Fungal Microorganisms & Wood Rot
Molds are always fungi, but fungi aren't always molds. Molds are a subcategory of microorganisms known as fungi, while other forms of fungi include yeasts, and others are commonly referred to as "rot." This latter type of fungi causes very damaging forms of wood rot, including "brown rot" and "white rot." Brown rot is sometimes called "dry rot" because it can occur in seemingly dry environments. Although some fungi can remain active in very dry environments, the fungi causing brown rot will not invade wood unless the wood has a moisture content of at least 28%. When you discover white or brown wood rot in a building, it indicates a water leak or roof leak existed there at one time, or an existing hidden leak.
When moisture levels decline below 28 percent, the fungi causing brown rot will cease to be active, but remain dormant in wood with a moisture content as low as 15 percent. Fungal spores will remain dormant in wood with any moisture content, so it's important to protect wood structures by keeping them as dry as possible. In addition, treating wood with a good fungicide will protect it from fungal rot in cases where flooding from heavy rains or water leaks can allow fungi to attack the wood.
While borate treatments and copper compounds are extremely effective at protecting wood from insects and many types of molds, some molds are resistant to these treatments. For this reason, a good fungicide added to a water-based borate solution will combine to form a very effective means for preserving wood from virtually any type of mold or fungi.
One of the best available fungicides for this purpose is Borasol-MC. Packaged in 6.4 fluid ounce bottles as well as quarts, this is very effective at preserving wood from molds and fungi. It can be used by itself, or in combination with water-based borate solutions. These combined solutions provide full protection from molds, fungi, and insects like termites. The quart size is the right quantity for combined solutions which have a total volume of 5 gallons, after 7.5 pounds borate and one quart of Borasol-MC have been added. The 6.4 fluid ounce size is correct for solutions which have a total volume of 1 gallon, after 1.5 pounds borate and one quart of Borasol-MC have been added. 5 gallons of combined solution will treat 1000 sq. ft. of wood surface, while 1 gallon will treat 200 square feet. Borasol-MC is water-based and non-flammable. Although more concentrated, it is no more hazardous than commonly used Lysol brand products. However, unlike its more common counterpart, Borasol-MC is designed and rated for use on porous surfaces like wood.
These materials will dissolve quickly in hot water when stirred with a "Jiffy Mixer" or another impeller type mixer spun with an electric drill. These impeller mixing tools are commonly available at paint stores and most home improvement suppliers. When mixing and applying these materials, always wear the correct safety gear, which includes approved eye protection, an approved respirator which covers your mouth and nose, and protective apparel including a long sleeve shirt, long pants, socks and shoes, and water proof gloves.
Wood preservatives like these should be applied with a low pressure sprayer - also known as a garden sprayer. Low pressure sprayers have small tanks with built-in pumps, a spray handle and nozzle with a release lever, and several feet of hose. Available at most hardware stores and home improvement retailers, a garden sprayer's moderate pressure levels are useful for wetting down wood surfaces without creating the hazardous vapors produced by high-pressure sprayers.
If you have questions about the best way to protect your EZ log home, cabin, barn, or shed, Please call anytime using the phone numbers on this page. And we invite you to stop by our north I-35 location near Braker Lane, or our south location on the Southbound feeder road for Highway 290, just south of Monterey Oaks Blvd.