A Multi-Family Home

How To Clean Mold From Water Damaged Wood Paneling

by Arnold Gomez

If you have water damaged wood paneling, it increases the risk of mold. Sometimes, the water damage isn't noticeable on the outside because of a damaged pipe or a hole in the ceiling, but the mold still appears. Mold is commonly orange, white, or black, and it has a musty smell. You should be able to clean mold patches that are less than ten square feet  yourself. Here are some tips to clean mold from wood paneling.

Prepare to Work

For this project, you need:

  • disposable work gloves
  • respirator
  • fans
  • rags
  • stiff scrub brush
  • vacuum with a HEPA filter and soft brush attachment
  • bleach
  • liquid soap
  • white distilled vinegar (optional)
  • sponges (optional)
  • spray bottle
  • wood paste

Find and fix the source of the leak or moisture. If there is a small patch of mildew in the center of the panel; it indicates the humidity level in the room is too high. This can be remedied with dehumidifier. If black mold forms on the edges or seams of the paneling, you likely have a pipe leak.

Set exhaust fans in the room, or open windows to ventilate, and help dry out the wall. Use the vacuum with a brush attachment HEPA (High-Efficiency Particle Arresting) filter, if possible, to clean visible mold. A HEPA filter will keep the spores from spreading. Discard the vacuum bag in an outdoor garbage bin, and clean the brush.

Clean with Soap and Bleach

Mix several drops of liquid bleach to four cups of water in a bucket. Dip the scrub brush in the solution, and scrub the paneling. Rinse the brush in between scrubbings, and repeat the process until the mold has been removed.

Disinfect the wall with bleach. Make a mixture of one-fourth cup of bleach in one gallon of water in a bucket.

Dip the rag in the mixture, wipe the walls then let the mixture set several minutes. Do not rinse. Restore luster in the paneling by applying a thin coat of wood paste.

Apply Vinegar

If you prefer a natural cleaning solution without fumes, use white distilled vinegar. Pour some white distilled vinegar into a spray bottle, and squirt it on the mold until it is saturated. Wipe it off with a sponge, and toss the sponge.

As soon as you notice mold after water damage, remove it immediately, because it poses a serious health hazard. If the mold keeps returning, the water damage is caused by sewage, the patched are larger than ten square feet, or you don't trust your skill, consider hiring a water damage restoration service. You can click here for more information on clean up.