Mildew / mold on MDF

Today I noticed that my MDF cutoff box was covered inside and out with a white and green powdery growth. I'm not smart enough to determine what it is.
None of the other wood in it had any growth on it - except a piece of MDF.
I checked the rest of the wood in the shop and it all looks fine.
Granted, the conditions are great for this to happen - un-airconditioned garage in south Texas in the middle of the summer following weeks of rain. Temperature in the high 90s and it feels almost as humid.
I'm new to MDF. Is this be expected? 20 years in this shop with never a problem on regular wood, particle and pegboard, plywood, or high density particle board.. There's even lumber here from the last owner that looks like it just came from the lumberyard.
The majority wipes off easily. Plans are for a light wipe-down with bleach and then to poly it.
Comments anyone?
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Look for a leak. Takes 16-18% MC, so they say, to support mildew. At least it wasn't the ugly black stuff, just the more benign "hairy" white.
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Sounds good to me - bleach should take care of it, but anything water- based won't be very good for your MDF. The bleach will kill the fungi, but the MDF will absorb the water in the bleach. If this is just your scrap box, I'd seriously recommend taking the whole box out of your shop and tossing it in a dumpster, while breathing as little of the dust/spores as possible. I work with a variety of fungi/molds at work right now, and some can be pretty unhealthy. Your MDF mold might not be too dangerous, but many fungal spores are allergens or irritants even if they're not pathogenic, so I'd err on the side of caution. I might even spray it with bleach and then throw it away. If you really need to keep these particular cutoffs, you could try bleach or alcohol, but setting them out in direct sunlight for a whole day should do the trick too, then a good coat of poly/shellac/etc. Any chance you could get a dehumidifier or better ventilation in your gar-shop for the rest of the summer? Good luck and stay safe, Andy
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Today I noticed that my MDF cutoff box was covered inside and out with a white and green powdery growth. I'm not smart enough to determine what it is.
None of the other wood in it had any growth on it - except a piece of MDF.
I checked the rest of the wood in the shop and it all looks fine.
Granted, the conditions are great for this to happen - un-airconditioned garage in south Texas in the middle of the summer following weeks of rain. Temperature in the high 90s and it feels almost as humid.
I'm new to MDF. Is this be expected? 20 years in this shop with never a problem on regular wood, particle and pegboard, plywood, or high density particle board.. There's even lumber here from the last owner that looks like it just came from the lumberyard.
The majority wipes off easily. Plans are for a light wipe-down with bleach and then to poly it.
Comments anyone?
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Sounds good to me - bleach should take care of it, but anything water- based won't be very good for your MDF. The bleach will kill the fungi, but the MDF will absorb the water in the bleach. If this is just your scrap box, I'd seriously recommend taking the whole box out of your shop and tossing it in a dumpster, while breathing as little of the dust/spores as possible. I work with a variety of fungi/molds at work right now, and some can be pretty unhealthy. Your MDF mold might not be too dangerous, but many fungal spores are allergens or irritants even if they're not pathogenic, so I'd err on the side of caution. I might even spray it with bleach and then throw it away. If you really need to keep these particular cutoffs, you could try bleach or alcohol, but setting them out in direct sunlight for a whole day should do the trick too, then a good coat of poly/shellac/etc. Any chance you could get a dehumidifier or better ventilation in your gar-shop for the rest of the summer? Good luck and stay safe, Andy
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gar-shop for the rest of the summer?
:) With a dehumidifier in S. Texas, I could supply a city with water.
I have air circulating with an AC blower fan mounted above the joists that exhausts outside. Whirlybird vent on roof. At least one of the two garage doors is open almost every day except when raining and always when I'm in the shop in the summer. Small fan circulates air in the shop and is always on. Back shop door opens to the covered lawn equipment parking lot and is almost always open.
Summary: I don't think it's a lack of air movement. Wet air I agree with.
It's just odd that -only- the MDF was affected.
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