Is mold hiding under that beautiful layer of expensive carpeting in your home? Can carpets encourage the growth of illness-causing mold? How can you tell if there is mold beneath your carpets and what can you do to get rid of it?
What is mold and why does it grow on carpets?
Mold is the general name for a category of fungi. There are several thousand different types of mold and they play a critical role in the decomposition of organic materials in nature. Most molds have a fuzzy black, white, orange, green, or purple appearance.
Mold spores are almost always present in the air, hence mold can potentially grow anywhere. But mold only actually grows where the conditions for its growth are met. To grow, mold needs high humidity, minimal sunlight exposure, and a food source.
Dawson Management team warns the carpet in your home can become a breeding ground for mold if it meets these conditions. Wall-to-wall carpeting is particularly susceptible to mold growth. There are two primary factors that encourage mold to grow on the carpet in any home.
Wet or damp areas on the carpet are more likely to breed mold. Carpets in every part of the home can hide mold if they are wet, but carpets in areas of the home with high humidity, such as basements, are at greater risk.
This has a bigger impact on mold growth than moisture. If a carpet is damp, the likelihood of mold growing on it is almost zero if the carpet is clean. A dirty carpet, on the other hand, encourages mold growth because dirt provides organic materials that mold feeds on. Mold spores are also transported by dirt. Also, dirt is hygroscopic (it absorbs atmospheric moisture) thereby increasing the chances that the carpet will be damp.
When mold grows on the carpet it is worse than mold growth in other areas of the home. That is, because we are almost always in contact with the carpet, especially if it is in the living room. Thus, there is greater exposure to the risk of mold illness with carpet mold.
How to know if there is mold in the carpet
Carpet mold is not easy to detect because it is not always visible. As a matter of fact, if carpet mold becomes visible, it is a sign that the problem is really bad. You can suspect carpet mold if the carpet in your home ticks most of the boxes below:
Mildew on the carpet
Mildew is often a precursor to mold. If there is mildew – whitish discolorations – on the carpet, you may also expect mold to follow.
If the carpet has a foul-smelling musty odor, you probably have mold lurking below the surface.
Recent water damage
The chances of carpet mold increase dramatically if your home was recently flooded, especially if the carpet was not cleaned and dried within 48 hours.
Wet carpet padding
If the padding underneath your carpet becomes damp, it will breed mold.
Visible mold growth
By the time mold becomes visible, the damage to the carpet is often beyond repair. Mold growth beneath a carpet is still more manageable.
Preventing and getting rid of carpet mold
The best way to deal with carpet mold is not to have it at all. How can you prevent carpet mold?
You can reduce humidity levels in vulnerable by using humidifiers.
Keep water away from carpets
Carpet that has been exposed to water must be properly cleaned and dried, within a few hours of water exposure.
Get rid of carpet
Do not install carpets in places where there is a high risk of mold. If you already have carpets in such places, remove them.
Choose quality padding
Rubber-slab carpet padding with anti-microbial qualities will inhibit mold. Installing them under your carpet reduces the risk of mold.
Use dry-cleaning for carpets
As much as possible, do not use cleaning methods that will bring moisture into contact with your carpet.
Removing carpet mold
Getting mold out of a carpet is difficult. If the mold growth is mild, you can get results by:
Sprinkling the carpet with baking soda
Use generous quantities of baking soda on those parts of the carpet with visible mold. This is mostly good for preventing odors and reducing moisture; it won’t actually kill the mold.
Spraying with vinegar
This will get you limited results since vinegar only kills some varieties of mold, not all of them. It will also remove mold stains from the carpet.
The best way to get rid of carpet mold
To remove carpet mold completely, you need an anti-mold treatment to kill the mold, followed by carpet cleaners to remove stains and odors. This process is best done by a professional because some anti-mold products will damage or discolor your carpet and other surfaces.
Carpet and flooring professionals know the best way to deal with the worst mold infestation without harming your carpet and other surfaces. Our staff will work with you to understand the origin of the problem so that any solutions we apply will be final.