Asked by Sara from Coeur d Alene, ID USA
I have been dismantling a pile of collapsed barn wood for my in-laws. It has been sitting there for 20 years in a heap and most of it is beyond help.
Some of the pieces, however, are pretty awesome and in decent shape but have white and yellow stuff growing on parts… is there anyway to treat this issue?
I would like to use the pieces I have recovered for display purposed only- not as functional walls or doors.
Wow! 20 years and it’s not just a pile of compost?
That just goes to show that certain woods are less prone to rot than others.
You probably have a species that has high antifungal properties like white oak, ceader, or black loucust, maybe even osage orange! It would be intresting to see what it is. If you get a chance to I would love to see some close up pictures of the wood. Just upload them to our Facebook page at
I will upload them to this page.
Okay, back to your question. The best way to treat this wood is free! Yup, just put them somewhere where they will get lots of sunshine. That will kill the mold and mildew very quickly. Once it has all dried up and the mold is powdery just spray it off with a garden hose and let it dry in the sun. That’s all there is to it. Once the mold is dead, as long as you keep the wood dry it won’t mold again.
Thanks for your question Sara!
Have a great day!