Mold on Framing Lumber

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Seeing mold on framing lumber is a common occurrence. It is actually more rare to walk into a home under construction and not find at least one stud, joist, or plate without a spot of mold on it.

Super Simple Synopsis:

Mold is everywhere in the environment.

Mold has been around for thousands of years.

Some molds are bad for your health (Most mold on wood framing materials is not toxic to most people).

Molds need four things to survive:

  • food source
  • moisture
  • warmth
  • oxygen

Often we can take the moisture away thereby eliminating the mold concern.

The CDC (Center for Disease Control) says using rubber gloves, safety glasses and a high quality pollen or dust mask, we can “wash” mold with a solution of ten (10) parts bleach and one (1) part water to effectively kill mold.


The Western Wood Products Association has  two simple Fast Facts PDF’s relating to Mold & Wood Products:

What is Mold?

Cleaning Mold on Wood

It is difficult to find a resource that you don’t feel is slanted toward one side or the other.  By far the best document I have found is:

Mold, Housing and Wood

The authors are well credentialed, there has been strong peer review and the works have stood a test of time. Revisions were made about five years after the original publication. I used the original version when doing research for a mold issue I encountered back in 2002.

This report is full of technical information and is not an easy read. It is about fifteen pages, with a bibliography that is two pages long.

Check out the active links in the table of contents below.

Coreen Robbins, Ph.D., CIH is the senior industrial hygienist with Veritox, Inc., a privately owned international corporation based in Redmond, Wash., providing services in industrial hygiene, human and environmental toxicology and risk assessment. Dr. Robbins holds a Ph.D. in environmental health science and a master’s degree in occupational safety and health from The Johns Hopkins University. She is a Certified Industrial Hygienist and is affiliated with the American Industrial Hygiene Association and the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists.

Jeff Morrell, Ph.D. is a professor in the Department of Wood Science and Engineering at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Ore. He holds a Ph.D. in forest pathology and mycology from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forests, an MS in plant pathology from Pennsylvania State University and a BS in forest biology from Syracuse University. Dr. Morrell has conducted research on fungi colonizing wood and their effects on properties; biological and chemical control of fungal stain; and control of wood decay in service.

Published 2001 Revised January 2006

The authors gratefully acknowledge review of the original paper by the following industry and academic professionals:
Steven E. Carpenter, Ph.D.
Abbey Lane Laboratory LLC, Philomath, Ore.
Ed Light, MS, C IH
President, Building Dynamics LLC, Reston, Va.
Mark L. Nealley, MS, C IH
Environmental Profiles, Baltimore, Md.
Daniel L. Sudakin, MD, MPH
Assistant Professor, Dept. of Environmental and Molecular Toxicology,
Oregon State University, Corvallis, Ore.

Table of contents:

About Editor

I believe that by providing quality information we can to raise the bar of excellence within the homebuilding industry.

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