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  • Writer's pictureWilliam Powers

Secrets of How Mold Remediation is Actually Done—Part 2

Updated: May 22

What exactly is done to remediate a mold problem?

Part Two: Furniture, Clothing & Other Contents

Furniture can be divided into two general categories: Upholstered & Not Upholstered

Upholstered furniture that becomes wet for an extended period of time (at least 24 hours or so) likely has mold activity occurring on the surface or in the padding. Even if you do not see anything visible on the surface, padding will take a long time to dry—long enough for mold activity to start. Perhaps giving it the ‘sniff test’ to see if there is a musty odor can be performed.

What about leather furniture? Some might feel that it is a more sturdy product, however our experience is that leather tends to very quickly exhibit apparent visible mold.

Unfortunately with most upholstered furniture, there is no easy solution to fixing the problem short of reupholstering—and how often is that done today? It’s generally not an economically viable option. So unless your piece of upholstered furniture is an heirloom, replacing rather than remediating is the general course to follow.

Solid surface furniture (not upholstered) such as wood dining room tables, dressers, wood chairs, plastic and metal furniture can all be cleaned. As discussed in last month’s blog, metal and plastic are inorganic materials and are not affected by mold activity. Wood is an organic material but is fairly non-porous so that mold cannot affect more than a micro-thin surface layer that can often be treated in an effective manner.

However, a lot of wood furniture today, including various bedroom furniture items and even kitchen cabinets or bathroom vanities, are laminated with something that looks like wood but actually is not and has a core of particle board. The core material of laminated furniture tends to absorb moisture and swell resulting in permanent damage to the item.

Well, this blog has continued on longer than expected with our discussion of remediation of furniture. So the topic of remediating clothing and other contents will be in  Part 3 of Secrets of How Mold Remediation is Actually Done.

NOTE: We have tried to cover the most common situations that we have observed during mold inspections that we have done over the last 15 years. However, there are many other possible scenarios not covered above. Feel free to reach out to POWERS ENVIRONMENTAL LLC for a free phone consultation.


Mold Fact No. 5

Mold does not grow on inorganic materials, such as metal, glass, ceramic or plastic. If you see what looks like mold growing on any of these materials, it is likely growing on what we describe as a ‘biofilm’ composed of dust, dirt and oils that adhere to these inorganic surfaces with the mold feeding on the biofilm. Generally, the only action required to address this situation is to clean the surface. No need for anything ‘heavy duty’. Just clean with normal home cleaning solutions.

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CMI – Certified Mold Inspector with MICRO (Mold Inspection Consulting & Remediation Organization)

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