Mold damage can happen anywhere in a home, and that includes hardwood floors. Knowing how to respond to this kind of damage can help you protect your floors and your home.
Can you remove mold from hardwood floors as a DIY project?
The answer to this question is "sometimes." Light mold damage can be as simple as mildew that sits on top of the polyurethane covering the floorboards. When this happens, you can easily wipe away the mold if you have the right supplies. To clean up the mess, you'll need vinegar, warm water, and some clean rags. Mix the vinegar and water together in equal amounts in a bucket. If you wish, you may put a splash of bleach into the mixture as well. Put on rubber cleaning gloves and dip the rags into the solution. Wipe down the floors until the mildew has been washed away, then dry the floors with a clean, fresh rag.
You may find that some mold has penetrated the grain of the hardwood. If the areas of penetration are small, then the mold is unlikely to penetrate very deep. If this is the case, you can sand down the surface of the hardwood and refinish those isolated spots without contacting a mold remediation company. To do this, start by sanding down the moldy areas with coarse sandpaper. Once all traces of mold have been removed and all you can see is the bare wood, use a light-grain sandpaper to smooth the surface of the wood.
Finally, dry the surface of the wood thoroughly and vacuum any dust from the boards. Reapply a stain to the floor that matches the stain on the wood around it. Use a small paintbrush to apply the stain, and don't attempt to stain anywhere on the floor except the areas where the wood has been rubbed away. When this is done and the stain has completely dried, apply a layer of clear polyurethane to the stain to protect the wood.
How will you know if you need to contact a professional mold remediator?
Professional mold remediation is necessary if the job is too big for you to handle on your own or if the mold has spread to other parts of the house. If the mold stains are large and sanding down the wood shows you that the mold penetrates deep into the boards, contact a professional mold remediation company. Mold damage of this nature is serious and can have long-term consequences if not handled properly.