Mold is a fungus that grows in cool, moist areas in a home like basements, attics, bathrooms and laundry rooms. It poses a health risk to people with weak immune systems and is an irritant for asthma or allergy sufferers. Mold is generated by airborne spores and can grow on all kinds of surfaces: ceilings, walls and floors. It can even grow underneath floor coverings. It can be removed from a floor, but it is a time-consuming task.
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Take up the floorboards. If the mould has spread to the majority of the floorboards, discard them and purchase new floorboards.
Find the source of the mould, like a crevice or hole that allows cool, outside damp air to seep into the home. Patch the crevice or hole with plaster and seal it with a fungicidal sealer to prevent future mould growth.
Clean the floorboards, if they can be salvaged, with warm soapy water. While the floorboards are up, wash them and allow them to air dry in a warm, dry environment. Then wipe them down again with distilled white vinegar to eliminate any remaining mould spores; air dry.
Prevent future mould growth by using a dehumidifier to dry out excess moisture in the house.
Tips and warnings
- Open windows when showering to prevent excessive moisture from encouraging mould growth.
- Use exhaust fans or open kitchen windows when cooking to prevent mould.
- Cover cold water pipes with insulation to inhibit mould spore growth.
- Areas infected with mould greater than 10 square feet in size need to be cleaned by a professional mould-elimination service to prevent health risks, according to the National Association of Realtors.
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