Hardwood flooring is beautiful and connotes quality, warmth and the aesthetic of nature brought indoors. It’s one of the oldest and time-tested flooring materials.
While its popularity spans the ages, it requires care like any other organic material. Allowing moisture to reach your hardwood flooring can prove hazardous. Not only will it cause your hardwood to rot over time, but mold can also take a root and wreak havoc on your floor, home and health.
And thus we come to today’s topic: signs of mold under hardwood floors. How do you detect mold under hardwood floors? And what can you do to get rid of it?
3 signs of mold under hardwood floors
So let’s look at the three signs of mold under hardwood floors.
Unfortunately, mold loves a damp, wet environment. So if water comes in contact with your floor, it is only appropriate to spring into action and mop up and dry the affected area. Moisture left to set will quickly develop into mold spores.
But the problem lies when the moisture is out of sight. If the water accumulates in between the hardwood planks and the sub-flooring, then, of course, you won’t be able to mop it up.
In places such as basements, moisture can easily develop in these areas. The environment is the perfect recipe for mold problems.
1- Musty smells
Musty odors permeating your home environment can be a clue that a mold issue is affecting your home. Your nose knows. That’s one sign as mold emits gases that contribute to the musty smells. But that’s not the only sign…
2- Water damage
Visible water damage is a big sign that you may have a mold issue, especially if the floor has a spongy strength to it when you walk over it. Water stains are an indication that water may have set on your wood for far too long.
3- Check under the hardwood floorboards
Whether you do it yourself or bring on a mold remediation specialist, the only way to get one of the firmest of signs of mold under hardwood floors is to look under the floorboards.
Gently pry up the trim so you can pull up a few hardwood floorboards. Here are some helpful tips for removing tongue-and-groove planks without damaging them.
If you choose the do-it-yourself route, we suggest wearing protective glasses and a face mask. Mold is hazardous to health so it’s wise to take necessary precautions.
How to get rid of mold under a hardwood floor
So let’s say you’ve removed some floorboards in various areas and you’ve spotted mold growth. What now? You have two options before you.
Option #1: Do it yourself
There’s something that feels good about taking on a home repair task on your own.
If you choose to take on mold removal tasks on your own, you must first determine the extent of your mold damage and find where the moisture is coming from. Whatever is creating the perfect mold habitation, needs to change. Is there a leak? Does your sub-flooring need a protective barrier?
Basements are very susceptible to mold — find ways to keep the mold away. Mold-proof your basement.
After you’ve come up with a mold-proofing plan, it’s time to begin cleaning up the mold. If you need to ditch some of the wood or sub-flooring and replace it, do so.
For what’s salvageable, it’s time to become acquainted with the wonders of borax cleaner. This is a product that you can find readily available at your local stores.
Follow these instructions
Get yourself a large bucket and mix in a cup of borax with a gallon of water. Take the solution and pour it into a spray bottle. You will use the spray bottle for small hard to reach areas. The bucket will be used for larger areas that require mold cleaning. Take a broom and dunk it into the cleaning bucket so you can swipe the solution onto your flooring.
Allow the mixture to sit on the surface for about 15 minutes, saturating all surfaces. Scrub vigorously and reapply the solution allowing it to sit again for several minutes. Repeat scrubbing action and allow the cleaned area to air dry.
For the affected wood planks, apply the borax solution. But first, wet the boards with water and then after several minutes, treat with borax.
Using a quality vacuum with HEPA filters, vacuum the entire affected room. Hopefully, you will pick up any dried bits of dead mold.
As a final extra precaution, take a rag, damp with a borax solution, to the entire area.
Run a dehumidifier and allow at least two days for the cleaned flooring and areas to dry.
Option #2: Hire a mold remediation specialist
Alternatively, a mold remediation specialist can be hired to deal with your mold issues. These specialists are trained to identify mold and strategize appropriate methods to not only removing mold but also preventing it from happening again. They will get to the root of the problem, effectively.
Say bye to mold
So there you have it! We’ve shared some signs of mold under hardwood floors and how to get rid of it. Now it’s up to you to take action.