Mold On Hardwood Floors: Safety and Preparing The Removal
Some people think mold only grows in an old house with old wood floors. This is a myth. Mold can live on your hardwood floors whether they are new or old. It can occur in both old and new buildings.
There are several ways you can get mold. You can get mold in a basement from leaks and floods. A pipe bursting can generate mold. Often mold is the result of water or moisture entering into the house. Sometimes mold exists simply because the indoor relative humidity is exceptionally high. When moisture accumulates in the house and has no way of being expelled, often you will see mold growth.
It is important to act on mold rapidly because it is harmful to your health and it can spread rapidly. Even if it is just in your wood floors for now, mold can produce spores on furniture, clothing, other areas of the house, and so forth. When you breathe in mold mold spores, it can create a serious health issue.
Some common ailments caused by black mold are breathing problems coupled with irritation to the mucous membranes, damage to the internal organs, skin inflammation, tiredness and nausea. Mold is also known to lower the immune system.
These symptoms will vary depending on the amount of time exposed and the degree of the mold. If the amount of mold is very small, chances are that the symptoms will not be serious. The people most affected by mold are children, pregnant women and the elderly.
You may not even know you have mold. Often mold does not create visible growth or odor. Nowadays, dogs are trained to sniff out mold just like drug dogs sniff out drugs. Sometimes the health risk of removing mold is so high that you have to ask yourself if it is better to hire a professional to remove it.
If you don't remove mold properly, it will continue to spread. It means cleaning the area very well. Chances are that the mold is underneath the floor finish and in the actual wood. Unfortunately, if this is the case there is no topical cleaning solution or disinfectant that is going to work.
If you decide to remove the mold yourself, there are some important safety precautions to take. You should be wearing clothing that you can throw out in the garbage after or that you can dry clean. The reason for this is mold spores can get into your clothes and multiply. The best clothing to wear is coveralls. You don't want any skin to be exposed. You also need to wear a proper respirator mask. If you wear a dust mask, you're inviting mold spores to get through! You also should be wearing safety goggles. You will also need to wear rubber gloves.
If you plan to be removing the mold for several hours, you should take breaks in a well ventilated area with fresh air. You should also ventilate the moldy room with an exhaust fan installed in a window. This will prevent the mold from spreading.
To be on the safe side, you want to seal off the room as well as possible from the other rooms in the house. Use plastic sheets and duct tape to close off other rooms. This will ensure that the mold will not spread into other areas of your home. Mold releases chemicals and spores so you want to do your best to contain it. You also should make sure that infants and small children are not playing in the adjacent room while you are removing the mold.
Also, once you have sanded down the floor and treated the mold, you need to dispose of the sawdust very carefully. Place it in a plastic garbage bag. In fact, it is best to double bag it. Seal it. Rather than bringing it through the house to throw out, you actually want to throw it out at your closest window. You don't want to bring mold spores through your house. Of course, this is a step to do with caution. If you live above the first floor, take caution and make sure that there is no one below. Don't do this from an apartment building.
After you have removed the mold in your wood floors, you want the room to air out before using it. There may be toxins still in the air that you need to remove. Keep the windows wide open to ventilate it.
Cleaning the mold effectively is not good enough. You have to find the cause of the problem. If you don't, you are just asking the mold to come back. You want to prevent future problems, too. Often mold grows in areas that have excess moisture.
As you now know how serious the health risks are with mold, ask yourself if you want to do the job or hire a professional. If you want to do it yourself, be sure to take all the necessary measures to remove the mold in a safe way that won't harm you or your family. If you have any family members with asthma or respiratory problems, it is best to hire a professional.