Mold and mildew are present everywhere in the environment, both indoor and outdoor. They require 4 basic things to thrive which include: water, air, temperature between 32 and 120°F, and a food source. All of these are common conditions wherever humans live, work, and play.
However, mold that is found on pressure-treated wood doesn’t indicate a fungal attack. Mold tends to grow on the surface of many products including wood (treated and untreated) due to exposure to moisture.
Water and organic matter are the primary conditions that enable mold and mildew colonies to thrive in wood decking and knowing how to get green off pressure treated wood will minimize it.
To minimize these conditions, ensure water has the ability to flow away from the deck surface and areas surrounding the deck so as to lessen the absorption of water.
However, in this article, we will discuss what green mold means, whether or not it is dangerous, the cause of mold and also how to get green mold off pressure treated wood.
Green mold on wood- How to clean green mold off wood
Most times, the growth of green mold occurs commonly on wood in shady or damp moist areas as well as under debris that creates a shady, damp area.
It starts showing forth as dark spots or shadows before getting to become fuzzy. Molds, however, can appear in different colors, all depending on the mold type, environmental factors and sometimes, the content of the material it is feeding on.
There are over 100,000 different types of mold or fungus living and working to break down organic materials but to identify these microorganisms, the help of an expert is required.
Green mold covers thousands of different species. Aspergillum, Penicillium and Cladosporium classification of mold tends to have a greenish as well as another coloring.
If you notice any growth like that of mildew on your treated wood, it might not necessarily be mildew. It could be mold. While mold and mildew are fungi that can occur together on different surfaces, mold is not mildew.
The range of a green mold is from greenish to black and is usually fuzzy or slimy. Mildew begins firstly as yellow spots, after which it turns grayish white and then to a brown or greenish tinge that has a fluffy or powdery texture.
Mold digs deep into wood or any other organic material and doesn’t just remain on the surface. Mildew on the other hand, stay on the surface while it spreads across it.
Lastly, although the two are not the same, they tend to grow in similar damp, dark conditions.
Causes of green mold?
Mold is a fungus that helps decompose or break down organic material such as wood. Mold spores are basically present almost everywhere and in the right conditions, they tend to settle in for a feast and then, thrive.
Like I said earlier, mold grows best in damp, dark or shaded environments such as the attics, bathroom,s and basements.
However, you’d be amazed as to why it can grow even on your pressure-treated wood in the great outdoors.
Wood decks are an organic material. This simply means mold naturally, will be attracted to them, and if in an appropriate condition for mold growth, then it’d thrive.
Outdoor-treated wood is exposed to the full spectrum of climatic conditions and may take weeks or even months to be damped. You can imagine if the wood hasn’t been maintained and sealed properly, how long it’d take.
Anything such as leaves, BBQ covers, lattice screens, furniture, and even planters, that provides a shade that prevents sunlight from penetrating and drying the wood, provides an ideal home for mold to grow. Trees and shrubs may as well create seasonal shade.
Airflow that is over and under a deck can help dry the wood while it prevents mold growth on the top and underside of the planks.
So if you’re sure you don’t want to remove green mold from your treated wood deck surfaces every year, then you really want to make sure air or sunlight can get to as much of the deck surfaces as possible.
Is green mold dangerous?
While green mold may seem less worrisome on deck surfaces than if you had it growing in your bathroom or basement, however, it is still a health hazard. Mold tends to release airborne spores that can affect individuals with allergies, asthma or any other respiratory conditions.
Decks often times are located around homes, and mold spores can easily drift through screens and into homes to affect the family.
Mold can cause reactions such as nervous-system disorder, rashes, headache, and some types are linked to sepsis(blood poisoning) and brain infection.
Some have also been linked to cognitive conditions like depression, memory loss, mood swings, dizziness and fatigue. While green mold may not kill you, it can have a serious adverse effect on your health because it is toxic.
Also Read: Best Sanders for removing paint from wood
Getting green mold off pressure treated wood– Best way to remove green mold from wood
Having a green on wood deck boards isn’t a good sign, especially if the color hasn’t been that way from the start. The green color may be a result of mold, mildew, algae, or even moss on deck surfaces.
However, regardless of what led to the sudden coloration, you really want to clean it off before it causes any damage, expensive repairs and health issues.
One thing you should know is whatever product, concoction, or method you use to remove green mold from your treated wood, will also remove mildew, algae, and moss.
Below are the different ways to clean green growth off your pressure-treated wood.
- Using mold, mildew and algae stain removal.
Some products are EPA certified for use around plants, gardens and other landscape features. However, they shouldn’t be applied near water sources, lakes or rivers. Undoubtedly, many products help get rid of mold and mildew off deck but there are fewer products that remove mold, mildew and algae off wood deck and will still clean moss off decks too. One well-reviewed product for such is “Wet & Forget moss, mildew, mold and algae stain removal.
The concentrated formula is diluted following the manufacturer’s guide. For some products, a gallon makes 6-gallons, so one part product to 5 parts water and the 6-gallons treats up to 1200 ft².
Apply using an attachable hose spray bottle, pump-up sprayer, mop or broom, or a hand-held sprayer for small spots and lastly, a bucket.
The Wet & Forget product doesn’t contain any bleach and isn’t acidic or caustic. It should be applied on a morning with mild temperatures and zero chance of rain for at least 4 hours. Once you’re done, there’s no need to rinse.
- Hydrogen peroxide
This is an environmentally friendly choice for cleaning mold and mildew off pressure-treated wood.
You mix the solution with an equal amount of water in a spray bottle and spray on the mold and mildew while you allow sitting for 10 minutes.
Then, you wipe off with a sponge for small areas or rinse off with fresh water on large areas.
Ensure clothing and fabrics are kept away this time as they could act like bleach.
- Baking soda
Baking soda isn’t a harsh chemical but it sure works well in scouring stains and blemishes off surfaces.
Mix a cup of baking soda in a gallon of warm water and apply using a scrub brush to remove the green mold from your wood. You can either use the mixture to wash the whole deck surface or apply only to the moldy areas.
Once done, rinse with fresh water.
Can you pressure wash mold off wood
Yes, you can pressure wash mold off wood. Use a pressure washer with detergent on a large deck to get rid of the mold. You want to review the Manufacturer’s guide when adding a cleaning solution or detergent to the power washer.
Apply the solution in a sweeping motion across the planks starting at the farthest side or corner. Wash the whole deck thoroughly. Rinse with clean water in order to remove all cleaning residue.
In cases of only a small deck or one where a pressure washer isn’t practical, use a scrub brush attached to a long handle and a bucket of cleaning detergent mixed with water.
Conclusion: How To Get Green Off Pressure Treated Wood
Getting rid of unsightly green mold or mildew from your pressure-treated wood is necessary so as to protect the wood and also, your investment. It also makes the surface safer to walk on and healthier for people to relax on.
However, regular cleaning and improved airflow would help keep the green mold off the deck. And any of the methods above would definitely help to justice in this regard!
I hope this article on how to get green off pressure treated wood is detailed enough to help you understand what mold means, why you don’t want it on your deck as well as what to do to get the green mold off your wood.