Gorgeous hardwood flooring can add a special touch to any home; yet, beneath them lies a potential hazard: mold. Mold is an insidious fungus that grows in dark and moist spots, so the area below your flooring could easily become its breeding ground if moisture exists there. Without detection, it could pose serious health risks for you or your family.

Read more as we’ll talk about the mold signs under hardwood floors in today’s article.

What Types Of Molds Grow On Hardwood Flooring

Aspergillus is the most common mold to develop on hardwood flooring. This fungus can cause severe health issues, such as respiratory illnesses and hypersensitivity reactions, but it also has the potential to damage your floors if not treated in a timely manner. Stachybotrys and Cladosporium are two other molds that may manifest themselves on wooden surfaces as well.

Signs Of Mold On Hardwood Floors

If you think there may be growing mold beneath your hardwood flooring, look out for the following telltale signs that indicate its presence.

1. Musty Odor – A tell-tale sign of mold growing beneath your hardwood flooring is a musty scent. If you detect an unsavory and dank odor from the boards, this could be indicative that there is potentially a fungal infestation below. This funk is caused by microbial volatile organic compounds (MVOCs), which are released as the fungus propagates and grows throughout its environment.

2. Discoloration – If you start to notice discoloration or staining on the surface of your hardwood flooring, it could be a telltale sign that mold is growing beneath it. This would cause the wood to appear darker than normal, which should prompt further investigation. Don’t ignore any strange spots or stains, as they may hint at an underlying problem with mold growing underneath.

3. Warping Or Buckling – Moisture provides a perfect breeding ground for mold, so if left unchecked, it can cause hardwood floorboards to warp and buckle. This occurs when moisture is trapped between the planks and the subfloor, which causes them to expand and contract at different rates. If you notice any warping or buckling in your flooring, have an expert inspect it right away.

4. Peeling Finish – If you see any flaking or peeling on the surface of your wooden floorboards, then it is a sure sign that there could be something living beneath them. Mold growing beneath hardwood floorboards can easily cause the finish of your wood to peel away or become damaged due to the moisture from the mold breaking down the adhesive bonds between your floors and their protective coating.

5. Allergy Symptoms – Growing mold spores can trigger allergic reactions in some people, causing symptoms like sneezing, coughing, watery eyes, and skin irritation. If you or anyone in your household experiences these symptoms while inside your home, it could be an indication that there is mold growing somewhere inside. Allergy symptoms may not always occur immediately after exposure to mold; they may take several days before becoming noticeable.

6. Increased Humidity Levels – Living in a humid environment or having poor ventilation at home can be extremely detrimental, not only encouraging mold growth but creating the perfect breeding ground for spores to develop. With moisture levels above 60%, carpets and wood planks become conducive to mold formation beneath your hardwood floorboards.

Prevention Tips

To avoid mold growth underneath hardwood flooring, it is essential to have suitable ventilation and maintain low humidity levels with the help of dehumidifiers. These measures should be taken in all living spaces where feasible.

Consistent cleaning with disinfectants, such as a vinegar solution, helps to impede dirt accumulation, making the environment less favorable for fungal growth.

Timely repair any water leaks spotted around plumbing fixtures, such as faucets, as seeping water can eventually travel upwards through flooring material via capillary action. To prevent fungal growth, do not install carpets directly on concrete surfaces, as this may trap moisture in their fibers and create a favorable environment for fungi to grow.

Performing routine inspections of the crawl spaces beneath homes is essential for detecting any leaks while they are still small and before they can cause extensive destruction.

Final Thoughts

Regularly inspecting for mold growth beneath your hardwood floors is essential to avoid potential health risks and the costly damage that may ensue. Early detection of any signs of mold can help protect both your family’s health and wooden structures, before extensive destruction takes place.

It is critical to be mindful of any visible signs mentioned previously in order to protect not only oneself, but also secure important possessions such as homes from being devastated by destructive fungal infestations.

It is essential to remember that a mix of preventive actions, such as correct ventilation, humidity control, and reliable cleaning may help minimize the threat of mold development under hardwood floorboards.