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what is the safest, most reliable, mold killer for porous surfaces like wood/plywood?

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In your opinion, what is the safest, most reliable, mold killer for porous surfaces like wood/plywood?

Bleach solution, hydrogen peroxide solution, vinegar solution, or something else?

asked in Mold by sbrus (160 points)
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1 Answer

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Hi Sbrus,
Effectives of mold killing agents on wood / plywood surfaces greatly depend on how porous those surfaces are and on the extent of contamination. On any non-porous surfaces you don’t even need to use mold killing substances. You can simply scrub mold contaminated surface with warm, soapy water. 
Porous wood surface are much more difficult to treat and with heavy mold contamination removing / replacement of the material might be the only option. Also, for any mold remediation procedure to be fully effective it must be associated with elimination of any reason responsible for mold growth such as the source of moisture (always the main reason) and / or improvement of ventilation and air circulation.
Since I’ve never performed any experiments with disinfectants or biocides used for mold remediation, nor I’m equipped with instruments capable of detecting mold spores (in order to measure effectivness of an agent), I can only recommend EPA as a source of extensive information about this subject.
The following publication is titled “Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings” but the same techniques are applied in residential buildings -  http://www.epa.gov/mold/pdfs/moldremediation.pdf
answered by darekrudy (21,730 points)

our rental property was turned into a grow-op - so we are dealing with this issue now

as noted above - job 1 is to eliminate the sources of moisture and heat

the pro's we hired to remediate recommend replacing heavily molded porous surfaces (apparently OSB and plywood glues are very good mold mediums).  where not possible they use a product called "Benefect" to scrub porous surfaces.

they tell me bleach is useless.


According to EPA bleach doesn't kill mold completely and removing of heavily contaminated materials is sometimes the best and the only option. Also, decking materials used in attic areas should be rated for moisture (different glue). Hopefully the remediation company will fix ventilation issues as well... or whatever is responsible for attic mold growth.

in our case a "grow-op" is a pot growing operation, which creates massive humidity through watering and expiration from the plants.

we had to remove walls and flooring, and insulation, and then scrub framing.

unbelieveable damage in only 3 months