Mold and Mildew on Furniture - Worth Cleaning?

Old 05-10-16, 10:01 AM
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Mold and Mildew on Furniture - Worth Cleaning?

Last year, the nursing home where my Grandma lives had some flooding. Based on the water marks on the furniture, I'd say it was 1"-2" high. I know the director there had all the flooring replaced, but I don't know if the furniture was cleaned. I think the furniture sat in the water for less than a week. Maybe 3-5 days.

Yesterday, when I was cleaning one of the small dressers as a precaution (I'm moving Grandma to my house), I noticed some tiny black spots on the inside bottom board (very thin and cheap material). I removed the board which gave me a significantly better view of the inside front board (thicker board, probably particle board). It was there that I noticed several larger black spots. It makes me wonder what's between the double boards at the bottom.

If I clean this dresser with a borax solution will it be safe to put in my house?

I'm also wondering about an unrelated (wasn't in the flood) chest of drawers that sustained water damage (burst pipe) many years ago and was never cleaned. It has numerous white, powdery spots at the bottom sides. They're on what I guess would be called the finished surface. I haven't looked at the very bottom (underside) where it's unfinished. I'm assuming these white spots are mildew. If I clean them with borax, would it be safe to bring the chest of drawers into my house?

Both pieces of furniture are made of lightweight wood. The wood is thick, but lightweight. The dresser is around 20 years old and looks like it's made from particle board. The chest of drawers is probably 40-60 years old and made from something a little heavier, but I'm not sure what.

Is the mold or the mildew worse? I know they're kind of the same, but...
Old 05-10-16, 02:07 PM
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I'm moving Grandma to my house
I don't even know you but I'm really glad to hear that!

Is the mold or the mildew worse?
If you have an extra $200, buy 2 new pieces of furniture. Grandma is worth it.
Old 05-10-16, 03:25 PM
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Bleach will take care of either mold or mildew, or you can use a specialized cleaner.

I work on a lot of kitchens and see water damage often. I'm only concerned when it's obvious the water damage happened over a period of years, the wood will be rotted and moldy.

A few spots on dry wood to me is not an alarm, also the source of the water damage is gone.

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