How to Tell If You Have Mold Under the Linoleum

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Things You'll Need

  • Hair dryer

  • Paint scraper

Mold thrives on the glue underneath damp linoleum.

Mold colonies create mold spores that travel on the air and can easily be breathed in. People with weak immune systems can fall severely ill when they inhale mold, which is why mold can be such a danger in a household. Unfortunately, mold may prove insidious, and mold growing under linoleum flooring can be especially difficult to detect. If the flooring underneath the linoleum becomes saturated, mold spores can thrive and sustain themselves on the glue holding the tile to the floor. Fortunately, there are ways to tell if you have mold growing underneath linoleum.


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Step 1

Smell the air in the room. Mold gives off a distinct, musty odor that often serves as the first clue to an infestation.

Step 2

Examine the linoleum for any visible indicators that may warn of mold underneath. Look for black growth coming from the edges of the linoleum, as well as discoloration or bubbling of the material. Inspect for water stains or other signs of water damage, as mold grows underneath linoleum when moisture becomes trapped between the flooring and the sub-floor.


Step 3

Pry up a small section of linoleum to get a good look underneath. Heat a corner of the linoleum with a hair dryer to loosen its adhesive. Gently pry the end of the linoleum up with a paint scraper. Examine the underside of the linoleum for mold.


Even moving very slowly, you can damage linoleum when prying it off the ground. Only raise the flooring if other signs point to a possible mold infestation.