People love hardwood flooring because it can last a lifetime. If it’s installed and cared for properly, it’s not unheard of for hardwood flooring to last fifty years or longer.
Of course, there are a lot of factors involved in longevity. Your results may vary depending on the hardwood flooring you select.
If moisture is a problem, it can impact your hardwood floors in many ways: warping, rotting, an increase in mold production.
Butting off the water source is your first line of defense. If mold doesn’t have moisture, it can’t grow and spread.
But now that it’s there, what can you do? Can you save your hardwood? Or is it time to invest in new flooring?
How to tell if your hardwood floors are water damaged
Water damage to hardwood floors can be a serious concern, leading to warping, splitting, and discoloring of the wood. If you suspect that your hardwood floors may have been damaged by water, there are a few key signs to look for.
One of the most obvious signs of water damage to hardwood floors is the presence of standing water or visible water stains. If you notice any areas of your floor that are visibly wet or have dark, discolored patches, it’s likely that the wood has been exposed to water and may be damaged.
Another common sign of water damage is the appearance of warping or cupping in the wood. This occurs when the wood absorbs water and expands, causing it to bow or curve in an inconsistent manner. Warping is often accompanied by other signs of damage, such as splitting or cracking of the wood.
Another way to tell if your hardwood floors have been damaged by water is to look for signs of mold or mildew. These fungi thrive in damp, humid environments and can cause discoloration and a musty smell. If you notice any of these signs, addressing the water damage as soon as possible is important to prevent further damage and mold growth.
You may also notice that your hardwood floors feel softer or spongier than usual. This can be a sign of water damage, as the wood absorbs water and becomes weaker and less stable.
How to tell for mold infestation on hardwood floors
Mold infestation on hardwood floors can be difficult to detect because it often grows in hidden areas, such as underneath the flooring or on the subfloor. However, there are some signs that you can look for to determine if your hardwood floors may be infested with mold.
One of the most obvious signs of mold infestation is visible mold growth. This can appear as dark or discolored spots on the surface of the wood, or as a musty or moldy smell. If you notice any of these signs, it is essential to take action immediately to address the problem.
Another common sign is warping or buckling of the wood. This can be caused by moisture seeping into the wood, which can lead to mold growth. If you notice any areas of your hardwood floors that are visibly warped or buckled, it is crucial to investigate further to determine the cause.
Have you noticed discoloration or staining of the wood? Is there a sudden appearance of black or white growths on the surface of the wood? It could be a sign of mold.
To prevent mold infestation on hardwood floors, it is important to maintain proper moisture levels in your home and promptly address any leaks or water damage.
You should also ensure that your hardwood floors are properly sealed and maintained, and regularly inspect them for any signs of moisture or mold.
If you suspect that your hardwood floors may be infested with mold, it is important to consult a professional to determine the best course of action.
How to remove mold from hardwood flooring
Can you remove mold from hardwood flooring without having to replace it?
Hardwood flooring is one of the most durable products that gives you both functionality and flexibility. In some cases, it can be saved. We recommend calling in a restoration service for an overall assessment. They deal with water damage regularly, and will be able to give you sound advice that protects your health from being impacted.
That said, there are steps you can take to remove moisture and give your hardwood floors their best chance.
First, protect yourself by wearing protective gear such as gloves, a face mask, and goggles. Mold can be harmful to inhale, so it’s important to take precautions. (That’s why we suggest leaving it to the professionals.)
Locate the source of the mold. Look for any areas of the hardwood floor that appear discolored or have a musty smell. This is where the mold is likely to be growing.
Use a mixture of water and vinegar to scrub the affected area. Mix equal parts water and vinegar in a bucket, then use a scrub brush or sponge to scrub the moldy area. Be sure to clean thoroughly to remove all of the mold.
Rinse the area with clean water and allow it to dry completely. Use a clean cloth or sponge to wipe away any excess water.
If the mold is particularly stubborn, you may need a stronger cleaning solution. Several commercial mold removal products are available, but you can also use a mixture of water and bleach. Mix one part water with one part bleach and use a scrub brush or sponge to scrub the affected area. Just be careful with the bleach, as it can permanently damage your hardwood.
After using a stronger cleaning solution, be sure to rinse the area thoroughly with clean water and allow it to dry completely.
If the mold has penetrated deeply into the wood, it may be necessary to sand the affected area to remove all of the mold. Use fine-grit sandpaper and rub the area until all the mold is gone.
Once you have removed the mold, it’s important to take steps to prevent it from returning. Keep the area well-ventilated, and use a dehumidifier to reduce humidity levels. Avoid letting water or moisture accumulate on the floor, and clean up any spills or leaks as soon as they occur.
Mold on hardwood flooring – now what?
Don’t think mold on your hardwood floors is the end of your flooring. Fast action is key to ensuring further damage won’t harm the structure of each plank.
That’s why many homeowners wouldn’t have anything else but hardwood flooring in their living spaces.
Whether you have questions about flooring, or are in the market for something new, we’re here to help you every step of the way.
How can we help you?