Saturday, March 1, 2008

Wood Fungus, Mold, Kulat Kayu

Wood Fungus, Fungi, Mold, Mildew, Spores on your Furniture?
Kulat Kayu, Fungus, Spora.

However you word it, it is a scary experience. How Ripley battled the Aliens, is how scary and ruthless it can get. We had a tough time with it, finding it hard to Google much advice, mostly due to not knowing what it's called. Also identifying what the problem was difficult too. Below is a summary of steps we took to battle the fungus, taken from many websites and self experience.

1. Identify if it really is fungus/mold.
Signs might be random but concentrated spots.
Earthy smell. Smells like soil.
Note, the color of fungus varies, seen black spots on white wood, and white spots on black furniture.

2. Things to get
a. Scrub
b. Kain perca/ spare cloth to lap.
c. Gloves - rubber gloves should be OK (to avoid itchiness due to the spores)
d. Disposable Surgical Mask or higher quality face mask (3M xxx)
e. Vinegar - I'm using SW White Distilled Vinegar. Use white vinegar to minimize darks on your furniture. Not sure how well synthetic vinegar (cuka tiruan) works.S&W Distilled White Vinegar I used

f. Liquid spray - the bottle that u can use for spraying water/ liquid, usually used when ironing/in hair dresses.
g. Baking Soda (Sodium Bicarbonate/ Natrium Bikarbonat).

3. Recommended steps
a. Try to avoid contamination/ ie spores from flying around. Close the fan, push other furniture away.
b. Slowly clean up the fungus powder, quickly put it inside a plastic bag and seal/ tie it up.
If using Vacuum Cleaner -Recommended use HEPA Vacuum Cleaner if got. Non-HEPA vacuum cleaner MIGHT just blow it around.
If wiping with cloth, change the cloth once dirty, and dispose the cloth immediately.
c. Try to spray or apply a little of the vinegar on a small area the particular furniture, leave for a few mins, see if discolours.
If yes, then apply Vinegar and wipe (dry cloth) to dry off quickly.
If no discoloration, spray vinegar 'and then'/'or just' then wipe the vinegar with the scrub over all areas, leave to soak for a few mins and the wipe dry.
You might need to wash the scrub/cloth once a while if you see too much powder on it.
d. In hard to reach places (corners between wood junctions) try to let the vinegar flow thru the holes by spraying there.
e. For your books, you might want to wipe it over with a small amount of vinegar. It might spoil the book though. Could try to soak it in hot sun.
f. You can also put baking soda on it, and let it dry in the hot sun.

4. Additional steps
a. If furniture was hit bad by fungus and want to salvage, next step might be applying varnish. But a little troublesome and will need other tools. Tell me if u need info on this.
b. They say backing soda is a good de-humidifier (as it absorbs water in the air), so you might want to sprinkle a little around once down, and as a preventive maintenance once a while AND/OR
c. Get Thirsty Hyppo and place is in a few places.
d. Get an air-cond, with a HEPA cleaner or mentions can filter mold spores, ,and can dehumidify (separate function that usually comes with air-cond). If installed, make sure all openings drilled thru the wall are sealed.
e. Avoid opening windows facing pool and other humid sources.
My above steps might be too much, so do make your own call on this.
Some reading materials and very helpful info.

1. Good Housecleaning: Five Non-Toxic, Get-the-Dirt Out Basics

2. Mold–It’s Serious Stuff

3. Fighting Mold in Your House (Health Canada 28may01)

4. Fighting Mold — The Homeowners' Guide

Thank you to the above mentioned sites and many others who shared valuable information. Also thanks to my friends for the guidance. Thanks to my beloved for the huge support, commitment and joint-venture in this battle.
Thanks to God finally and I pray it doesn't re-occur.

Question - How do you reach areas where the wood encloses the other?

Ok all the best.


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