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How To Remove Mold Under Ceramic Tile Floors

Mold Under Ceramic Tile Floors

Does your bathroom or kitchen have floor tiles?

Have you removed some of the tiles and discovered discoloration on the subflooring?

In most cases, the dark spots or stains could be mold growth and must be treated as soon as possible.

Mold will consume any cellulose-based material it grows on if left unchecked.

This article will discuss how to find mold under your bathroom floor tiles and how to treat it. We’ll go through the various risks and possible outcome if the mold growth is ignored.

Here’s What Causes Mold to Grow and Spread Under Ceramic Tiles

The tile flooring in your bathroom or kitchen is frequently exposed to moisture, the subfloor is generally wood, and the tile gives shade and warmer temperatures.

It’s the perfect environment for mold to grow.

Tile flooring is often the source of mold in bathrooms. You run your shower or bathtub on a daily basis, damp towels are placed all about, water gets splashed on the floor frequently, and there’s always the potential for a leaking pipe.

All of these elements will contribute to moisture finding its way underneath your tiles and staying there.

If there is dampness beneath your tiles, mold spores will almost certainly begin to colonize and grow. Mold spores will happily consume the cellulose based material in that area, which is commonly wood.

The primary reason for moisture settling under your flooring is usually because of the excess moisture.

If your bathroom isn’t properly ventilated while you’re showering or bathing, the hot air and steam will dissipate into what’s around the room.

The same holds true for the kitchen, as well as any other room that may be tiled in your house. Any unaddressed dampness in your home can inspire mold growth.

What Kind of Mold Grows Under Tiles

There are thousands of different distinct mold species, so it’s possible that more than one type of mold will develop beneath your tiles.

Generally, any type of mold can grow under floor tiles. As long as there is moisture and a food source, the spore will begin to colonize and grow.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), In many homes the most common species of mold found are Cladosporium, Penicillium, and Aspergillus. 

However, there are many other species that may be present. Therefore, any mold that is commonly found indoors can grow under tiles and other flooring.

Possible Risks Associated with Mold Under Tiles

Mold can cause a lot of problems in your home. The most common complaint associated with mold exposure are allergic reactions.

Chronic coughing, sneezing, eye irritation, and mucus membrane irritation in the nose are all possible effects.

In some cases where there is heavy mold infestation in a home, Individuals who suffer from a medical or respiratory problem, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or cancer, are more prone to mold reaction. Individuals with these conditions already have trouble breathing.

Infants and young children are more likely to suffer from mold-related problems. Infants especially have underdeveloped immune systems that leave them more vulnerable.

Another category of individuals who may be more likely to suffer from mold-related problems include the elderly.

Our immune systems weaken with age, making it more difficult for them to fight allergies. Elderly individuals are more prone because of their health issues or prescription medications that they take.

Extreme exposure, that is, homes or work areas with heavy mold infestation, is believed to induce more serious health effects for some individuals.

There are a number of elements that influence whether or not someone will have a response to mold exposure, as well as the type of reaction that occurs.

Some people may be exposed to mold and never know it, while others will develop an acute allergic reaction and require treatment.

How to Identify Mold Under Ceramic Tile

Black mold growth under floor tile

Mold growth under your tile flooring may be difficult to spot, especially if it’s hidden.

When a renovation is planned and the tile is removed, the mold infestation is frequently found only when it’s too late.

By then, the mold problem might have gotten out of hand, causing significant damage and expenditures to the homeowner.

Scent is another method for alerting you to a mold problem.

Have you noticed an unusual smell in your bathroom recently that won’t go away? If you have a musty or earthy odor that no amount of cleaning can cure, it’s possible that you have a mold related problem.

If your tiles are above a flooring, inspect the wood below for dark discoloration. You may also be able to tell if there is mold by noting fractures or creases in your floor.

Tiles that are loose and spongy when stepped on is another indication. This happens because the subfloor is deteriorating and the tiles become separated from the sub floor.

How to Get Rid Of Mold Under Floor Tiles

The first thing to consider is finding and eliminating the moisture source that’s causing the mold to grow in the first place.

Depending on the amount of mold under your tiles in the bathroom, the treatment approach you choose will differ.

If your flooring is damaged and if the mold growth is significant, you should consult a remediation professional for assistance in removing the moldy materials correctly.

If you find a tiny area of mold beneath your tiles, you may be able to treat it and eliminate it yourself. In most situations, a simple solution of detergent and water will enough to remove the mold growth.

Mold removal chemicals from your local home or hardware shop are available to destroy and prevent mold spore development.

If you plan to handle the mold problem yourself, make sure you use rubber gloves, eye protection, a respirator, and clothing that fully covers your skin.

Make sure that the area that is being cleaned has adequate ventilation with fans, HEPA filters, or air purifiers.

Also make sure that the area is totally isolated from the rest of your house before you begin any mold cleanup or removal.

If your mold problem is a more complicated project that will need specialized equipment and flooring removal and replacement, you should hire a mold remediation professional to ensure that the work is done correctly.

You should not attempt to remove a significant mold problem without the necessary skills, training, tools, and equipment. It’s possible that you’ll wind up with a huge mess if you go about it this way.

Getting Professional Mold Remediation Services

Mold removal services generally begin with an in-home consultation, during which a mold expert will examine the severity of the problem and the amount of damage caused.

The cost of completely eliminating mold growth from your home and repairing any issues will be given to you by your mold contractor.

If you decide to hire a professional mold removal company, they will set a date and time with you to come in and begin working.

To safeguard everyone’s safety, they will almost certainly request that no one is in the area while they work.

The remediation crew will bring in specialized equipment to ventilate your home and remove the moldy materials safely.

Anything that must be removed from your home because its contaminated with mold will be handled in a safe and environmentally friendly manner, eliminating any risk of mold spores spreading.

After the mold is gone, the crew will usually apply some preventative treatment to the wood sub-flooring to help keep mold from regaining a foothold there again.

After the mold growth has been removed, the contractor will go over how to prevent mold development and other measures you can take to prevent mold growth in your home.

Prevention Steps

The last thing you want after dealing with mold under your tiles is for it to return. Prevention is the key. The most important step you can take is to keep moisture under control especially in moisture prone areas.

Avoid allowing water to build up on the floor or in your shower and be sure to turn on a functioning vent fan when you take a bath.

Also, make sure that any water on the floor is removed promptly and damp towels or clothing are not left lying about.

Investing in a HEPA filter is also a good mold prevention practice.

A HEPA filter will assist with purifying and cleaning the air in your house and removing airborne mold spores that are seeking wet areas to settle and germinate.

You must also be diligent in dealing with and repairing any leaking pipes as even a little leak or drip might pool moisture and allow mold to develop, no matter how minor it is.

Also, when cleaning tile floors, avoid oversaturating these areas. Applying too much water, will allow moisture to seep in the grout lines and wet the subfloor below.

You can avoid spending thousands of dollars in mold removal expenses by keeping an eye on your home and preventing mold from developing.


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