removing mold from wood w/o chlorine products

Old 02-09-09, 06:27 AM
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removing mold from wood w/o chlorine products

I have a decommissioned wine barrel that will be placed in my wine cellar.
The bottom of the barrel has mold on it. There is a deep & narrow groove where the flat portions of the bottom meet the sidewalls.
Chlorine based products are an ememy of wine so I do not wish to have it possibly contaimante the bottles in the cellar.
I am looking for alternative products to use.
Old 02-09-09, 02:47 PM
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The proper way to remove mold from wood is to sand the surface beyond the mold to good wood.
If you do sand it be sure to use a proper fitting N95 rated dust mask.

Even if you kill the mold the residue could be toxic.
Old 02-09-09, 04:32 PM
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There are a lot of practices for removing mold from wood. The company I work for does not sand because in 99.9% of cases sanding is not necessary. We will kill the mold then add a mold inhibitor to the surface so nothing will grow back. In your case sanding might be the way to go if you plain on using it.
Old 02-09-09, 09:44 PM
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thats what i would suggest..sanding using proper ppe and then seal
Old 02-11-09, 11:06 AM
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I would not use any mold removing chemical for the same reason you would not use chlorine.

We do not know what the emissions from the chemicals usually combined in such products would do to the precious wine you are storing in the cellar.

Unless the manufacturer/dealer of the product could offer reliable information on emissions and chemical composition of such products, I would not risk it.

Here's what I know about mold, from researching it for both professional and personal purposes (bad mold allergies):
- It needs two things to grow:
- Organic matter to feed on: your wooden barrel.
- Air humidity levels above 50% percent and high moisture concentration in the wood. Some say you are safe with humidity levels of up to 60% but I like to be in the safe side.

If you take one of these out of the equation, you will eliminate the mold problem. It will not kill it but it will not allow it to spread or grow.

Since you can't eliminate the food source, because it is a wooden barrel, your only option here would be to you to eliminate moisture.

However I read that humidity levels in a wine cellar should be kept between 60% and 76% to keep the corks on the bottles from drying out. That is pretty close to or within the mold's "comfort zone."

So here's what I'd suggest.

1- You do not use that barrel in the cellar. Get a mold free one. Mold is a difficult thing to eliminate because in its active form it consistently releases a huge amount of microscopic airborne spores in the air that eventually stick to surfaces and if they find food and moisture they spread and grow. That would be my pick rather than risking to see mold growing in my corks and labels.

2 - Let that barrel dry completely, under the sun or in a warm, heated and very dry place. Drying out the wood will cause the mold to go into a dormant state and stop releasing those dreadful spores.

Sand all the moldy surfaces and eliminate all the moldy spots. Thoroughly dust and maybe vacuum all the resulting dust that might lodge itself in the barrel joints, corner and crevices.

Seal, wax, stain or treat it as you normally would. (I am assuming you will not store the wine IN the barrel but use it as a decorative element?)

Haul it into the cellar and hope for the best. Hopefully you have no leftover spores on the barrel after treating it and the mold won't grow back.

4- Shop for a mold remediation professional and see if they have a wine friendly product to help. That would be my pick only if the barrel itself was worth the expense (like a collectible , dated and branded antique barrel from a traditional, century old, well known winery).
Old 02-06-10, 12:37 PM
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Look into this product MDF-500 to clean barrels

This product becomes completely inert in 8 hours. I have had great success with MDF-500 in traditional mold remediation. I am not a wine person and offer no advice for cleaning the interior of wine barrels. I do believe that it is worth your time to investigate the product. If the product works you will have found an incredible weapon in the war on mold. Good luck and God Bless


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