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Will Polycrylic prevent mold growth?

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Forum topic by Sam_NY posted 10-30-2019 04:11 PM 511 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Sam_NY

13 posts in 2812 days


10-30-2019 04:11 PM

Topic tags/keywords: birch ply mold finishing shop furniture

I currently have all my tools in a basement that has a mold problem that affects any bare wood left around for any amount of time. For various reasons, there’s not much I can do to prevent the mold for now and so I keep my wood elsewhere. However, I also have a shop-built router table (made mostly of birch ply) and a crosscut sled that I’d like to keep down there and not have to keep moving out. What if I apply a couple coats of polycrylic? Does anyone know if that’ll consistently inhibit mold? Other finishes? I saw a similar post on shellac…

-- Sam in NY


12 replies so far

View Kazooman's profile

Kazooman

1540 posts in 2803 days


#1 posted 10-30-2019 04:35 PM

I think you need to find a way to reduce the humidity. A simple free standing dehumidifier works well for me. I am fortunate to have a floor drain and I can run the thing 24/7 until the humidity is down. Without a floor drain you would have to rely on the built in reservoir and empty it when it fills. Good air circulation will help also. Even a small fan will suffice.

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Jeremymcon

415 posts in 1531 days


#2 posted 10-30-2019 04:37 PM

If you have that much mold it’s probably going to grow on top of whatever finish you put on too. You can just wipe it off easier if you have a finish on. I’d get a dehumidifier if I were you. Also consider spraying something like vital oxide on the walls. Every now and then to kill the mold.

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John Smith

2677 posts in 1013 days


#3 posted 10-30-2019 05:14 PM

if mold forms that quickly on wood, what are you breathing ??

.

.

-- there is no educational alternative to having a front row seat in the School of Hard Knocks. --

View bandit571's profile

bandit571

26488 posts in 3534 days


#4 posted 10-30-2019 06:00 PM

First….get rid of the mold problems….buying a dehumidifier is way cheap than being sick from the mold…then, once the mold has been stopped, then worry about keeping things mold free….tools, lumber, projects….

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

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Sam_NY

13 posts in 2812 days


#5 posted 10-30-2019 08:01 PM

Yes, my first preference would be to get a dehumidifier. Problem is that my in-laws, who are generously letting me use their basement as a shop, don’t want the noise from it turning on and off in the night. Eventually will try to find other shop space, but that’s what I got for now (I live in an apt). I did buy some Concrobium, which I’ll try. In the meantime, just looking to protect the shop aids, etc.

-- Sam in NY

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Kazooman

1540 posts in 2803 days


#6 posted 10-30-2019 08:48 PM



Yes, my first preference would be to get a dehumidifier. Problem is that my in-laws, who are generously letting me use their basement as a shop, don t want the noise from it turning on and off in the night. Eventually will try to find other shop space, but that s what I got for now (I live in an apt). I did buy some Concrobium, which I ll try. In the meantime, just looking to protect the shop aids, etc.

- Sam_NY

Ah, the in-law problem. Now I understand.

Frankly, I think you are doomed unless you can get the humidity down. Mold and mildew will grow on anything in high humidity.

If you are lucky, your in-laws do not have any good way to humidify their home during the winter heating months. The high humidity issue may correct itself and the mold/mildew will go away. However, you will be left confronting the problem of widely changing humidity between the summer and winter seasons and how much your wood moves.

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Sam_NY

13 posts in 2812 days


#7 posted 10-30-2019 09:35 PM

Ha! Yes, their house dries out pretty well in winter but maybe I’ll stick a humidistat down there to confirm. I think there are humidifier options with A) a pump to get the water out (there’s no drain) and B) a timer that can maybe turn it off at night. Not ideal, but better than nothing?

Weirdly the stand for my table saw, which my grandfather built in the 50s, doesn’t show any mold. Wonder if it’s treated with something.

-- Sam in NY

View Kazooman's profile

Kazooman

1540 posts in 2803 days


#8 posted 10-30-2019 09:45 PM



Ha! Yes, their house dries out pretty well in winter but maybe I ll stick a humidistat down there to confirm. I think there are humidifier options with A) a pump to get the water out (there s no drain) and B) a timer that can maybe turn it off at night. Not ideal, but better than nothing?

Weirdly the stand for my table saw, which my grandfather built in the 50s, doesn t show any mold. Wonder if it s treated with something.

- Sam_NY

Yes! If the issue is running at night and/or the constant turning on and off, then a timer that has the dehumidifier
running only during the day would be great. Mine has a dial that is supposed to sense the humidity. I leave it in the “forever on” position. That eliminates the starts and stops as the local humidity by the unit goes down when it is working as it should. You are then left with the built in condensate reservoir with its “I am full” shut off switch, or some way to pump the water out. I think the winter heating season may well be your friend.

View Axis39's profile

Axis39

342 posts in 448 days


#9 posted 10-30-2019 11:04 PM

I left Virginia about a year ago… 35+ years of fighting moisture issues in houses, on wood and tools, etc.

I agree with the others, without getting rid of that humidity you will be tilting at windmills.

Polyurethane, or any kind of film finish will slow the growth, but the mold will eventually grow on top of the finish. But, it’s better than nothing.

The thing that sparks my interest is that your In-Laws don’t seem to care about the mold in their house! It is so bad for their health. I would think they would want to do something about it for themselves! Try to talk them into some form of more advanced dehumidification!

-- John F. SoCal transplant, chewer uppper of good wood

View bandit571's profile

bandit571

26488 posts in 3534 days


#10 posted 10-31-2019 05:30 AM

Dad’s basement had a sump pump….so, he ran a line from the dehumidifier over to the sump pump’s “well”.

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

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Sam_NY

13 posts in 2812 days


#11 posted 10-31-2019 01:38 PM


The thing that sparks my interest is that your In-Laws don t seem to care about the mold in their house! It is so bad for their health. I would think they would want to do something about it for themselves! Try to talk them into some form of more advanced dehumidification!

- Axis39

They don’t seem too bothered by the idea (the part of the basement in question is right below their bedroom). Here are some pics of the mold in question. I rubbed that painted surface with some sort of mold inhibitor that my mother-in-law had around and it hasn’t grown back.

Thanks, all, for redirecting me back to addressing the humidity problem. I’ll see what I can do, and in the meantime will keep moving anything out of there if I don’t want mold on it.

-- Sam in NY

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therealSteveN

6262 posts in 1425 days


#12 posted 11-01-2019 04:12 PM


if mold forms that quickly on wood, what are you breathing ??

- John Smith

Good question.

-- Think safe, be safe

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