Mold Under Ceramic Tile Floors
Is your bathroom or kitchen tiled? Have you peeled back some of the tile and noticed dark staining underneath on the sub flooring? The dark staining you see is quite possibly mold and it will need to be addressed right away.
If left untreated, mold will begin to break down the organic surface that it is growing on. This article will discuss how you can identify mold under bathroom floor, how you can treat it and how you can prevent it from coming back. We also discuss the possible health risks and repercussions of not treating and removing mold in your home right away.
What Causes Mold to Grow Under Ceramic Tiles
The tile flooring in your bathroom or kitchen is regularly exposed to moisture, the subfloor is usually wood, and the tile provides shade and warmer temperatures. The perfect storm for mold to flourish.
Mold in your bathrooms is seen most commonly in homes with tile flooring. You run your shower or bathtub daily, wet towels are left lying around and there is always the possibility of a leaky pipe. All of these factors will contribute to moisture being allowed to seep under your tiles and stay there.
If there is dampness present under your tiles, there is a very high probability that mold spores will begin to colonize and grow. The mold spores will happily feed off of the organic surface in that area, which is usually wood.
Steam from running your shower is usually one of the biggest culprits for allowing moisture to settle into your flooring. If your bathroom is not properly ventilated during the showering or bathing process, the hot air and steam has nowhere to go except to settle into what’s around the room.
The same applies to the kitchen, or any other room that may be tiled in your home. Any unchecked exposure to moisture in your home can lead to a mold infestation.
What Kind of Mold Grows Under Tile
As we mentioned previously, there are over 1,000 different mold strands and variations so there can be more than one type that can grow under your tiles. The most common mold that you will see under tile in your bathroom is black mold.
Black mold, or Stachybotrys, is a potentially toxic mold strand. This mold is usually identifiable by its dark black color. Some areas of black mold may appear darker than others and there can be a spotted look with lighter and darker areas.
Exposure to the toxic strains of black mold can cause some serious health conditions in humans and pets.
What the Health Risks Associated with Mold Under Tile
Exposure to mold poses many health risks to both humans and pets in your home. The most common side effect to black mold exposure is respiratory responses. This can include; chronic coughing, sneezing, irritation of the eyes, and irritation to the mucus membranes in the nose. One can also experience chronic headaches, fatigue, and skin irritations such as a rash.
Some cases of extreme exposure to black mold can cause nausea, vomiting, nose bleeds and even bleeding inside the lungs. These are very serious side effects and should be avoided at all costs.
There are several factors that can contribute to whether or not a person will have a reaction to mold exposure and if so what that reaction looks like. Some people can be exposed to mold and not ever know it, while others will develop a severe allergic reaction and require treatment.
Individuals who have a medical or respiratory condition such as asthma, COPD or cancer are at a higher risk of developing and experiencing an allergic reaction to mold. Individuals with these conditions already have trouble with the functioning of their respiratory system so exposure to an irritant will make their condition worse.
Infants and young children are also at a higher risk for complications due to mold exposure. Infants, especially premature ones, have immune systems that have not had the chance to properly develop yet, leaving them more susceptible to molds’ nasty side effects.
Elderly individuals are another group of people who may experience more worsened or more pronounced mold exposure symptoms. With old age, our immune systems tend to become weakened and have a harder time fighting off allergies. Elderly individuals also tend to have weaker bodies due to health conditions they may be experiencing or medications that they are taking.
How to Identify Mold
Discovering mold under tiles in your home is not always easy as it is very well hidden. Often times, the mold infestation is discovered only when a renovation is planned and the tile is ripped up. By then, the mold problem could be quite severe and costly to the homeowner.
One way people are clued into a mold problem is by scent. Have you noticed a strange smell in your bathroom lately that won’t go away? If you are smelly a musty or earthy scent that no amount of cleaning can get rid of, it may be mold.
If you have access to the flooring underneath your tiles, you will want to look for dark staining on the wood below. You may also be able to detect the presence of mold by noticing cracks or folds in your floor.
If mold is left to grow for long enough it will start to break down the flooring, causing it to buckle and bend. In this case, the mold problem has gone unnoticed for too long and a major repair and replacement of your flooring will become your reality.
Another method that can be used to determine if mold is present under your tile floor is to purchase a mold testing kit. These kits can be purchased at most any home retailer and cost between $10-$60 depending on the type of test kit and its quality.
Most mold test kits will be able to accurately determine the presence of mold, what type it is and whether or not it is a toxic variety. This is a fairly cost effective way to determine if mold spores are present.
How to Treat Mold
Your treatment method for mold under your tiles in your bathroom will vary depending on how large the infestation is, whether or not your flooring is compromised and whether or not the mold is toxic and posing a threat to your health.
If you discovered just a small patch of mold growing under your tiles, you may be able to treat and remove the mold yourself. A simple homemade solution of bleach and water will usually do the trick in killing and removing the mold spores. You can also purchase mold removal solutions from your local home or hardware store that are designed to kill and stop mold spore growth.
If you choose to tackle your mold problem yourself, make sure that you are protected by wearing gloves, a respirator and clothing that covers your skin fully. Mold spores can get on your skin and result in a reaction or can use you as a vehicle to spread further.
Be sure that the room where you are removing mold from is properly ventilated with fans, HEPA filters or air purifiers. Also make sure that the room is completely closed off from the rest of your home as you begin to remove the mold.
If your mold problem is a larger scale project that will require specialized equipment and demolition, removal and replacement of your flooring, you will want to look into a professional mold remediation team to get the job done properly.
You should not try to take on a large scale mold removal project without having the proper knowledge, training, tools and equipment to get the job done safely and correctly. Doing so could leave you with a big mess and the high potential for regrowth.
Professional Remediation Services
Professional mold remediation services are the best way to remove all instances of mold both safely and efficiently. If you are in need of a mold remediation professional, give the number on our site a call to get a free estimate. These specialized teams know mold and they know how to treat it and help to implement prevention measure to ensure it does not resurface.
Mold remediation services typically start with an in home consultation that is used to assess your mold problem and the extent of the damage done. Your mold professional will provide you with a quote on what it will cost to completely remove the mold from your home and repair any damages that will need to be fixed as a result of the mold problem.
If you choose to hire a professional mold removal company, they will set a date and time with you to come in and began working. They will likely ask that no one is present in the home while they work to ensure everyone’s safety.
The team will bring in specialized equipment to ventilate your home and safely remove the mold. Anything that needs to be removed from your home that contains mold will be done so in a safe manner and disposed of properly to prevent the mold spores from spreading.
After the mold is removed and before your tile flooring is replaced, the team will likely apply some protective measure to the wood sub flooring to help prevent mold from attaching there again. There are several different coatings or sealants that can be applied to prevent mold growth.
After the mold has been removed and the repairs have been made to your home. The mold remediation team will go over with you ways to prevent mold growth and steps you can take to ensure that your home remains mold free.
Cost of Mold Removal
The cost to remove mold from under tiles in your bathroom will be dependent on how much the mold has spread and how much damage has been done. The cost for professional mold remediation services can range from $500-$4000.
You can reach a mold professional by calling the number on our website for a free estimate. Each service has its own methods and costs, go with the one that makes the most sense for you and your home.
Once you have gone through all of the trouble to have mold removed from under tiles, the last thing you want is for that mold to creep its way back in. Prevention is key. The biggest thing you can do is prevent exposure to moisture as much as you can.
In your bathroom particularly, make sure you are using a properly working vent fan every time you run your shower. Also making sure that any water on the floor is cleaned up promptly and wet towels or garments are not left lying around.
Investing in a HEPA filter is also a good idea for mold prevention in your home as they can help to purify and cleanse the air in your home which will help to remove airborne mold spores that are looking for a damp place to call home.
You also want to be diligent about addressing and fixing any leaky pipes immediately as even a small drip or leak can begin to pool moisture and allow mold to grow.
Staying on top of your home and working to prevent mold from growing will save you hundreds of dollars in mold remediation costs.