Cleaning Mold from Subfloor and Carpet
Here at CleanerToday.com we have a committed focus on customer service and assistance. We dedicate many hours each day to helping customers understand how best to use our products and how to select which products will best fit their needs. Occasionally we will post these questions, and our answers to them, to help assist others who may be confronted with these relatively common situations.
We received the following inquiry from Andrew, a concerned homeowner, via email:
“I have black mold on plywood flooring. I ripped up the carpet that was there and that is what I found underneath. What products or kit would you recommend me purchasing? It is a smaller area.”
A Common Problem
The situation Andrew was confronting is not at all unusual when dealing with mold problems. Mold is frequently found underneath carpeting, growing on the floorboards, especially in newer construction which often uses OSB (oriented strand board) for under flooring. The thin pieces of wood used in making OSB can serve as food sources for mold growth. An overlay of carpeting can serve to not only hide the mold growth but can also help to trap the moisture that mold requires to grow.
It is important to note that while Andrew specifically mentioned a “black mold,” knowing which species of mold is growing, there are many species that appear black under specific conditions, is not necessary when choosing MoldStat products as a mold remediation solution. MoldStat products have been tested and proven effective against all types of mold, including those that are commonly black in coloration.
The Mold Prevention Kit
For the situation Andrew was confronting we recommended the use of the Mold Prevention Kit. None of the mold remediation products sold by Cleaner Today, including the Mold Prevention Kit, contain any bleach of any type. Because there is absolutely no bleach in the MoldStat family of products, all items in the line are perfectly safe to use on floorboards that will come into contact with carpeting, and in fact, all MoldStat products are safe to use for cleaning the carpet itself directly. That is simply not a claim that any bleach-based or containing mold remediation product can make!
The Mold Prevention Kit that we recommended to Andrew contains the following products: MoldStat Plus Concentrate, MoldStat Barrier, and MoldStat Aireze Fogger.
First Step: MoldStat Plus Concentrate
To clean the area that Andrew described, his first step would be to mix the MoldStat Concentrate into solution with water as directed on the container. MoldStat Plus comes conveniently packaged in a “squeeze and measure” container that eliminates the need to pour the concentrate into any household measuring device.
Once the solution is prepared, the diluted solution should be sprayed onto the affected area until all of the mold is thoroughly soaked through to the floorboards themselves. Once the mold is completely soaked through with MoldStat Plus solution wait 10 minutes to ensure a complete kill of the mold. If the mold is especially thick, it may be necessary to wipe away the initial layers of dead mold and then re-spray any remaining mold, wait 10 minutes and wipe again. An easy way to tell that all of the mold has been killed and removed, especially when confronting black or otherwise colored molds, is to use a white towel or cloth for the wiping. Once there is no longer any visible color after wiping, it is highly likely that all of the mold is dead and removed.
After you are certain, through the white cloth wipe test, that all surface mold has been killed and removed, then a final soaking spray should be applied to the affected floorboards. The purpose of this final application is to ensure that any mold roots, or hyphae as they are technically known, that may have penetrated into the floorboards themselves are also killed to help ensure that the mold will not quickly regrow. This type of regrowth is common when mold remediation products are used that cannot penetrate surfaces to kill the roots of the mold. MoldStat Plus has excellent penetration power and will easily kill mold roots embedded in most any surface.
Clean the Carpet Too
At this point, if Andrew felt that the carpeting was salvageable, he could have chosen to further soak the affected carpeting, allowed it to soak for 10 minutes and then allowed it to air dry. The drying time of carpeting can be reduced if fans are directed towards the surface. The moving air will not impair the ability of the MoldStat Plus to kill the mold in the carpeting, but no fans should be used until the 10 minute kill time is completed.
The ability to clean mold affected carpeting is an area in which MoldStat Plus is fairly unique amongst mold remediation products. Cleaning and preserving carpeting would be absolutely impossible when using any mold remediation products that contain even the slightest amount of bleach. Because no MoldStat product ever contains any bleach, the cleaning and restoration of even delicate and colorfast fabrics, upholstery, and carpeting is possible and relatively easy, providing that they are water-safe. Despite its delicacy towards fabrics and carpets, because MoldStat Plus is water diluted, only water-safe surfaces and materials may be cleaned. If you are uncertain, always test the product on a small and non-visible area. Some mold remediation sites advise that if you can’t bleach it you should toss it, completely disregarding the expense, financial and potentially emotional, involved in replacing furniture, clothing, and carpeting. MoldStat Plus makes it possible to avoid these pitfalls.
Get Rid of the Moisture!
Once the immediate mold infestation has been eliminated, Andrew’s focus can shift to the prevention of future mold regrowth. The most important step to take when preventing the reoccurrence of a mold problem is to eliminate the source of the moisture in the environment where the mold has occurred. Mold cannot grow without food and moisture, and since mold can feed on common household building and furnishing materials, it is the moisture that must be removed and prevented from reoccurring to prevent the mold.
Once Andrew has eliminated the moisture source, he would then apply the MoldStat Barrier product. MoldStat Barrier helps prevent the return of mold by creating an invisible anti-microbial layer of protection on the treated surface. The MoldStat Barrier should be sprayed onto both the flooring and the underside of the carpeting, if the carpeting is going to be salvaged as described above. Again, fans may be used to help with the drying of the Barrier product on the carpeting. Once the carpeting is COMPLETELY AND THOROUGLY DRIED, it can be replaced. It is absolutely essential that the carpeting be dry before reinstallation to help prevent future mold growth.
One application of MoldStat Barrier will remain effective at preventing mold reoccurrence in a location that is protected from moisture, wind, and sunlight, for up to one year. More frequent reapplications are required if the area is exposed to the elements, but this is unlikely to be the case in a carpeted area such as Andrew described. MoldStat Barrier is ultimately a simple to use “spray and forget it” solution for many indoor mold problems.
Eliminate Mold Odor with Aireze
The final, and important, aspect in the complete mold cleanup effort is to eliminate that moldy odor that is so common in areas where mold has grown indoors. Eliminating mold odor with commonly available air fresheners and treatments often fails because they are not specifically designed to tackle mold odors. Fortunately, the MoldSTAT Aireze Fogger is designed for exactly the specific purpose of eliminating the odors caused specifically by mold. Aireze features a light and pleasant scent; it is not strongly chemical in its smell nor is it overwhelmingly floral or sweet. Most customers find it quite agreeable and many people also find it useful in the elimination of other noxious odors such as cigarette, cigar, or pipe smoke, even in automobiles or other enclosed spaces. We include two cans of Aireze in every Mold Prevention Kit we sell. MoldStat Aireze is easy to use; simply vigorously shake the can for 45 seconds, remove the cap, depress and lock the trigger, and set the can on a level surface. Follow those instructions for MoldStat Aireze ONLY IF you wish to discharge the entire can, such as you would do to clean and freshen the air in an entire room or automobile. Alternatively, if you wish to spray only a small amount of MoldStat Aireze, either to test the scent or to treat a very small area only, then GENTLY TAP the trigger to discharge a small amount.
Complete details regarding the Mold Prevention Kit, including purchasing, are available here.
We Are Here to Help
As we did with Andrew and as we have done for literally hundreds of other customers, we here at CleanerToday.com are always happy to help anyone determine which products and methods are appropriate for their particular mold remediation situation. While we are happy to help you resolve your mold problem on a do-it-yourself basis, we are also an honest enough company to tell you if the situation you are describing is one that we honestly feel is beyond the reasonable ability of a consumer to solve, in which case we would recommend you contact a local professional mold remediation company, which itself might use MoldStat Plus.
A Cautionary Tale
We cannot refer a customer to any specific mold remediation company or service but we would recommend that a potential customer start by checking to see whether their State has a licensing or other regulatory agency that monitors mold remediation contractors. To the best of our knowledge as of June 2015, only the States of New York, Florida, Texas, Louisiana and Maryland require the licensure of mold remediation companies, but we encourage everyone, including those in the above states, to check with their State’s Environmental Health and Safety Department or Agency.
These agencies will often have different names depending upon the State but a search of the main state web portal will often reveal the information you are looking for. For example, in Georgia, indoor air quality, a measure that commonly includes indoor mold issues, is addressed by the Georgia Department of Public Health. In Texas, it is the Department of State Health Services, and they have a locator service to identify state licensed mold remediation professionals. Again, this will vary from state to state.
Unfortunately, as is true with any service or profession, there is the occasional bad actor and it always pays to be as confident as possible in your choice of service provider, especially in mold remediation where services can quickly become potentially devastatingly expensive. Remember that indoor mold testing, outside of healthcare or very sensitive areas, is almost never helpful as mold is ubiquitous in the environment, indoors and out. A mold remediation company is financially incented to find a mold problem in your home and to recommend solutions they can provide. Always be careful in your decision making, seek a second, or more, opinion and quote for services before deciding on a course of mold remediation action.
No False Promises!
While we are always happy to make a sale of a MoldStat product we never set expectations that are unlikely to be met, helping to ensure and establish trust with our customers, many of whom return to us again and again when they are confronting a situation with which we are likely to be able to help. We hope to be able to help you as well in the near future, helping you to ensure a cleaner today and a better tomorrow through effective and environmentally responsible products, packaging, and shipping practices.