Mold on wood, especially under hardwood floors, is a major problem for many homeowners. It's especially problematic in areas where there is high humidity, like the basement, bathroom, and kitchen. Luckily, mold underneath hardwood floors does not always mean that you need to replace your flooring—it may just require some professional help from someone who knows how to kill the mold easily. In this article, we will discuss five of the most common signs of mold under hardwood floors and how to remove mold from wood.
Early Signs of Mold Under Hardwood Floors
Presence of a musty odor
Mold usually occurs in places that are exposed to water. If you begin to notice a moldy smell in your home, it's likely that the moisture from leaks is already causing an early form of mold.
The good news is that there are some easy fixes you can try before calling in professionals for help. Here are some steps you can do to prevent your home from smelling like mold:
1) Clean the floors with water and baking soda, then mop up any remaining residue with vinegar or a lemon juice-based cleaner;
2) Spray your curtains with distilled white vinegar and let them dry completely before putting them back on their rods;
3) Leave bowls of potpourri around the house to freshen the air every day.
Brown patches on the floorboards
Small brown patches on your hardwood floors may seem as simple as dirt or dust. However, these spots could actually be caused by mold growth. While not always visible to the naked eye, mold can grow on any surface that is porous and damp enough for it to take hold.
You can check for these by looking at areas where your walls meet the floor or around skirting boards and architraves (the ornamental molding around a door or window).
Fungal growths on the wood or subflooring, which may be white or yellow in color and can range from fuzzy to powdery
If you have noticed your hardwood floors looking a little fuzzy, then there is most likely some sort of fungal growth going on underneath.
Don't panic if you cannot contact professional help right away. Here's how you can tell if the fungus is harmless or not: first of all, do you have allergies? If so, then be careful about what type of mold is growing. Secondly, if there's a musty odor present (think something similar to a damp carpet), then that might be an indicator that it's time to call in the pros. Finally, if you see something slimy on top of your floorboards (or other surfaces), take care because this may indicate serious water damage due to fungal growth, which will need professional attention right away!
Signs that water has been present for some time, such as stains, discoloration, and warping boards
When your basement or crawl space floods, it can leave behind water that seeps into the cracks in your hardwood floors. This is a common problem for homeowners after flooding and can be very costly to repair.
A small amount of accumulated water can already be a cause of serious problems. Check your pipes and surfaces where water leaks occur to avoid further complications with your hardwood floors.
The presence of dampness and condensation from air conditioning vents or other moisture sources below the floor level, such as leaks from pipes or roof drains
If you've ever experienced a dank smell coming from your air vents, then it's likely there is mold growing inside. Not just that, during warmer weather, water may accumulate and precipitate down to your floors, causing further issues.
Mold can occur in both dry and wet places and can look differently. When the condensation of moist air comes into contact with a surface that does not have a chance to dry completely, this causes molds. Molds are dangerous because they emit spores which contribute to poor indoor air quality and lead to asthma or allergic reactions, among other health problems.
Avoid Mold on Hardwood Floors
Mold can be a serious issue, not only for your health but for the integrity of your home too. Prevent this issue from occurring by following these ten simple tips:
1. Maintain a humidity level of 40% or less by using dehumidifiers and air conditioning.
2. Keep your home well ventilated to avoid musty smells.
3. Make sure to use vacuums that are made specifically for hardwood floors.
4. Be careful not to spill liquids on the floor, especially water or oil-based substances like nail polish remover.
5. In case spills occur, do not let them sit on the floor for too long. Clean them right away.
6. Clean the floor often with diluted vinegar in water, and let it dry thoroughly.
7. Use a squeegee to remove any excess moisture from your floors.
8. Air your hardwood floors regularly—this will help avoid mold growth.
9. Apply cedar or lemon essential oils to hardwood floors for extra protection against molds and bacteria.
10. Keep pets off of wet surfaces, so they don't track dirt and damp onto clean surfaces.
There are many reasons why hardwood floors can become moldy. It could be because of the humidity in your home, or it could be because you don't clean your floors thoroughly enough. Whatever the case may be, if you want to keep your family safe from harmful fungus and save yourself a lot of time and money, then we recommend that you avoid getting too much moisture on your floors by implementing the tips above. Chemical solutions from professionals and home remedies can also be used to treat this problem.
What do you think? Have you tried any useful tricks for preventing mold growth on hardwood flooring? Let us know!