If you smell a musty odor after water damage in a room, it could be mold under the linoleum. Mold appears in black, orange, or white patches, and it thrives in damp areas. Linoleum is commonly moisture-resistant, but moisture can still seep under it.
It is essential to treat the mold quickly to avoid spreading spores and possibly causing health issues. Treat the mold under linoleum by following these steps.
Prepare to Clean the Mold from Under Linoleum
To clean mold under the linoleum, gather:
- work gloves
- dust mask
- eye goggles
- plastic sheets
- utility knife
- sandpaper scrub brush
- shop vac
- power washer
- heat gun or chemical stripper (optional)
- mild liquid soap
- white vinegar
- trisodium phosphate
- bleach or borax
Keep a pair of fresh shoes outside the room to put on after you clean mold so that you won't spread mold. Tape plastic sheets over doorways, and ventilate the area by raising a window. Discard items that can't be salvaged in garbage bags.
A mold testing kit or air testing kit may also be used to confirm mold. Determine the cause of moisture, which could be poor door or window seals, leaky ceilings, and broken pipes, then get them fixed.
Remove Mold with Bleach or Vinegar
Be aware linoleum installed before 1980 could have asbestos backing. If you are uncertain, get it tested professionally, or buy a kit. Pull up damaged linoleum, cutting moldy areas with a utility knife, and using a heat gun or a chemical stripper to remove stubborn adhesive, and discard the flooring. If the linoleum is still good, lay it aside. Mist the moldy area with water to keep it weighed down, being careful not to over-saturate the floor any time during the removal process. Run a HEPA vacuum over the area to pre-treat the mold, if possible.
To treat light mold on wood or concrete, pour vinegar directly on the mold, and scrub it. If mold has soaked into the flooring, mix equal parts of water with bleach in a bucket, and a four-to-one solution of bleach and water in the power washer. Clean the area, and soak access water with a shop vac. Let the floor dry, and sand dark areas on wood floors before you reinstall the linoleum.
Make a solution of a cup of borax and a gallon of warm water in a bucket and fill a spray bottle with the mixture to treat small areas. Run a brush over the floor, and let it stand ten to fifteen minutes to keep the mold from spreading
Scrub the area, wait ten minutes, scrub again. Apply more solution, scrub after five to ten minutes, rinse, and let it dry. For more information, contact a company like Colfax Corporation.