The best way to deal with mold under laminate floors is by ripping off the affected areas, finding the source of moisture attacking the floor, dealing with it, and replacing the affected planks.
The presence of mold under laminate flooring means there is moisture trapped beneath, either from the rising damp, appliance, and plumbing leakage or from water spillages.
Laminate flooring requires an underlayment during installation to block moisture absorption from the concrete subfloor in a process known as rising damp. Rising damp is the effect of water rising from the ground into your house.
Damp-proof course (DPC)should be installed properly before the concrete slab to minimize absorbing water from the ground, more so in areas with a high water table like Florida. Concrete is not waterproof and due to the wooden nature of laminate flooring, it highly absorbs moisture.
How Can I remove Mold Under my Laminate Flooring?
You can’t prevent moisture from getting on your laminate 100%, but you can reduce the risk of moisture damage. Wipe off any spills on your laminate, and always make sure that your appliances and plumbing are fixed of any leaks right away.
Molding on your laminate flooring does not only damage your floor’s aesthetic value but can also be allergic and irritating to some people.
Have mold on your floor? Don’t panic! This will guide you to remove mold on your laminate, but first, it is important to use non-abrasive tools and cleaning agents that will do the job without damaging your floor.
Take precautions seriously. Wear safety goggles, gloves, and a dust mask while cleaning. Exposure to some molds causes lung disease.
Things you’ll need:
- Rubbing alcohol.
- Vacuum cleaner or broom.
- White vinegar.
- Soft microfiber cloth.
- Safety goggles.
- Dust mask.
Step 1: Ventilate the Room
Before starting the process, open all windows and doors and set up a fan if possible. Wear a dust mask to make sure you don’t inhale any mold particles, especially if you have a pre-existing health condition.
Mold spores can affect the lung, skin, and nervous system. Symptoms of mold in the lungs include wheezing, fever, chest pains, difficulty in breathing, and sometimes and sometimes coughing out blood.
Step 2: Sweep or Vacuum any Loose Debris on your Laminate
Use a soft brush or, preferably, vacuum the floor to remove any loose dirt or debris on your laminate flooring. This will make sure you will not streak the dirt all over your flooring. A vacuum cleaner is preferred because it does a thorough job on the grooves of your laminate.
Step 3: mix the Cleaning Solution
Mix equal parts of rubbing alcohol, water, and vinegar in a bucket. Vinegar and rubbing alcohol have properties that help kill mold on your laminate.
Alcohol as an agent also evaporates faster, making sure no moisture is left on your laminate during cleaning. It reduces the chances of warping and damaging the surface of your laminate flooring.
Step 4: Clean the Areas affected by Mold
Dip the soft microfiber mop in the cleaning solution and clean the areas affected by the mold. After several times of cleaning, you will notice that the mold starts to disappear.
Step 4: Spot Cleaning
If you spot some stubborn stains, dampen a soft microfiber cloth in a mixture of white vinegar, warm water, and rubbing alcohol and scrub the areas that are still affected.
This mixture should kill the remaining mold without damaging your laminate. If the moisture on your floor was not caused by rising damp, this should be your last step.
Step 5: Clean Underneath your Laminate
If you suspect any sitting moisture underneath your laminate, it is best to take up the floor. Even after cleaning the top of the floor, with moisture underneath, mold will soon grow again. It should be easy to laminate flooring because it is a floating floor.
After cleaning the moisture underneath, replace the underlayment and any damaged laminates. This should permanently take care of the molds in your home.
How Long Does it take for Mold to Grow on Laminate?
In normal circumstances, the more time goes by the more the chances of mold spreading all over your laminate.
Mold grows and germinates in about 24 to 48 hours. The spores dominate your laminate in 3 to 12 days and become visible in about after 18 to 21 days.
It is therefore important to clean excess water from your laminate flooring as soon as possible and open doors and windows for aeration.
How do I Know that Laminate Floor is Moldy?
Dampness on your laminate is easy to spot. Signs that your laminate has mold or is experiencing moisture damage include:
- A musty odor
- Discoloration of your laminate.
- In extreme moisture damage, you will notice your Laminate is lifting or bulging in some areas.
How to Prevent Future Mold
Mold needs moisture to grow. To prevent future mold, make sure you keep your floor as dry as possible. Any spillages or leaks should be dealt with as soon as possible. Warm environments also catalyze mold growth, so make sure to always leave your windows open.
- Keep your floor dry. Wipe off any moisture on your laminate as soon as possible.
- Open your window and doors to allow air into your house. Warm environments encourage the growth of mold.
- Clean your laminate flooring regularly.
- Fix any leaking appliances and plumbing.