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Blaine

05:27AM | 11/28/00
Member Since: 11/27/00
1 lifetime posts
Bvflooring
Wondering if anyone has any info on this. I own a house
that is just over 1 year old. I noticed mold growing on
the baseboards in 2 different places where I have vinyl
flooring. I cleaned the areas and it grew back with no
visible source of moisture. The house is very clean so it
is not a simple cleaning issue. I pointed this out during
my 1 year walk through. The builder removed the baseboard
and made sure there were no issues withing the walls. The
problem areas are not close to plumbing. Then I noticed
some purple spots appearing in various areas of the floor.
They do not clean off. A cousin of mine looked at them
and though they had seen a show about mold under vinyl
flooring that is direct on concrete. The builder followed
up but claimed they never heard of such a thing. I figured
someone on the Net must know.

Matches

01:11PM | 11/28/00
Member Since: 09/01/00
312 lifetime posts
I would question the builder as to how this was installed followed by warranty information on the vinyl product.I'm guessing that either there was an installation error or an inferior adhesive was used.

girldog

07:58PM | 01/06/01
Member Since: 01/06/01
14 lifetime posts
I do not think the installer laid a vapor barrier on your floor before laying down the vinyl. It is absolutely critical on a concrete floor, which 'sweats' a lot. Hound the builder until he or she answers your question. Put it in writing. Contact city a city inspector to check on building codes and their enforcement. good luck!

Lawrence

08:53PM | 01/08/01
Member Since: 11/14/00
333 lifetime posts
Actually, think simple first. If it is mold/mildew, try using s strong solution of bleach to kill it. It might just be a one-time problem that is spreading because you thought you cleaned it off, but didn't. NOTHING BUT BLEACH WILL KILL MOLD OR MILDEW. Even though you say cleanliness is not the problem, you might just be using the wrong cleaner. Pine "disinfectant" cleaners say they "prevent" mold, but they will not "kill" it or its spores once they takes root. (Even "Tilex Mildew Cleaner" has a very weak solution of bleach in it.) Some people claim vinegar kills mold, too, but that smells worse than mold when used as a cleaner. :-) Use bleach.

Next, because the mold first grew ABOVE the floor, not inside the floor, I suspect the problem has more to do with inadequate ventillation and cheap building materials than moisture seeping up through the concrete subfloor. Your builder is lying if he says he never heard of mold problems with vinyl flooring on concrete because it is a common problem, but I doubt that is the problem because it first appeared on your baseboards, not in/under your floor. You also usually cannot see the mold when it festers under the floor, as well; you can just smell it.

The culprit is probably cheap-o cabinets and baseboards that use mold-friendly materials and glues. The solution is to bleach it down every few weeks as a part of your cleaning regimen. Use any cleaner with bleach in it or dilute bleach down with water, yourself, and use it.

Next, ventillate and dehumidify the room. Mold only grows in humid, unventillated environments. Even if you do not get an electric dehumidifier unit, many home improvement centers sell a chemical dehumidifier that absorbs water and drip-drains it into a bucket that you empty every once in a while. (It will only work in a small room, though). For ventillation, keep the door to the room open as much as possible. Even using a simple box fan in the room to circulate the air will help ventillate the room and prevent it from getting too humid, thereby preventing the mold from growing.

Finally, if it is a bathroom, most building codes require that new-construction bathrooms have ventillation fans for this very reason. If your's does not have one, get your builder to install one to get it up to Code. If it does have one, then use it.

[This message has been edited by Lawrence (edited January 09, 2001).]

Oodi

04:53PM | 02/08/01
Member Since: 02/06/01
4 lifetime posts
A few months ago I had a linoleum floor glued on concrete in a bedroom. I also adhered self-adhering linoleum tiles in a bedroom because the concrete was creating dust. I haven't noticed a problem but I was concerned when I read this post. One thing I didn't understand was the comment about using a vapor barrier. I would assume its because the linoleum traps the water that the mold grows. So if you used a plastic underneath the linoleum, the water would still be trapped and I would imagine that the mold would still grow under the plastic.

I am planning another linoleum floor in the kitchen and would like to better understand the issues.

Thanks,
Oodi

Lawrence

11:45AM | 02/16/01
Member Since: 11/14/00
333 lifetime posts
Although this person's problem probably does not stem from water wicking up through the subfloor (and thus he does not need to use a vapor barrier), a vapor barrier will prevent air from getting to the water. Mold needs both a bit of air and water to grow in an unventilated environment. Vinyl lets that air in. Vinyl also lets the mold penetrate upwards into the living space, whereas a plastic vapor barrier should not, or at least will not allow it to escape so quickly. It also is not a perfect solution, but simply one that will delay needing to replace the flooring so soon.

However, water wicking up through the subfloor is a rare problem due to gravity. I have misdiagnosed it as the problem, only to find out that the problem and solutions were more obvious and simple than that. Ventiallation, Dehumidification, and bleach conquers most mold problems, especially on floors.

Lawrence

11:45AM | 02/16/01
Member Since: 11/14/00
333 lifetime posts
Although this person's problem probably does not stem from water wicking up through the subfloor (and thus he does not need to use a vapor barrier), a vapor barrier will prevent air from getting to the water. Mold needs both a bit of air and water to grow in an unventilated environment. Vinyl lets that air in. Vinyl also lets the mold penetrate upwards into the living space, whereas a plastic vapor barrier should not, or at least will not allow it to escape so quickly. It also is not a perfect solution, but simply one that will delay needing to replace the flooring so soon.

However, water wicking up through the subfloor is a rare problem due to gravity. I have misdiagnosed it as the problem, only to find out that the problem and solutions were more obvious and simple than that. Ventiallation, Dehumidification, and bleach conquers most mold problems, especially on floors.

girldog

07:51AM | 02/22/01
Member Since: 01/06/01
14 lifetime posts
Lawrence, upon re-reading the original post, I see that you are right. It is probably an indoor-air issue, i.e. ventilation etc. thank you for straightening that out.
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