Mold can grow for a huge number of reasons and when it does it needs to be taken care of as soon as possible. If you find that mold is growing on your tile or wood floors you need to make sure that you use the right materials to get it clean, kill the mold, and make sure it doesn't come back.
The first thing you want to do is figure out why the floor has molded. If there is a water leak then you should make sure that you get that fixed. If you have a humidity problem you should work to lower the humidity in the home to prevent mold from growing. If you want to prevent mold from growing check out the article How To Prevent Mold From Growing In Your Home.
You should always think safety when it comes to mold. You will want to make sure that you get yourself a good pair of rubber gloves for cleaning up mold. If the area that you are cleaning up is large (10 square feet or more) then you should make sure that you are wearing safety goggles and a respirator that is designed for cleaning up mold. (For more information on what you should wear while cleaning up mold you can see the article What To Wear When Removing Mold From Your House). If the mold covers a large area you should also make sure that you set up a containment field so that you don't spread mold throughout the house. To learn how to set up a containment area see the article Mold Removal: The Containment Area.
Mold is usually pretty easy to get off of tile because it is hard, isn't easy to damage, and it is not porous. However, if you choose a harsh chemical such as bleach you may very well discolor your tile. Instead follow these directions and go from there.
- Pour hydrogen peroxide into a spray bottle full strength (your hydrogen peroxide is already mixed with water and is only 3% hydrogen peroxide).
- Spray the area until it is wet.
- Use a hard bristled brush to scrub all the mold loose.
- You want to use a little dish soap in hot water and a smooth sponge to wipe up all of the mold. You want to make sure that there aren't any loose spores because after they dry they will become airborne and it could cause health problems. Rinse and repeat until all of the mold is cleaned up.
- Spray another layer of hydrogen peroxide on the area and leave to dry.
This should get rid of all the mold and in most cases it will take care of discolorations as well. However, this may not remove stains on your grout.
Grout often stains a horrible color when it gets stained by mold. There are a few things you can try to do to clean it out, but even if you can't get it clean there are things that you can do.
- Try more hydrogen peroxide. Often another dose of hydrogen peroxide to the grout will help. Use an old toothbrush to clean it directly with a little bit of omph.
- Try a baking soda mix. You can mix 1/2 cup of baking soda with 1/4 cup of dish soap. Add enough water to make it a nice paste and stir slowly so it doesn't bubble a lot. Place it on the grout and let it sit for a half an hour. Come back and spray it down with vinegar. Let it sit about ten minute. Then scrub with a tooth brush.
- Seal and recolor. If you still haven't been able to get your grout clean then you should use a colored grout sealer to refresh the color of your grout. The process is easy, will prevent more mold from growing in your grout, and will also make it a beautiful color again.
If it is caulk that is looking yucky along the edge of your tile then you should do something just a bit different to make sure that it gets cleaned and is looking great.
- Remove the old caulk. You should make sure that you are careful to remove all of the old caulk. Use a utility knife can carefully cut it away.
- Clean. Now that the caulk is cleared away you want to make sure that you clean it as well as you can to make sure that you don't leave mold there. Use vinegar or hydrogen peroxide to spray it down. Leave it to sit for ten minutes and then come back and scrub the area with an old tooth brush. Then you should rinse away any mold. Finish by spray the area with vinegar or hydrogen peroxide and letting it dry.
- Re-caulk. Using a caulk gun or a newer type of caulk tube that doesn't need a caulk gun re-seal the area with caulk.
It is less common for mold to grow on wood floors, but when it does it is definitely a bad thing. Wood floors are porous and can be stained as well as bleached. You have to be careful what types of cleaners you use and how you get rid of the mold.
- Clean. You want to be gentle with your wood floorings while still getting rid of the mold. You should mix 1 cup of baking soda in 1 gallon of water and then add 1 cup of vinegar. These two should kill the mold and help you scrub it up. You can either put this solution in a spray bottle or your can mop right from the bucket. Generously get the floor wet, but don't leave it there to sit. Gently scrub the mold up.
- Rinse. You will want to make sure you rinse the area with a soft sponge to pick up any loose and left over mold. If it dries there it is likely to get airborne and could cause additional health problems.
- Dry. It is important that you dry the floor so that the water doesn't cause any damage.
- After the floor is all the way dry inspect it. Make sure that you got rid of all the mold. If you didn't you will need to take more drastic measures. You will need to slowly sand off the finish and clean off the floor again in the same manner.
- Finish. You should make sure that you finish the floor whether you cleaned it without removing the finish or not. You should choose a finish that is mold resistance.
Getting rid of mold is never fun, but when you can do it right you will find that you have fewer mold problems to deal with. Make sure that you are aiming for preventing mold as well as cleaning up mold any time that you have it.