A house with conducive moisture, food, and warmth can lead to mold on wood floors. When the mold grows, it gives the appearance of a stain on the wood and the surface below discolors. It can also rot or cause the wood to warp.
Cutting off the source of moisture stops the spread of the mold. It is easy to remove most of it when it’s on the surface with a rag and a chemical spray. However, when it is ingrained, you need first to determine how far the mold has spread.
How to Check Mold Infestation on Wood Floors
Before learning how to remove mold on wood floors, you need to know the extent of the problem. Doing this will allow you to get rid of the problem entirely without the risk of recurring. Below are a few ways you can determine the extent of the problem.
Be Attentive to Mold Exposure Symptoms
One of the ways of determining if you have mold in your home is mold exposure symptoms. Sometimes you can feel these symptoms immediately and acutely, or they can be long-term. Some of the symptoms include breathing problems, itchy eyes, difficulty concentrating, or headaches.
Signs of Musty Smell
Mold produces a gas that causes a musty smell. If you notice this smell in your house, it is likely that you have mold on the engineered wood floor, even if it is not visible. It can be in your walls, crawlspace, or under the carpets.
Check For Warping Signs
If you have a musty smell in your house, you can check to see if the floors are warping. When mold grows under the wood, it can cause the floorboards to warp and twist. If you notice the problem, it means there is mold, and the problem has spread. Failing to remove mold on the wood floor early can cause a bigger problem where you may need to replace the floorboard. Unfortunately, the process is expensive and time-consuming.
What You Need to Remove Mold from Wood Floor
Once you find mold on the wood floor, you need to ensure you have the right equipment before handling the fungus. Additionally, each area of the home should have a different treatment method if the building material varies. What do you need when removing quarter-round molding on wood floors?
- Safety glasses
- Spray bottle
- Breathing mask
- Washable clothing and shoes
- Micro-fiber washcloth
- Chlorine bleach solution (10:1 ratio or 8:1 of chlorine/bleach, depends on mold penetration)
- 100, 200, and 250-grit sandpaper
- Poly-urethan finish (optional)
- Heavy-duty garbage bag
Removing Mold from Wood Surface
If the mold covers only a few feet of the wooden floor, you can remove it. However, if you feel it’s risky, you can contact professionals. Follow the following steps when removing surface mold from wood floors.
Step #1: Wear Correct Safety Gear
All professionals wear personal protective equipment when handling the mold problem. It prevents any negative health problems from contact with the mold. Some of those problems include sneezing, coughing, breathing problems, watery eyes, and many others. You need to wear safety glasses, gloves, and easily washable clothing or disposable.
Step #2: Choose Appropriate Mildew and Mold Cleaner
The next step when removing white mold on a wood floor is to choose an appropriate cleaner. You want to use a cleaner that will completely get rid of the mold. With surface mold, you can purchase a chlorine solution with a water bleach ratio of 10:1 from your local store. Ensure you read through the label of any chemical that you use for your safety.
Step #3: Cleaning the Surface Mold
Even when surface mold is not widespread, you want to ensure you clean all the affected areas to prevent a recurrence. It is relatively easy to remove mold from the surface. Using the spray bottle, spray the cleaner or bleach solution on the affected area. Leave it to sit for 10 minutes. You can then wipe off the mold with a rag. If there is stubborn black mold on the wood floor, you can use a firm scrubbing brush to remove it. Throw away the rag that you use.
When removing the mold, do not leave the bleach on the surface longer than necessary. It will remove the wood finish. Also, be careful when handling the solution to avoid contact from the uninfected areas.
Cleaning Ingrained Mold from Wood Floor
If water damage goes unnoticed or untreated for years, it can cause mold to penetrated deep into the wood floors. Therefore, it is important to attend to water damage immediately to avoid this problem. To remove deeply ingrained mold, you need to:
Step #1: Determine the Extent of the Problem
With wood, mold can spread deep within the wood beyond visibility. However, you can press the affected area with a screwdriver to determine how far the problem has spread. Soft and spongy wood indicates the wood has spread beyond the floorboards meaning they’ll need replacing.
Step #2: Drying Out the Floor
Before removing the mold, you need to get rid of all the moisture in the wood. To do so, get a large fan or two in the room that contains the mold and blow air directly towards the floor. You can leave the fans on for several hours. Drying the area protects the floors and prevents the growth of mold. Ensure the room is completely dry before attempting to remove the mold.
Step #3: Ventilate the Room
As earlier discussed, mold particles can cause health problems when inhaled. Therefore, ensure you are wearing protective equipment and ventilate the room.
Step #4: Removing the Mold
In the next step, use 100 grit sandpaper or a metal hand scraper to remove as much green mold on the wood floor as possible. Then, use finer 220 grit sandpaper to remove deeply penetrated mold. For deeply ingrained mold, you can also use a heavy-duty scrapping tool to remove it. Sand the wood in a circular motion.
Step #5: Use Diluted Bleach on the Affected area
Once you have removed the mold, mix water and bleach at a ratio of 8:1 and spray the affected area. Let it sit for a few minutes and use a rag to wipe off the bleach. Doing this kills any live mold preventing an outbreak in the future.
Step #6: Cut Out Affected Wood Flooring
In the case where the mode goes deep into the wood flooring affecting baseboards, it needs to be removed. First, cut around that area carefully and get rid of the material immediately. Then, replace the affected floorboards.
Step #7: Apply Finish
Once you have removed all the mold and installed new flooring where necessary, you can add a coat of wood finish to match the original.
Step #8: Get Rid of All Materials
Using a heavy-duty garbage bag to get rid of all the trash and debris, tools that you used, rags, and sandpaper ensures the problem does not recur. If you used a vacuum cleaner, use a chemical cleaner or bleach to wipe it down, killing collected mold spores.
Once you have learned how to get rid of mold on wood floors, ensure that you keep the floors dry to prevent the same problem. Cleaning the floors regularly also helps you monitor their condition. Humid environments promote the growth of mold. Therefore, it is good to ensure you control the humidity to prevent the growth of the mold.