About one week ago, I found what looked like mold under a carpet. The floor is wooden. The carpet is not wall to wall. All the other rooms do not have carpet or have wall to wall carpeting.

I am thinking I can just solve the problem by washing the floor down with the right chemical and replacing the padding under the carpeting. I spoke to a mold company and they wanted to run some tests and then give me a detailed estimate. They wanted between $500 and $600 for the tests and estimate. That seems very high to me.

What should I do?

Note: I am in the United States

  • 6
    Unless it's fastened somehow, that's a rug ;) What you should do is clean the floor, and then not put any carpet back.
    – Mazura
    Commented Jan 19, 2023 at 3:05
  • 7
    You might want to redact or remove the first couple of pages of the report that contain your personal information.
    – gowenfawr
    Commented Jan 19, 2023 at 5:36
  • @Mazura I think you mean "and then not put any rugs back." LOL
    – Huesmann
    Commented Jan 19, 2023 at 18:57
  • 1
    Have you identified the source of the water/moisture? Be sure there's nothing leaking in another room. If it's humidity, is your AC oversized?
    – JimmyJames
    Commented Jan 19, 2023 at 19:30
  • 1
    Do realize, the link you've posted contains your full address, in case you're concerned about that.
    – psaxton
    Commented Jan 19, 2023 at 20:15

2 Answers 2


Chlorine bleach does not enter wood pores, only the water component of a bleach mixture will do so, so you end up not killing any mold spores inside the wood; only on the surface. Either use cleaning vinegar solution (50% water and 50% vinegar) or a water-borax mixture. The borax mixture is stronger than the vinegar. The borax-water ratio is one cup of borax to one gallon of water, or one tablespoon of borax to one cup of water.

Wear a high-quality respirator and scrub with a brush and the solution.

If you use the borax-water solution, do NOT sponge up all the excess liquid. Instead, you want the water to evaporate away, leaving as much of the borax as possible to penetrate the wood. This will prevent the mold from growing again.

If you use the vinegar solution, then yes you will want to dry the floor with a towel, etc.

Keep away pets, children, etc from the area. Ensure the floor has dried completely before putting down any new carpet or underlay.

Control moisture in the room.

  • 3
    +1 for borax (or boric acid/orthoboric), the best anti-fungal agent in the world ever. A chlorine bleach does remove the stain though, it doesn't have to be either-or.
    – dandavis
    Commented Jan 19, 2023 at 2:22
  • 1
    Another +1 for borax! I've done a borax treatment with hand-operated sprayer for mold in floor joists over basement (not mine) and it's been over 5 years since then, with no sign of mold returning. Commented Jan 19, 2023 at 9:59
  • 1
    What's that going to do to the floor's finish? Will it end up requiring a floor refinishing?
    – FreeMan
    Commented Jan 19, 2023 at 14:59
  • Finally someone who understands that bleach does not effectively remove mold, especially from wood! Upvoted! Commented Jan 19, 2023 at 18:21
  • 2
    "Chlorine bleach does not enter wood pores" — do you have a source for this? Genuinely wondering if it's true. Also sources would help for the claims about leaving on the borax vs wiping off the vinegar.
    – Matthias
    Commented Jan 19, 2023 at 18:57

A wipe down with vinegar or bleach will kill the mold in that area, test on a hidden part of the floor first.

Padding might just replace with new.

This is for healthy people, people with health problems might need extra cleaning/care.

Humidity levels of the room/home should be checked, mold likes high humidity levels.

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