How Long Does It Take For Mold To Rot Wood: 5 Removal Steps

Did you spot some mold spores lurking in the woods in your house? Here’s how long does it take for mold to rot wood so that you can plan out your actions immediately.

Mold, along with other fungi, can cause damage to wood. It only takes a certain amount of time for them to completely turn your furniture and foundation into some groggy pieces of wood.

how long does it take for mold to rot wood

If you cannot prevent mold from occurring, you should at least act upon it before it does something unrepairable. Read through to be guided on how to do it.


Wood And Mold

Mold and wood are not a very good combination. Mold, if given enough time, can damage and rot the wood. 

The mold will start destroying the wood surfaces in time because it devours the nutrients on its surfaces. However, if this happens, you can still salvage the contaminated wood as long as the damage is not that severe.

In 24 to 48 hours, mold will start growing on wet surfaces. With appropriate atmospheric conditions and constant moisture, mold spores will continue spreading and rot the wood in no time.


Difference Between Mold, Wet Rot, And Wood Rot

Mold, wet rot, and wood rot all create damage to wood. However, they differ on some aspects, which distinguishes each of them. 

Mold, wet rot, and wood rot are all types of fungi. All three require moisture to grow and spread through the wood. 



Let us first get to know more about mold. Mold is something that is not entirely unfamiliar to us as it is a common problem not just on wood surfaces but also on almost all surfaces, whether indoors or outdoors.

Mold comes in various forms, colors, and characteristics. Three of its common types are allergen molds, pathogen-type molds, and toxigenic molds.

Allergen molds can cause you to develop allergies and worsen existing ones. Pathogen-type molds exacerbate your existing medical conditions by irritating your immune system.

Lastly, toxigenic molds are the type that can cause breathing issues on you and to anyone living with you. It impacts not just people with a history of breathing problems but also those without none.


Wet rot

Unlike mold that grows on various surfaces, wet rot only grows on the surfaces of wood and plants. It also presents itself in patches of brown and white, while mold appears in colors from white to pink. 

Moreover, wet rot has a much fuzzier appearance than mold that looks thicker in consistency. It also has the ability to rot the fruits on trees in 24 hours while mold primarily targets the wood surfaces. 


Wood rot

Wood rot is a fungus scientifically known as Serpula lacrymans. It feeds on the exposed wooden supports of your home.

Unlike mold that spreads away from these supports, wood rot tends not to. It usually enters your home through the air vents.

Just like mold, it requires enough warmth and moisture to grow. Once it starts sprouting, it will immediately run through your wood supports, looking for nutrients.


Can you treat and repair rotten wood?

Fortunately, we can still repair rotten wood. Here are five ways to do it:


Step #1. Remove the rotted parts

When a block of wood gets damaged, immediately remove the rotten parts. It will keep the damage from spreading and destroying more.

Afterward, sand off the wood surface using a fine grit paper. Then, apply 4 to 6 coats of a wood restorer.


Step #2. Patch the damaged area with epoxy

After removing the damaged parts, paint the remaining wood surface with the bonding agent. Then, using a putty knife, apply and shape the epoxy onto the wood. 

Scrape off the excess epoxy from the wood surface. Let it set overnight for the epoxy to dry completely.


Step #3. Make a wood patch

Remove the damaged part of the wood. Then, clean the edges of the empty spot and create clean lines using a hand saw. 

Measure a piece of cedar and cut it according to the size of the spot you are filling. Apply polyurethane glue to the wood surface and attach the patch.


Step #4. Use wood filler to patch

Create a mixture of wood filler and hardener on a nonporous surface. Apply the mixture on the wood using a putty knife and dry for at least 30 minutes.


Step #5.  Sand and paint the patched wood

After applying patches on the wood, sand it to make the surface smooth. If the wood is stained, use a matching stain and let it dry.

For painted wood, apply two coats of primer and dry. Then, use a paintbrush and paint the surface in even layers using long strokes for a smoother finish.

For tips on killing mold, here is an article on how to get rid of mold on firewood to help you. A free service is always good, so you can also check out this article about how to get a free mold inspection and save yourself some money.



Wood has always been a staple material in house and building structures. Although proven durable, it is still vulnerable to damage from fungi like mold.

Now that the question, “how long does it take for mold to rot wood” has been answered, it is certain that you will not waste any time when you spot mold spores and musty smells on wood surfaces. It is unless you want your furniture and house support to collapse.

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