If you have been noticing your laminate floor buckling and bending, while smelling funny, you may be in a little bit of trouble. The trouble here could be possible mold contamination!
With laminate flooring, we often forget that the floor underneath is prone to water damage and mold growth as it is not visible.
Can mold grow under laminate flooring?
Mold can grow under laminate flooring due to moisture build up. This can be caused by possible plumbing leaks that caused the floor under the laminate to become wet. It can also occur due to rainfall, flooding, or in high water table areas. Drying the floor regularly can prevent molding.
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How long does it take for mold to grow under laminate flooring?
Normally, if the laminate flooring has become even mildly wet, it could take 1 to 2 days for mold to grow. If the ground has been flooded under the flooring, for leaks, it could take only 12 hours for mold to grow under the laminated flooring.
Is mold under laminate flooring dangerous?
Mold growth, whether it is under laminate flooring or anywhere else in the house is considered to be harmful. Mold contamination can trigger allergies, respiratory issues, and other health problems.
It is also risky as mold can spread quickly through the flooring, and infest other furniture in the room.
What causes mold under laminate flooring?
As you probably already know, mold grows wherever there is moisture. In case of mold contamination under laminate floorboards, the case is no different. Here are some reasons why mold can build up under your laminate flooring:
Plumbing or toilet leaks:
One of the more common reasons why people notice mold in their laminate flooring has been linked to a possible leak in the piping system.
If you have a leaky toilet beside or over the laminated floor, mold will grow eventually.
The leaks can also occur through other appliances such as washing machines, dishwashers, or even leaky refrigerators. Additionally, this can also be related to faulty grading systems or poorly installed downspouts among other drainage problems.
High Water table area:
Some areas have higher water tables than others. In these areas, the upper, wet level of the underground surface is much closer to the house floors. People living in such areas often complain about mold growth under their laminate flooring.
This is because, whether the floor is concrete, tile, or wood, they will absorb water from the ground. When the water table is higher, the chances of absorbing more water are aided.
This is especially applicable for people who have laminate floors in their basements. We would like to suggest that basements with laminate floors are a compromised idea!
Read more, How much water can laminate flooring take?
The weather in your area can play a huge role in determining whether your laminate flooring can get mold growth or not.
In many regions, where there is heavy rainfall and seasonal hurricanes, the laminate floor is more vulnerable to getting damp under the laminate floorboards. Sometimes, brief tropical storms can cause infrequent flooding, causing moisture to be absorbed by the floor bed.
Wear and tear:
If you have laminate flooring in a room that is actively used, it is most likely that the laminate will wear off eventually.
Whether it is caused by your pet constantly scratching the floor or you cleaning with mops and wipes, peeling and other damage is only normal.
This creates a pathway for moisture or water to get into the floor as well, giving a possible cause of mold growth.
How to tell if mold is under laminate flooring?
One of the first signs that there may be water damage causing mold growth under your laminate floor is the buckling of your floor. Stepping on the floor may press the area into deformity, and maybe cause cracking.
Another way to tell if mold is infesting your floor bed is by the distinct odor of molds. You may notice a musty, stale smell if the molding is too widespread.
Other than that, you can also visibly detect mold as they are often dark clusters of growth that can form on top of the laminate as well.
How do I get rid of mold under laminate flooring?
Here we have summarized simple steps you can follow to get rid of mold under laminate flooring:
Use safety accessories
Safety first. As mold is toxic, it is suggested that mold infection should be cleaned with proper precautions. Put on gloves and a mask.
We also suggest wearing goggles if you have one, as mold splashes can cause irritation and allergies.
Get rid of the water
If the floor you have intended to clean is in the basement or anywhere where there is still standing water due to possible flooding or leaks, the second step would be to get rid of that water.
You may want to use a vacuum dryer, mop, or dry towels to dry the top.
Remove laminate flooring
Now remove the laminate floorboards. This step is crucial and needs more time than other steps. For this, at first, you have to determine the area of infestation and how much flooring you want to remove.
Some people only remove a small part of the flooring if the mold growth is limited to a spot. However, as mold spreads quickly, removing the entire room’s flooring is safer. Start removing the boards from one corner for ease of movement.
Scrape the subfloor for molds
After removing the flooring, you may also want to get rid of any molded subfloors.
Scrape the subfloors off, where you can notice visible mold on the surface. Immediately put the floorboards inside and bag, and discard them before moving on to the next steps.
Make water detergent solution to wipe the area
Now mix 1 cup of detergent with a gallon of water or as required. Use this solution to wipe and mop the floor. You may want to take your time to scrub off every visible mold part, with a good brush.
Mix borax and vinegar to make spray solution
You can then mix a cup of borax or vinegar with the same amount of water (about 1 gallon), and use the solution on the floor. For this, it is best to spray the solution on the washed floor.
Dry the area and reinstall flooring
Lastly, dry and vacuum the flooring. This step is vital as it removes dry molds, and gets rids of any moisture that may be trapped from the cleaning.
How to prevent mold under laminate flooring?
Prevention is better than cure, and we particularly preach so when it comes to molding under the laminate flooring or any other part of the house.
To prevent mold, you’ll have to make sure the environment is completely dry. No, we are not suggesting you dehydrate all the moisture out of the air, but keep the floor clean, and vacuum the laminate floor regularly.
Secondly, keep an eye, and nose out to detect whether there are any signs of mold growth. When contained early, mold does not spread to other rooms.
If you have windows in the room, make sure to open them to let sunlight through once a day. The heat and light help to slow down mold growth if there is any.
Can mold grow on laminate flooring?
Mold can grow ON laminate flooring just as it can grow under it if there are cracks and scratches on the floor. That way the mold growth can infest the top of the flooring. Although this is more unlikely as the top of the flooring is usually cleaned regularly.
Will mold go away if it dries out? – Molds under laminate floor
If mold dries out completely, it will stop infesting further but it will not go away. If the dried mold comes in contact with moisture again, it can cause a reaction and start the growth again.
Will bleach remove black mold?
Bleach can be used to remove black mold temporarily. Since bleach is a cleaning agent, most of the time the mold is not finished and may return after some time.
Will vinegar remove mold?
Vinegar is acidic and is known to be quite effective in removing any kind of mold. Vinegar can be used in combination with water to remove black or hard mold in porous or non-porous materials.
How do you remove black mold?
To remove black mold, you can use special mold remover sprays. To opt for more natural products, you can mix baking soda and vinegar in a 1:5 ratio along with 5 parts water. This works as a strong solution to remove black mold as well.
Mold is poisonous and its suppers easily. From one room to another, and before you realize it, it is all over the house.
To avoid that, make sure you check your draining and plumbing systems regularly for leaks. Besides, if you notice any signs, but can’t figure out for sure, you can also call on some professional help!