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Can Hardwood Floors Get Mold?

Dear Bob and Betsy,
Over the holidays, my brother’s family stayed with us. When I woke up one morning I found a puddle of water on the floor. I cleaned it up quickly but I’m worried. Now, I’m starting to notice some mold forming (or at least I think it’s mold). Can hardwood floors get mold? What can I do if mine have it?
-Tracy S.

Dear Tracy,

Yes, hardwood floors can get mold. When it does, it’s dangerous.

Mold poses a major risk to your health. Some types of mold are more dangerous than others. For example, if it’s black mold, you might want to get a professional cleaner to remove it.

If you are able to remove the mold yourself, it’s important to do so as quickly as possible. Gather the following materials before you get started.

  • A face mask
  • Protective gloves, such as rubber, latex, or vinyl
  • White vinegar
  • A spray bottle
  • Paper towels
  • Vacuum

With these materials you’ll be able to remove the mold off the surface of your hardwood floors.

Step 1: Ventilate the area

To begin, open all of the windows in your house. Mold can cause health problems, so you want to be sure the spores don’t linger as you bring it up. You might also want to use a dehumidifier to lessen the moisture content in the room. This can help stop further mold growth.

Step 2: Spray with vinegar and water

Create a homemade mixture of ¼ cup white vinegar and 1 cup water. You might need to double this mixture if there is a lot of mold. In severe cases, you can use equal parts water and vinegar.

Spray the moldy area. Cover it completely.

Step 3: Clean

Once the moldy area has been covered in water and vinegar, wipe it up immediately using a paper towel. Make sure you do this wearing your rubber or latex gloves!

Step 4: Use a clean paper towel to wipe down the area

After the mold is removed, dampen a clean paper towel. Use this to wipe down the area, picking up any vinegar traces, lingering moisture or mold.

Step 5: Vacuum

Once finished, vacuum over the area to remove any extra mold from the floors. This will also help to keep the area dry. Remove the vacuum bag when you are finished.

Place all of the materials you used to clean the mold in a plastic trash bag and dispose of it outside.

Mold can be especially dangerous. By following these steps to remove it as soon as you see it, you’ll stop it before it spreads.

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  1. Hi LaTanya, thanks for the question. Plank separation usually happens when there is temperature fluctuations or moisture damage. If the planks are wet, then yes, I would be concerns about mold and mildew beneath the planks. Trapped water between the planks and subfloor is not good. Was there flooding or any type of water leak? I would have your landlord pull up one of the planks by one of the moldings to see what is beneath the planks. You will need to find and fix the moisture issue before installing new flooring. I hope this helps!

  2. LaTanya Hamilton

    Hello my name is Tanya I was wondering my hard wood floors keeps separating glue keeps coming up and it’s wet in my dinning area only do u think that could be mold or mildew and the people I rent from when I asked them to fix it they tired 3/4 times know they say the house is inhibited to live in like not safe to stay in

  3. Hi Gino, I’d recommend looking for a professional flooring inspector or professional in your local area to take a look at the floors.

  4. Hi my is Gino Sorrenti. Im not too sure but i have a wood floor that got wet years ago. The varnish has gone and now look damaged. I dont know if its mould. I need a professional advisor.

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