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Posted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 4:34pm

Post Subject: Eradicating Black Mould from Untreated Woodwork

My partner and I are fitting out our narrowboat ourselves- something we know will take time as we're also living on it. Before the Winter we managed to get up most, but not all, of our lining boards (ash-faced ply) and the rest we stored in the bow area of the boat (inside), ready to come back to when we found the time and right weather. This part of the boat was curtained off from our living areas. Having only a woodburner in the boat, with no backboiler as yet, at the stern end of the boat, we find the bow has become very damp and our wood has suffered a significant amount of black and blooming mould - including the panels we've put up and the supporting struts. Today I have spent several hours cleaning down all of the wood with a strong tea tree solution (I don't believe in bleaches and chemicals, particularly as we're living aboard) but my worry is that the mould spores are now here to stay despite all our efforts. Is there a way to eradicate it entirely and if not, do we have to start again? And are there any gas heaters (a friend recommended this: ic-Heater--.html) which will help keep the area warm and dry without creating too much condensation?


Posted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 6:26pm

Post Subject: Eradicating Black Mould from Untreated Woodwork

Any non-flued appliance burning a hydrocarbon fuel will produce a great deal of condensation because one molecule of hydrogen in the fuel is combined with two molecules of oxygen from the air to form H20. It matters not if you actually burn it as in a fire of react it in a catalytic bed, the result is the same - much condensation. The only way to limit condensation is a flued heat source and adequate ventilation. It is your right to decide not to use any particular product but I do not feel it is then fair to ask for advice without researching your options within the limitations you set. My advice would be to look at something like Polycell five star mould treatment or bleach. However if the wood is not sealed I fear anything strong enough to kill yeast spores may well alter the colour of the wood. Also be aware that many veneered plywoods have pinholes of dark glue showing on the surface. often these do not appear until varnished. This is why it is best to inspect every sheet before purchase. This is not mould. I fear the damage has been done so my advice would be to wait until the weather gets warmer and take the sheets outside to treat with something strong. If you Google Black wood stains I think you will find a number of vendors of crystals that you mix and use to get rid of the mould stains. You will also be able to ventilate the boat well when treating the sheets you have fitted. Tony Brooks

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