Mold is a type of fungus that thrives in moist, warm and damp conditions. You will find it on bread, in bathrooms, kitchen, floors and grout among other areas. Mold usually appear as fuzzy, leathery, staining or a discoloration substance on organic surfaces. It can be hazardous to your health and home when not removed on time.
Mold mostly grows indoor and outdoor without exempting your wood floor. This is common when cleaning and drying is not done properly. Warm temperature, moisture and grime on your hardwood floor can provide a conducive environment for establishment of fungus.
Regular cleaning, disinfecting your hardwood floors and driving out moisture, mopping out spills on the surface greatly help in keeping mold at bay. It is also a way of preserving the beauty and adding life to your pricey investment.
Is Mold on Hardwood Floors Dangerous?
Mold usually grows from pores to large colony within few days. The pores are airborne and highly pose a respiratory health concern to both human and pets. While not all mold are dangerous, some types such as the black green mold produces toxins.
Mold also pose dangers to flooring industry. You will find them on any area in a building such as wood flooring, sub-floors, baseboards and dry wall among others. They flourish on such organic materials when exposed to moisture and the favorable building temperature.
Mold should be removed as soon as possible before they wreak havoc. When in small areas in your home, you can remove them as per our guide below. Mold in large quantities should be removed by a contracted expert who will use a specialized equipment without getting exposed to any dangers.
Signs of Mold under Hardwood Floors
Mold usually appears as a discoloration, staining or a fuzzy growth on the surface of a wood floor. It can have various colors such as black, white, green, gray, brown or yellow. They usually grow in areas that were once exposed to water, spills or moisture.
Mold produce pungent musty smell in your home. They smell like a damp organic material that appears to be decaying. As a home owner, if you encounter such an odor, carefully examine areas that are prone to moisture such as below the sink, under carpets, kitchen cabinets, basements and around appliances that utilizes water.
Growth of mold can also be sign of water damaged hardwood floor or baseboards. When exposed to water, wood will always warp or decay. That is the main reason you should be careful when deep cleaning a hardwood floor using water based cleaners. Always completely dry out any film of water or avoid using water based methods.
How to Remove Mold from Wood Floors
When you spot mold in your home, do not hesitate to take an immediate action. First of all, think about what causes mold on your wood floor and figure out how you can prevent it. If there is a leakage or spill, fix it before you proceed with removal.
Inspect the degree of damage caused. If it is an entire floor, you will have to consult a wood flooring expert who may recommend refinishing, replacing the floorboards or removing the mold. For small spots of mold on your hardwood floor, here is what you need and what to do:
What you need
- Face dust mask
- Protective hand gloves
- Distilled white vinegar
- Paper towels
- Spray bottle
What to do
- Aerate the room
Be sure to open all the windows and get the room ventilated. This will drive out any excess moisture from the room and also to avoid inhaling spores. Put on your rubber or latex gloves and a face mask and proceed with the next step.
- Apply vinegar and water solution
Mix ¼ cup of distilled white vinegar with 1 cup of water in a spray bottle. Spay the mold and cover the area with paper towels. Vinegar is anti-fungal cleaner, anti-deodorant and safe to use. Besides killing the mold, it will also clear the musty smell.
- Clean the spot to remove mold
After spraying, immediately wipe out the mold using the paper towels and dispose them immediately. If the mold stains are stubborn, use a sponge to scrub them off. Follow with a damp towel to clear the vinegar solution. Completely dry out the area using a dry towel.
- Vacuuming and cleaning
Once the mold if removed, vacuum the entire room sung a vacuum cleaner designed for hardwood floors. This removes any traces of the mold and other dirt debris. You may consider deep cleaning afterwards using your favorite cleaner.
The paper towels used for cleaning out the mold and the content of the vacuum cleaner should be disposed into a trash can and be sealed. Remember to completely keep the room dry and possibly use a humidifier to remove all the moisture.
If the molds recur, it means they are growing under the floor boards. That means, you should get a floor expert who should remove the boards, clean and kill the mold and reinstall the boards.
NOTE: Vinegar and water solution can damage wood floors when left standing on the surface for long. After spraying, dry it out immediately using paper towels.
Mold is a health hazard and should be removed before causing harm. They also stain a wood floor and can cause a permanent damage. Products formulated for killing mold should be used with care and tested before using. If you are not sure, consider contracting an expert to remove mold from your home.