If you are a user of wood stoves, you will know that the care and maintenance of the device is a task that must be carried out on a daily basis. However, it is important to pay attention not only to the operation and cleanliness of the appliance, but also to the condition of the fuel they work with: the wood. Mould on wood is a common problem that can affect both the appearance of your cooker and the quality of the air in your home, even causing poisoning in the most extreme cases. In this article, you will learn how to remove mould from wood and discover important tips to prevent it.
How does mould originate in wood?
The main factor that causes these substances is the continuous exposure to humidity together with the lack of ventilation. Keeping wood in good condition at all times of the year is not an easy task for any user, as it is necessary to take into account a large number of habits, which if not carried out perfectly can cause mould and irreparable damage to the wood, such as incorrect rotation of your wood as fuel, keeping the firewood at the wrong distance from the ground, or the lack of recurring inspections. You can visit our post on tips for storing firewood correctly by clicking here.
How should mould be removed?
The protocol to be followed for the proper disposal of this substance is as follows:
- Use personal protective equipment, such as rubber gloves, safety goggles and a face mask, to avoid direct contact with the mould and the chemicals used for mould removal.
- Isolate the affected area to prevent the spread of mould spores to other parts of your home. You can use plastic sheeting or tarpaulins to cover and protect surrounding areas.
- Clean the mould using a mild detergent and water solution. Avoid using harsh chemicals that may damage the wood or generate toxic fumes.
- After cleaning, dry the wood thoroughly to prevent the reappearance of mould. Use fans or dehumidifiers to speed up the drying process.
Products that can be effective for cleaning
When it comes to cleaning mould on wood, in addition to water and mild detergent, there are other products you can use to aid in the removal of mould, you can try removing a small sample with these products and if effective, apply it to the entire affected area:
- Baking soda: this is a natural product that is combined with water and rubbed onto the affected area of wood.
- Isopropyl alcohol: apply it to a cloth and rub it gently on the mould until it comes off (ensure proper ventilation of the area while working with the product).
- Hydrogen peroxide: this is a disinfectant and bleach that within a few minutes of being applied to the mouldy area of the wood, removes the substance completely.
Hazards of burning mouldy wood
Although the damage may seem minimal and its use tempting, wood affected to a greater or lesser extent by mould should not be used, as burning it brings with it associated health hazards that pose a great threat to the health of the inhabitants of your home:
Mould spore emission
When burning mouldy wood, high temperatures can cause mould spores to be dispersed into the air. These spores can be inhaled and cause respiratory problems, especially in people with allergies, asthma or other pre-existing respiratory problems.
Volatile organic compounds
Mould in wood can release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) during combustion. These VOCs can have negative effects on indoor air quality, causing eye, throat and lung irritation. In addition, some VOCs can be toxic in the long term.
Production of toxic substances
Mould in wood can contain toxins and hazardous chemical compounds. During burning, these substances can be released into the air and pose a health risk. Exposure to these toxic substances can cause adverse effects, such as skin irritation, respiratory problems and damage to internal organs.
Contact with a professional
If you find yourself in any of the following situations, it is advisable to contact an expert to ensure safe and effective mould removal:
- Extensive mould infestation: A professional mould cleaner will be able to assess the situation and apply specialised techniques to efficiently remove mould without endangering your health or causing additional damage.
- Mould in hard-to-reach areas: These experts have the tools and knowledge to access tight spaces and effectively treat mould in those hard-to-reach places.
- Prevention of re-emergence: If you have already tried to remove mould but it has re-emerged, the best decision is to contact a professional to eradicate the problem so that it does not re-emerge in the near future.
Remember that the safety and health of your home and its occupants are a priority. It is always advisable to seek the assistance of a professional if you have questions or face significant challenges when dealing with wood mould on your cookers.
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