Mold can grow on cedar when high relative humidity exists. The high humidity results in a moist atmosphere due to the excessive water vapor. The vapor clings to the porous cedar and can contribute to mold growth.
Algae and molds can be cleaned quite easily and effectively with bleaching agents such as sodium hypochlorite (liquid household bleach) and sodium percarbonate (the active ingredient in some commercial cleaners). Bleaching agents quickly kill mold and algae, but they also can degrade wood.
Cedar will help prevent the spread of mold and mildew. Cedar removes moisture from the air, so in humid climates, it will act as a natural dehumidifier and keep your clothes from developing mildew.
A chest made of cedar wood is susceptible to mold growth, just like other items and surfaces in your home. If the chest is located in an area of your home with high humidity and low sunlight, it makes an ideal breeding ground for mold.
However, it will lose its typically golden-brown color. As Albany Fence Designs mentions, the natural forces of nature, such as wind and rain, will slowly cause untreated cedar wood structures, such as fences and furniture, to fade. Eventually, they will end up a silver-grayish color.
Cedar offers a durable option for exterior and interior building projects with natural resistance to rot and decay, so a protective finish is optional. If you want to enjoy the aroma of varieties such as Western Red Cedar and incense cedar, leave the wood unsealed.
Don't put cedar where it's in direct contact with the ground or set it in concrete. It may last for a while, but eventually it will rot and deteriorate.
However, as they move from household to household and generation to generation, cedar chests can become worn, scratched or coated in paint and other finishes. Refinishing a cedar chest brings back the natural beauty of the wood and can be accomplished in a few easy steps.
The Cedar Bureau recommends using a solution no stronger than one-part bleach to three parts water. Apply it with a pump sprayer and let it sit for about 15 minutes before rinsing it off with a garden hose. Be sure to keep the hose pointed downward to avoid forcing water up behind the shingles.
Bleaching Cedar – I tested every method for this piece fo furniture (all bleaching methods can be found here). The only method that worked was Two-Part A/B Wood Bleach. First, apply Solution A with a sponge. It will make the wood look much darker.
The most common culprits are tannins, mildew, and mold. Tannins ordinarily leach from cedar wood, and do not normally cause any problems. However, when tannins mix with metal and iron, a chemical reaction occurs and a black stain can form. Cedar, along with any other wood, is a natural habitat for mildew and mold.
Use undiluted white vinegar on hard surfaces in kitchens and baths. A bleach solution also works to kill mold. Mix one cup of bleach in a gallon of water, apply to the surface and don't rinse. Mix a 50/50 solution of ammonia and water.
Algae is a slimy, green film that grows on wood in wet, dark conditions. Moss is also green and grows in similar conditions, but is soft and fuzzy to the touch. Mold is a fungus that appears on wood as greenish-black streaks. Untreated, mold spores can pose a health risk to people and pets when inhaled.
When searching for black mold, look for circular-shaped spots that are black, dark green or dark brown. Some black mold can also take on shades of orange or have flecks of white within it. Most of the time, black mold has a slightly furry appearance.
Chlorine bleach is the traditional and most popular form used in households, most often in the washer to get stains out of laundry. The powerful ingredient is sodium hypochlorite, which is a toxic substance and is not good for your cedar siding, as it can damage the wood fibers.
Can pressure washers be used on cedar siding? As long as the sprayer is set to a low pressure, pressure washing can be used to clean cedar. It is important to avoid damaging the wood's soft surface, so using a low pressure and not working too closely to the siding is necessary.
You can use water mixed with a bit of mild detergent for a basic cleaner. If you need a stronger cleaner, you can dilute bleach with water for a cleaner that will accentuate the natural luster of the cedar. This is particularly effective in the removal of mildew. Wipe the wood gently, and avoid excessive scrubbing.
Online auction sites, antique shops and secondhand stores often sell Lane cedar chests -- based on their age, condition or rarity -- starting at $99 and as high as $700 or more for older chests. But most chests, on average, are valued between $200 and $400.
Whether the chest is new or not, a stain provides years of beauty without peeling or chipping. If you want to add color without sacrificing the natural beauty of the grain, choose a semitransparent, oil-based wood stain. Oil-based stain hardens the wood's surface and adds durability to the cedar chest.
Rot resistant, it can last 10-15 years as an attractive raised bed. It is also insect resistant because of oils in the wood - this is why it smells so good.
For outdoor use, cedar furniture is widely viewed as a good choice. Less expensive than teak and lighter than oak, cedar possesses many major advantages that make it suitable for outdoor placement. Keep the benefits of cedar in mind when deciding which type of furniture to add to your garden or patio area.
On bare new or restored cedar, apply one coat only of water-repellent preservative (1% or less of wax by volume and content). Allow it to dry for the period of time recommended by the manufacturer. If the wood has been dip treated, a longer drying time may be needed.
When used indoors, cedar is most often used to line closets due to its aromatic and insect repellent properties. However, the wood has many other uses, including furniture, wood paneling, accent beams and trim.
Cedar should be stained as soon as it will accept the stain. This is easy to determine with penetrating semi-transparent stains. Apply the stain, if it soaks in its ready. If it pools on the surface, do it later.