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Old 18th Nov 2021, 4:16 pm   #1
Geoff 555
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Default Grey mould on wooden radio cabinets

Hello I must confess that I am beaten and don't know what to do, so I could do with some suggestions please.
Most of the radios are from late 1920 t0 1955. I have had this problem for 10 years plus in a small way on a couple of radios but this year it has exploded to all of them plus some wooden items in a cupboard in another part of the flat. I have tried all sorts of polishes and anti mould products with out success.
I know there is a problem with damp ( rivers on 2 sides.) moving is the only answer to that, not going to happen.
So what do you think chaps?
Thank you all.
Keep safe and well.
Geoff.
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Old 18th Nov 2021, 4:26 pm   #2
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Default Re: Grey mould on wooden radio cabinets

A dehumidifier + plenty of light [AKA UV] ??
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Old 18th Nov 2021, 6:59 pm   #3
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Default Re: Grey mould on wooden radio cabinets

Get an Ebac dehumidifier. Humidity and stale, stagnant air in that cupboard, no movement of air, it's the perfect recipe for mould.
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Old 19th Nov 2021, 2:05 pm   #4
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Default Re: Grey mould on wooden radio cabinets

OK I have ordered a dehumidifier, I had one some years ago which proved useless, so I didnt concider one again.
To complete the question, hopefully, what would be the best cleaner please? The finishes are celulose ? Prewar McMichael, some others treated with Danish oil, and a leather suitcase one.
Next polish? I have beeswax furnisher polish.
Thank you for your most appreciated help.
Cheers.
Geoff.
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Old 19th Nov 2021, 2:13 pm   #5
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Default Re: Grey mould on wooden radio cabinets

A dehumidifier only works if the air that it's required to dry is 'accessible'. So if the radios are in cupboards with closed doors, the effect is minimal. But anyway, an Ebac dehumidifier is about as good as you will get. Mine has done wonders for my house.
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Old 19th Nov 2021, 2:50 pm   #6
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Default Re: Grey mould on wooden radio cabinets

All mould is a fungus. Fungi 'like' damp/moist still dark air - the French grow their mushrooms commercially in caves .. and you may have observed that they 'appear' on your lawn overnight.

So - as Steve indicates: you need a good air stream, plenty of light etc. And then .... give the old girls a few wipes over with an anti-fungicidal wash. (This stuff is very cheap, goes miles, and is essentially mainly distilled water. So - don't 'wash' or drench them ... merely wipe with a damp sponge ... that way the veneers etc. will survive unharmed.)
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Old 19th Nov 2021, 3:27 pm   #7
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Default Re: Grey mould on wooden radio cabinets

-Take door/s off the cupboards, if they have doors. Similar problem here with leather straps on old meters going fluffy. Without doors dust accumulation is still minimal, no mould, and you can see everything. Even leaving the doors ajar was a major improvement here.

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Old 21st Nov 2021, 9:41 am   #8
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Default Re: Grey mould on wooden radio cabinets

Gentlemen thank you, an Ebac arrived and it has been on for 14 hours I was amazed, quiet and it has collected over half a container of water! Looking out it was good to be able to see clearly without windows 'swimming' with condensation.
Thank you again.
Cheers.
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Old 21st Nov 2021, 10:11 am   #9
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Default Re: Grey mould on wooden radio cabinets

They're good aren't they?!
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Old 21st Nov 2021, 5:11 pm   #10
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Default Re: Grey mould on wooden radio cabinets

It's always good to dehumidify. My Ebac "Powerdri Professional" runs continuously during the cooler months, and generally keeps the relative-humidity below 60%.

If you're worried about the power consumption - remember that the while the conversion of ambient moisture into condensed water requires energy, in the process you also recover the 'latent heat of evaporation' - meaning you've got a sort-of heatpump thing going on.
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Old 21st Nov 2021, 7:36 pm   #11
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Default Re: Grey mould on wooden radio cabinets

I bought my Ebac (still running) in 1987 and a later one over 10 years ago.
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Old 21st Nov 2021, 9:36 pm   #12
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Default Re: Grey mould on wooden radio cabinets

That's good news the dehumidifier is helping! It must be a very common problem for members here. Lots of wood, Rexine and leather, with domestic pressures meaning air flow and display space is limited.

If you aren't going to move, with my architect hat on I suggest a read of this website: https://www.heritage-house.org/damp-...buildings.html

Historically we have been very poor at understanding the causes of what we describe as 'damp'. Perhaps there's something in there you can use as a reference for future work on your house, without getting stung by the cowboy damp proofers. They have a similar regard for engineering science as the products in the 'audiophoolery' thread.
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Old 23rd Nov 2021, 8:50 am   #13
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Default Re: Grey mould on wooden radio cabinets

Years ago now in the Niger delta region every room had one cupboard with a light bulb in the bottom to stop leather things, boots, belts etc. going mouldy. And a couple of holes in the top and bottom of the door to promote air circulation.
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Old 23rd Nov 2021, 4:46 pm   #14
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Default Re: Grey mould on wooden radio cabinets

In times-past the insides of military radios were "tropicalised" against mould etc, by spraying with a translucent varnish - which had a distinctive smell.

Does anyone know what the anti-fungal agent in this was? It certainly seemed to work - which probably means that it's long since been banned on 'environmental protection' grounds.
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Old 24th Nov 2021, 2:04 am   #15
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Default Re: Grey mould on wooden radio cabinets

Whilst I would definitely wholeheartedly support the preservation of vintage electronics by whatever means are practical I would say that the protection of the environment has never been a trivial matter and now, more than ever should not be denigrated.
If you have a need, modern tropicalising varnishes are effective and readily available: for example, Electolube TRV - from Farnell and many other suppliers.

Steve.
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Old 24th Nov 2021, 2:39 pm   #16
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Default Re: Grey mould on wooden radio cabinets

Agree that a dehumidifier is very effective.
As has already been said, cupboard doors need to be removed or routinely left open.
A desk fan wont dry the air, but used in conjunction with a dehumidifier will help to ensure that dried air reaches all corners of a room.
Running a dehumidifier is pointless with windows or external doors open, turn it off if opening doors other than briefly.

If you dry washing indoors it will dry quicker in the drier air.

Clothing and bedding is unlikely to get damp whilst in storage.

If you are on an off peak electricity tariff, then after the first week or two, use the dehumidifier only during the off peak hours.

Bright light, and in particular UV light is effective against mould spores. But take care. The germicidal lamps that kill mould are also dangerous to the skin and eyes.

Dust on surfaces should be removed with a slightly damp cloth that will catch spores not just relocate them. Hot wash the cloth.
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Old 25th Nov 2021, 3:11 pm   #17
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Default Re: Grey mould on wooden radio cabinets

The fact that it continues to return must mean it now has an established network ingrained and the mould you can see is just the fruiting body.

One time available in the chemist in raw form(but now on Ebay) which was usually bought by old ladies who knew its potential was Boric Acid .

These days found in elaborate products ( for athletes foot, bug killer etc) just the same but with a price tag to match
Almost harmless to animals but the fungi world hates it and so do many bugs.

You can usually get it in powder form for a protective dusting or crystals to make a cleaning solution in water.
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Old 25th Nov 2021, 5:24 pm   #18
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Default Re: Grey mould on wooden radio cabinets

I wonder if the fumes from burning sulphur/sulfur would have a decently penetrative antifungal effect? Burning sulphur-candles in closed greenhouses was a traditional way to defungalise them in between crops, and "Bordeaux mixture" [a combintion of copper sulphate lime and sulphur] is also a traditional spray still used to control moulds on vines.

Burning sulphur does produce sulphur-dioxide though, which will combine with atmospheric moisture to produce a local version of 'acid rain' - so only think of fumigating the cabinets not the whole radio!
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Old 25th Nov 2021, 5:49 pm   #19
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Default Re: Grey mould on wooden radio cabinets

I cant recommend the burning of sulphur due to the destructive fumes produced.

Years ago, mains gas contained significant sulphur compounds and use of same for the lighting of museums, libraries, art galleries and the like was discouraged for this reason, unless special ventilating gas lamps were used that removed the products of combustion to the outside air.
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Old 25th Nov 2021, 6:38 pm   #20
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Default Re: Grey mould on wooden radio cabinets

A mild bleach solution applied on a rag will kill mould and all known germs including covid
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