Proven Strategies to Keep Floor Mold at Bay

Mold on home floors usually arises from specific conditions: the presence of mold, suitable temperature, and humidity. When these factors align, molds thrive, reproduce, and settle in damp floor areas. As one of the solid wood flooring suppliers, George help you solve these problems.

Related: Perfect Floor Matches for Your Home Decor

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Why do wooden floors get moldy and turn black?

Various types of wooden flooring are available, such as solid wood, multi-layer solid wood composite, laminate composite, cork, and bamboo flooring, offering a diverse range of options.

Wood is the primary material used in wooden flooring, but it’s susceptible to moisture. Despite containing some moisture naturally, prolonged exposure to water can create a damp, decaying environment, unsuitable for wooden floors. Such conditions not only hinder wooden floor maintenance but also foster mold growth.

When wooden floors are frequently or consistently exposed to water, their moisture levels rise, creating a damp environment. How does this affect well-maintained wooden floors? Let’s delve into the specifics:

Damp wooden floor

Spilled water not wiped dry

Occasionally, water spills from cups due to slippery hands. If left unattended, even a small amount of water can seep into the wooden floor over time, either by letting it air dry naturally or failing to wipe it completely, potentially causing mold growth.

wet wood floor

The mop is too wet when mopping

If the mop is too wet while mopping, it leaves excess water on the floor, which can seep into the gaps of the wooden floor. This moisture accumulation over time can lead to mold growth, discoloration, and even cause rotting within the wooden floor.

wet mop

The floor wasn't dried properly after being soaked with water

If the wood floor gets soaked due to serious situations like water pipe leaks, water penetration becomes severe. If only surface water is wiped off, it’s likely time to replace the floor.

If the floor hasn’t been soaked for too long and the situation isn’t severe, you can use a vacuum cleaner to suck up the moisture on the floor and in the gaps. Remove baseboards and ensure proper ventilation.

If the floor has been soaked for a long time and the situation is severe, after removing the moisture, dismantle the floor for drying. Solid wood floors can be laid out in a crisscross pattern in a cool, ventilated area. Improper drying may lead to mold, discoloration, and rot.

Compared with solid wood flooring suppliers, the wood composite flooring we provide is relatively moisture-proof.

Floor soaked in water

The floor wasn't completely dry when laying the flooring

At times, workers rush and lay the flooring before the floor has dried completely. This traps moisture inside the wooden flooring, seeping into the floor or leaking from the gaps along the walls. Consequently, the floor becomes prone to dampness, mold, and discoloration.

laying floor

What to do if wooden floors get moldy or turn black?

"Early stage of infection" — Small mold spots appear on the surface

Small mold spots have appeared on the wooden floor, which are quite manageable. You can buy floor mold remover or make a cleaning solution with warm bleach water mixed at a 1:3 ratio. Use a soft cloth soaked in the solution to wipe the affected areas. Alternatively, gently sand the spots with sandpaper, then wipe them with a towel, and reapply paint or coating of the same color.

After cleaning, remember to apply anti-corrosion wood oil to better protect the floor. Additionally, ensure regular ventilation for better air circulation, which aids in floor drying.

"Mid-stage of infection" — The area of mold spots increases, and the floor turns black

When mold starts merging into patches and the color darkens, it means the wooden floor has become moldy inside. Cleaning the surface won’t help; you need to replace the damaged floorboards and focus on waterproofing.

"Late-stage deterioration" — the floor becomes moldy in chunks, turning black

When the floor has widespread mold, turns black, or starts to rot, it’s irreparable. Replacement is necessary. This suggests excessive moisture underneath or severe water leakage. Besides reinstalling the floor, it’s vital to investigate the cause thoroughly. If unable to identify it, seek professional help from solid wood flooring suppliers.

Preventive Measures for Mold Growth

During renovation, you might hesitate when choosing wooden flooring. While wooden floors provide a cozy feel and warm ambiance, concerns arise about cleaning and maintenance due to issues like mold and discoloration.

That’s why George(one of the solid wood flooring suppliers) is here to share some wooden floor maintenance tips, ensuring you never worry about mold again.

Keep the Floor Dry

Wooden floors have natural moisture, but too much water or prolonged dampness can cause mold. So, when mopping, make sure to wring out the mop well to prevent water from seeping between floorboards. If there’s a spill, dry it immediately. Regular cleaning maintains a tidy environment, preventing mold growth and discoloration on wooden floors.

Wax Regularly

Regular waxing extends the lifespan of wooden floors. It’s recommended to wax the floors every quarter using high-quality floor wax.

Address Mold Spots Promptly

If you spot small mold spots on the floor, deal with them immediately to stop them from spreading further. Use a soft cloth soaked in a cleaning solution or gently sand the affected area with sandpaper. Avoid applying too much pressure.

Proper Space Division and Waterproofing

Steer clear of installing wooden floors in moisture-prone areas like bathrooms and kitchens. Instead, choose wooden flooring for spaces like living rooms and bedrooms. Make sure to divide the space properly and waterproof areas next to bathrooms to prevent water vapor from causing mold and discoloration on the wooden floors.

Avoid Direct Sunlight

Finally, minimize prolonged exposure of wooden floors to direct sunlight. Although sunlight doesn’t cause mold, excessive heat can result in warping and premature aging of wooden floors.

Avoid direct sunlight

Quicklime

First, let’s discuss hydrated lime powder, a common desiccant in daily life. When it reacts with water, it acts as a moisture-proof dehumidifier, particularly useful in areas with heavy rainfall or houses located on low slopes. This scenario is inevitable. Wrap it in a cloth and position it in a corner of the floor or areas susceptible to dampness. Typically, it absorbs all the moisture from the floor in about ten hours.

quicklime powder

Tea or coffee grounds

For coffee and tea lovers, used grounds or leaves can absorb moisture and odors effectively. So, don’t discard them! After drying, wrap them in stockings or cloth, then position them in different corners of the house. This helps prevent mold growth on the floor and neutralizes odors.

tea

Scented candle

Another option is scented candles. These candles not only reduce indoor air humidity but also keep the house dry and eliminate moldy odors. This dual effect of dehumidification and deodorization is environmentally friendly and promotes a healthy indoor environment. (Ensure caution with fire after lighting them.)

scented candle

Clean excess water stains on the floor promptly

Sometimes, due to slippery hands, water spills from cups onto the floor. If this small amount of water is ignored and the floor is left to air dry naturally, over time, the excess moisture seeps into the floor, promoting mold growth. If possible, consider laying down a rug, which not only adds to the aesthetics but also prevents water stains from directly spilling onto the floor.

Choose a well-known flooring brand

The moisture resistance performance is a crucial indicator for wooden flooring. Opting for well-known solid wood flooring suppliers like George’s Flooring can ensure this criterion meets standards, directly preventing problems such as warping and mold due to moisture seepage into the floor.

Scientific installation, get twice the result with half the effort

Before installing wooden flooring, unpack and inspect it for issues like mold or insect damage. If there’s no obvious damage, proceed with installation. During this process, ensure the moisture content of the flooring stays between 8% and 13%. Keeping the floor clean can significantly improve the efficiency of the process.

The floor soaked in water but not dry

When windows are left open or there’s a leaky pipe or faucet, the floor gets wet. Upon returning home, water may have seeped into the floor, leaving droplets on the surface. Many homeowners overlook this, dealing only with surface water, pretending nothing happened. Manufacturers of George Flooring suggest checking water valves and closing doors and windows, even during brief absences!

Do not mop the floor with a wet mop or rag

During renovation, floor maintenance is typical. Waxing protects the floor’s color, boosts its gloss, and prolongs its lifespan. Using a wet cloth for daily cleaning can harm the floor, so mopping with it is not recommended.

Floating ash

Every day, we inhabit this space. We open windows to maintain airflow and allow fresh air in, but dust and daily garbage can enter. Therefore, regular dusting is essential for floors.

For smaller spaces, a broom is sufficient. For larger areas, a robotic vacuum is recommended. It can thoroughly clean corners, eliminating dust and hair, and leaving no debris in floor crevices, simplifying the cleaning process.

Sprinkle water droplets on a small area

If a few drops of water spill accidentally, it’s okay for small areas. Quickly wipe them dry with a towel or tissue. Avoid mopping them up, as they may seep in over time, which could be problematic.

There is a large area of water damage, and the time of spraying is very short

This situation can be managed. Quickly wipe the surface dry, then use a vacuum cleaner to suck out the moisture from the seams of the wet floor. Alternatively, blow cold air from a hairdryer onto the seams until they’re dry, avoiding hot air to prevent cracking and warping. Avoid using heaters to dry the floor, as rapid drying may cause cracking and warping of the wood floor.

Mold has appeared

Wooden floors naturally darken over time due to moisture. If the discoloration is severe, dilute oxalic acid or bleach with water in a 1:3 ratio to clean the affected areas, then apply a layer of varnish afterward. If mold has penetrated the floor, replacing it promptly is best to prevent further damage.

A large area has been affected by moisture for a long time

Quickly lift the floor around the room to help disperse moisture, which can reduce deformation. If the moisture-affected area is large and deformation is significant, it’s best to reconstruct the base layer, ensure thorough drying, and then reinstall the flooring.

Mold prevention solutions to prevent mold growth

  1. Ensure the house stays dry and well-ventilated, and be mindful of moisture-proofing.

  2. Choose flooring materials with a moisture content below 12% to minimize the risk of mold formation.

  3. Select treated solid wood flooring to prevent mold growth effectively.

Use salt water to clean floors

When mopping regularly, many opt for plain water, but salt water can bring surprising benefits. Begin by warming water to body temperature, then thoroughly mix in salt.

Before mopping, ensure the mop is clean, removing any dirt or debris. Once ready, soak the mop in the salt water, wring it out, and begin mopping the floor smoothly.

Close windows appropriately

As commonly understood, floor dampness primarily results from external temperature and humidity. During mornings and evenings, when humidity is high, it seeps into rooms through open windows, causing floor dampness gradually.

If left unchecked, this can lead to mold growth. Therefore, it’s crucial to tightly close windows in the mornings and evenings to keep out humid air. However, in the afternoons, when the air is dry, opening windows for ventilation is advisable.

Use old newspapers wisely

Many households stockpile old newspapers, which serve various purposes. One notable use is their exceptional water absorption capability due to their unique material. They can effectively soak up moisture. If your room has wooden floors, laying newspapers on them can be beneficial. This not only absorbs moisture from the floor but also from shoe soles, addressing two issues at once.

Bamboo charcoal under the floor

Another method, somewhat controversial, involves laying bamboo charcoal under wooden floors. Bamboo charcoal is known for regulating humidity and purifying air. It’s commonly used during house renovations.

During woodworking, purifying bamboo charcoal can be used initially to absorb and cleanse harmful gases emitted during renovation, decreasing the concentration of toxins in the air. When laying the floor, allow the bamboo charcoal to air out for half a day before placing it underneath.

The quantity needed varies based on floor level and proximity to moisture sources like bathrooms and kitchens. Areas near windows and walls, prone to moisture, require more bamboo charcoal compared to the room’s center.

Bamboo charcoal’s moisture-absorbing properties can reduce the risk of floor mold. However, once saturated, it becomes a moisture source itself, challenging to remove without dismantling the entire floor. Thus, the decision to use bamboo charcoal depends on specific circumstances, even though most floors are treated for moisture resistance.

Conclusion

In summary, maintaining a healthy indoor environment requires preventing floor mold. You can achieve this by controlling humidity, ensuring proper ventilation, promptly addressing leaks, and regularly cleaning floors. Additionally, investing in mold-resistant flooring and applying protective coatings provides extra defense. Early detection and swift action play a crucial role in halting mold spread. By implementing these strategies, you can keep your floors free from mold and extend their longevity.

If you want to know more product details, contact us now!

As one of the solid wood flooring suppliers, George We provide a one-stop service.

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