How To Remove Mold From A Laminate Wood Floor
Cleaning mold from a laminate floor can be more of a challenge than removing mold from a carpet or real-wood floor because laminate floors have a special coating that can be damaged by many chemicals that kill mold. You can still kill and remove the mold – in many cases without having to replace the floor – but how hard the task is depends on where the mold is growing and how deeply it has traveled.
Dry the Floor
The first and most important step is to dry the floor as thoroughly as you can if any moisture remains. Laminate floors can easily warp and bend, and this damage is irreversible. Use paper towels to absorb as much of the moisture as you can. While fans normally work to dry damp floors, putting fans on a moldy area can just blow spores around, so avoid that for now.
Before you focus on cleaning small areas one at a time, you can remove superficial stains and new growths by mopping the floor with a damp sweeper as you might normally do. This removes most of the superficial stains and new mold growths, which can make the remaining mold look less intimidating and also reveal where you really need to focus. Avoid leaving the floor wet or damp when you're finished, even if it's only slightly damp.
The remaining mold will be a little harder to clean, but you can still kill it off. Dampen a cloth with a mixture of warm water, dish soap, and white vinegar, then scrub the areas that still have mold. This mixture should not harm the laminate coating, but it will kill the mold, even if it has grown much more than the spores in the surrounding area.
This process should remove any mold that has not grown beneath the coating or in between the boards. If you're lucky, this will be your last step.
Cleaning Underneath the Floor
If the mold came as the result of a flood or a spill, or if the moisture had time to sit, then there may still be a mold problem even if you took care of the mold on top. Taking up the floor can be tricky, but is easier if you have the boards that fit together with slats (i.e., a "floating" floor) rather than requiring glue.
How you pull up the floor depends on what type you have and how it was installed, but it's a good choice if you want to be thorough. Any remaining moisture underneath the floorboards can cause mold to grow more easily, and letting it sit also gives the mold a chance to actually grow inside the laminate wood, meaning you will have to replace those boards rather than simply clean them.
If you know you'll be working around mold, prep the area before you start. Move any furniture away from the area to reduce the chance that spores will attach to them, and cover any porous surfaces with plastic. When you're ready to get to work, make sure you wear a protective face mask to cover your nose and mouth. Contact a mold removal company, like American Environmental Construction LLC, for more help.