
TOM: Yeah, why don’t you try that.
TOM: Because that’s actually going to be a lot stronger at controlling this. You’re going to need a deck washer and oxygenated bleach.
The other thing that you could try is a product called Jomax – J-o-m-a-x.
MARK: Jomax. I think I’ve heard of that. OK.
TOM: Yeah, it’s made by Zinsser. It’s available at paint stores.
MARK: (overlapping voices) Zinsser. Somerset. I did the ceilings in that building in New Jersey.
TOM: That’s a good product.
TOM: Try one of those cleaners and put it under and let it sit. It’s not the fault of the paint. It’s just that you have a lot of mold in the air there that’s just landing on the wood and because the wood’s now white – I mean it could be there when it was green; you just didn’t sit it.
LESLIE: Mold spores are in the air and especially since we’ve had such a moist winter – there’s been so much precipitation and snow that it’s there and it’s just looking for the ideal place to land; which, unfortunately, is your deck.
TOM: You really need to relax about this buddy, OK? (Leslie chuckles) We’re feeling way too much stress from you right now. (chuckles)
MARK: Oh yeah, I know. I get high-strung. I was wondering though, could you tell me where does the mold come from.
LESLIE: From the air.
MARK: I mean I know you’re saying that it’s airborne but it has to be whipped up into the air from someplace that’s – is it damp? Is it coming from the north? If you look at the jet stream, I’m thinking it’s coming from the great swamp.
TOM: Well, it’s growing from – you need moisture, you need air, and you need a food and you have all of those things …
MARK: In my wood and paint.
TOM: … in Mother Nature; you know, in your ground and your mulch and the trees. You know? It’s just part …
LESLIE: And you just have a higher mold content when you have a lot of moisture and we’ve just had that a lot.
MARK: I do have mulch all around the railings.
TOM: Very often we hear stories of people that have mulch and then they get a type of fungus that goes up and gets into the siding. It’s called artillery fungus and it looks like little spots and it’s really hard to get rid of. And a lot of that stems from the fungus being in the mulch.
MARK: Wow. (Leslie chuckles) So how would you neutralize that problem?
TOM: Lots and lots and lots of bleach.
TOM: Yeah. OK, Mark?
MARK: I’ve got tons of beautiful plants and I don’t want the bleach to seep into the soil.
TOM: (overlapping voices) Yeah, it could be – yeah, well who knows. We’re just speculating. But I would clean that railing off and see how that goes, OK?
MARK: With the oxygenated? You got it.
TOM: Yeah. Alright, Mark.
MARK: I thank you guys for your time. You’re a very good benefit to people that – really, you guys are a guiding light for a lot of people. I listen to your show all the time.
TOM: Thanks, Mark. Thanks.
MARK: You guys take care.
TOM: Have a great day. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.