What Does Subfloor Mold Look Like? 3 Factors To Identify It

Molds can come in different types and have other appearances. Knowing “what does subfloor mold look like” would probably help you deal with your mold problem much more manageably. In this article, you can find the three tips to look out for to identify a subfloor mold.

Molds can grow almost anywhere. As long as there is an organic material to feed off and a damp surface, a mold colony can thrive in an overnight span. These molds can grow right under your noses without you noticing, especially if you don’t know what to look for.

what does subfloor mold look like

A subfloor is a type of layer or layer under a finished flooring. Covered by the finish flooring — which can come as a ceramic tile, hardwood, a laminate, a pad, or a carpet — a subfloor is protected from sunlight; the natural enemy of molds.

However, a subfloor is a good spot for a mold colony to settle because of its position. Even concrete subfloors aren’t safe from mold.

A concrete subfloor is indeed an inorganic material that holds no sustenance for the mold to feed on. The organic adhesive used to stick the floor finish to the subfloor or the finish can become the food source for the molds. 


Tips To Spot Subfloor Mold

Subfloor molds usually come from undetected moisture intrusion from either the floor finish or from a leaking pipe. Combine that with the dark area far from the reach of sunlight and an organic food source, molds will not be that unusual to be seen growing.

Molds aren’t suitable for your floors and as well as for your health, so dealing with them as soon as you see hints is something that you will be looking for. Then again, how do you know what to look for to identify subfloor mold? 

If water is the culprit, here’s a complete guide on how to repair water damaged subflooring. Other than that, here are some factors you must be looking for:


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1. Discoloration

Objects often infested with mold suffer from water damage. Water damage provides the necessary moisture a mold colony would need to grow.

Discoloration, however, is one of the by-products of prolonged water exposure due to water damage. Discoloration is the weathering of the materials due to water exposure and can also result in structural damage. So if you could spot discoloration in your floor finish, then it might be best to check your subfloor for molds.


2. Distortion and warping

Distortion and warping are common types of water damage and can go hand in hand with mold growth. Molds can grow in the layers of wood that cause warping and distortion. Although this might not be the case all the time, it is a good indicator for water damage and a sign for you to check if something else is growing in your subfloor.


3. Musky odor

This one might not be one of the visual aspects, but it is a strong indicator that molds are growing underneath your floor finish. Molds are fungus and have a very musky and earthy smell. Not only does it smell, but it may also harm your health.

If you could smell something like this, maybe it’s time to check and look for a mold colony. Ready your safety materials and carefully remove your floor finish and check for molds. Clean them out thoroughly and replace them.

Molds almost always look like some cotton gray, white, yellow, or black in color. All these hints can be in a way used to identify molds anywhere in the house.


How do you get mold out of the subfloor?

To get the mold off your subfloor, you must first get to your subfloor. Removing your floor finish can be a cinch or an arduous task depending on your floor finish. There is a huge difference in effort in taking a floor finish depending on what it is in the first place.

If you have taken out the floor finish, you can now start cleaning the mold off your subfloor. Use some cleaning equipment and a mold cleaning solution, which can be purchased as a chemical designed to remove molds, or you can try some home remedies in whatever way you like.

After that, you can treat your subfloor if possible to avoid future mold growth in your subfloor. Return your floor finish and enjoy a mold-free environment. 

If you are still unsure, you can still consult a professional or a specialist. Here an article on how to write a water damaged report for hardwood floors, for when you make up your mind to see someone.


Do you have to replace a moldy subfloor?

A moldy subfloor can most definitely be removed or replaced, especially if it is wood-based. It must be taken out cleanly and carefully to avoid the spore from spreading further in the house and creating more problems.

Before doing replacements, make sure to remove all molded parts. A moldy subfloor is detrimental to the structure and as well as to the health of its residents.



Now that you know what does subfloor mold look like and what to look for, you can now find out and remove any molded subfloor you might have in the present or in the future. Tackling problems like molds as early as possible is something you must prioritize to avoid further complications and issues to your house and your health.

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