It’s not always easy to clean mold. However, the sooner you begin, the easier it will be to make sure it is effectively removed and doesn’t return. When the mold is under linoleum, it can be very challenging to clean. You won’t know it’s there until the problem has become severe. Also, how you try to remove it will depend on the surface under the linoleum.
1. Concrete Floor
If you have linoleum that’s been laid on concrete, it’s somewhat easier to clean mold. You will need to take up all the linoleum to see the extent of the problem. You should discard all of the old linoleum and replace it with fresh coverings later.
Where the mold problem isn’t too bad, you can pour vinegar on it and rub with a cloth. If the mold has set in deeply, you’ll need to use a scrub brush. Where mold has penetrated concrete, use a 10:1 solution of water to bleach with ¼ cup of trisodium phosphate added for every 2 gallons of water used.
Scrub this solution into the mold to clean it. If this doesn’t remove it all, use a power washer with a 4:1 solution of water to bleach, adding a small amount of trisodium phosphate again. Make sure you only use a small amount of the water solution at a time and have a shop vac running to help remove the excess water. Allow the concrete time to dry fully before laying new linoleum.
2. Wood Floor
Rip up and discard the old linoleum and inspect the wood floor. If it’s in very bad shape , you might want to take out the floor and put in a new one. Make sure the subfloor is in good condition before doing this.
If the floor can be salvaged, wash the floor with a solution of detergent and water to clean some of the mold away. To go deeper, mix a solution of water and bleach in a 10:1 ratio. This will clean mold to a deeper extent. If this doesn’t remove it all, try a solution of water and bleach in a 4:1 ratio with ¼ cup trisodium phosphate added for every 2 gallons of water. Use a long-handled scrub brush to penetrate deeper.
Finally, use a power washer with the stronger bleach and water solution. Only use a small amount of the solution at a time and remove the excess with a shop vac. Let the wood dry completely. Sand the areas you’ve cleaned as well as any other areas that have become discolored. Remove all the sawdust before applying a hard finish to the wood (you can stain it first if you desire)
You can either lay new linoleum or you can leave the floor as bare wood. Where you plan on laying new linoleum, find the source of the mold and fix it so you won’t have to treat the area again.