Hardwood floors may be exceptionally beautiful, but did you know they can also harbor mold and mildew? Hardwood floors have many areas that can become moist, especially if there are leaks or other moisture issues. Over time, hardwood floors may have mold build up beneath them -- and even though you cannot see this mold, it may still be affecting your family's health. Here are four ways to identify possible mold problem.
1. Look For Warping Or Cracking
Mold always occurs in moist environments. If your flooring is moist enough to have mold, you will usually see other secondary signs of water problems. This includes warping and cracking. Take a look at your flooring, especially around the walls, to see whether the wood has swollen or expanded. Even if there isn't any mold yet, it's very likely that you will need to rip out the flooring to repair any water damage.
2. Test The Humidity Of Your Air
In addition to mold testing, you can also take a look at the actual humidity of your room. Humidity testers are very inexpensive and will tell you whether the humidity of your room is unusually high. Humidity over 60 to 70 percent may be high enough to contribute to mold growth and may also be high enough to be physically uncomfortable. To reduce humidity, you can use a dehumidifier -- but this may not help with new, existing mold issues.
3. Conduct A Mold Test
One of the easiest ways to figure out whether you have mold spores in your home is to conduct a mold test. However, it may not reveal any mold issues if the mold is contained under your flooring. The good side of this is that mold rarely presents any issues if it is contained. The bad side is that the mold could grow unchecked and eventually enter into an area in which it could affect air quality, so the mold will still need to be dealt with.
4. Take A Look At The Ceiling Underneath
If you're concerned about second or third level flooring, take a look at the ceiling directly below it. If there are water issues which could result with mold, you may be able to see issues on the ceiling. These issues could include bubbled paint, small fractures or staining.
If you do have some mold, don't panic. Mold in itself isn't necessarily dangerous -- in fact, almost every home will have some quantity of mold spores in it. The important thing is to get mold testing from a service like Commonwealth Moisture And Mold Specialists Llc as soon as possible so you know whether the mold problem is significant and whether the mold itself might be toxic.