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I've heard anecdotally that mold will glow green under a black light (UV light). Is this true?

There's a room in my house with a musty odor, and I'm trying to determine the source of the smell. There's a substantial amount of unpainted wood - here is a sample of what it looks like under an ultraviolet light:

Possible mold in wood

(Photo specs: 1s f/4.5 exposure under 2 48" 36W T8 UV lamps.)

Does this indicate mold growth in the wood? (Freshly cut wood exposed to the same UV light does not reflect the same green-yellow color.) I have tried cleaning the surface of the wood with mold/mildew cleaner, to no effect. My understanding of mold growth is limited and I'm having a hard time coming up with reliable information about it.

  • Did you ever confirm if this is mold... I'm using a black light where we had a water issue and I see the same brightish purple on the wood in spots. – Brad Aug 19 '17 at 19:36
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What's the humidity level in the room? I'd go get a $12 humidity sensor and see what you got. My understanding that mold can grow >= 60% RH, though there are other factors (e.g. moisture will condense on a cold wall with a lower relative humidity). You may need a dehumidifier if you're too high. Of course that won't kill the mold but will keep it from growing.

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It might just be glue, if the door is stained, the stain would highlight the yellow of the glue.

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