Q. I occasionally receive framing lumber that has some mold on it. Will this mold continue to grow and cause rot once the wood is in the dry? Do I have to clean it off? I’m also concerned about customer perception.

A. Mac Pearce, an environmental health consultant in St. Paul, Minn., responds: Decay is a process that starts with wood and ends with dirt. Surface mold growth is the beginning of the process. If the wood stays wet enough for long enough, wood rot can set in and destroy the structural integrity of the lumber. By themselves, most molds lack the...

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