IS THERE MOLD IN YOUR CARPET?
Mold grows pretty much everywhere and is often found growing in homes as it favors the same conditions that we do.
Why Mold Commonly Grows on Carpet
Mold loves to grow anywhere there is moisture and carpets can easily get wet and stay damp for long periods providing the perfect conditions for mold. Carpets also provide food, oxygen and the right temperature.
As mold needs to feed on organic matter natural fiber carpets and rugs are more prone to mold than synthetic ones but as mold can easily feed on the dead skin cells found in dust even having a synthetic carpet won’t keep you safe from mold.
How to Identify Early Signs of Mold in Carpet
Detecting mold in a carpet can be difficult as it often grows beneath the surface and while it only takes a few days to grow it can be weeks before it becomes visible on the surface. Because carpet mold often grows under the surface by the time it is visible it can be a major job to get rid of it and it may even be that the carpet is not salvageable. Therefore being aware of the early signs of mold and treating it immediately is vitally important if you want to avoid the expense of replacing your carpet.
If you suspect your carpet might have mold you can get a mold testing kit to confirm the issue.
Early signs of mold growth and things to watch out for include:
Mold needs moisture to grow and wet carpet provides the perfect environment for mold to grow and thrive. Carpets are also really good at absorbing moisture and can, therefore, stay wet for an extended period of time, especially in damp areas of your home such as bathrooms, basements, or anywhere you might have a leak.
If you notice your carpet is damp you should address the issue as quickly as possible ensuring it’s fully dried out ideally within 24 hours.
Although mold can be hard to spot you may well notice the smell. If you notice a musty smell, or any visitors do, then it’s a good idea to check for mold as quickly as possible. Mold can spread fast and ignoring the smell can quickly lead to a much bigger problem.
Remember that mold is quite often not visible on the surface of the carpet and it’s important to check both sides if you suspect you might have a mold issue.
The smell of mold is mainly due to microbial volatile organic compounds (MVOC) produced by the mold during digestion growth and reproduction but may also be due to mold spores in the air.
If you can see mold growing on your carpet then you definitely have a mold issue that needs to be addressed. Visible mold can be a sign of much greater mold growth beneath the surface so make sure you check the underside of the carpet and treat it there as well.
One sign that you may have hidden mold in your home is if you start to develop health problems associated with mold such as allergy symptoms, breathing problems, sore or itchy eyes, a cough, a runny or stuffy nose or skin irritation.
Although these symptoms could all be a result of other things, a tell tale sign they may be caused by mold include symptoms getting worse in certain rooms or better when you’re not at home.
While most people don’t suffer too much from mold others can have much more serious reactions. Children are particularly susceptible and may even develop asthma as a result of breathing in too many mold spores.
If you’re still not sure if there is mold in your carpet, Pure Air Mold Remediation offers mold testing and air quality inspections for homes and businesses near Lexington KY.
How to Remove Mold From Carpet
Removing mold from carpet, particularly fitted carpet isn’t always an easy task. If you discover mold you need to assess whether the carpet is salvageable. If so it needs to be thoroughly cleaned to make sure you get rid of all mold and dried thoroughly to make sure the problem doesn’t come back.
When cleaning mold you need to make sure you isolate the area to stop the mold spores you disturb traveling to other areas. Making sure you change filters will also help prevent the spread. It is also really important to protect yourself by wearing gloves, eye protection and a face mask.
Hiring a Professional Mold Remediation Service
In severe cases it is always advisable to employ the services of a mold remediation expert. They will be able to assess the situation and advice if you need to replace the carpet or padding if it is beyond saving.
Professionals will not only be better able to identify the type of mold growth and the extent of the problem but they also have access to specialist tools and materials and all the safety equipment required.
DIY Mold Removal
If you choose to get rid of mold yourself there are a number of options you can choose from, both natural and chemical.
Scrubbing with vinegar and then sprinkling with baking soda and leaving overnight is a great natural option for dealing with small areas. And hiring a steam cleaner can also be a good DIY solution.
Diluted bleach or special mold solutions can be used if you prefer a chemical option.
Tips to Prevent Mold Growth
If you don’t have carpet mold or have dealt with the problem the best thing you can do is focus on prevention.
- Use a dehumidifier regularly to keep humidity levels as low as possible.
- Make sure your home is well ventilated. Again this will help with moisture levels.
- Vacuum regularly to reduce the amount of organic matter available.
- Don’t install carpets in areas where moisture is often present. Carpets in bathrooms and basements are a bad idea, and rugs in those areas should be regularly cleaned to prevent mold growth.
- Choose a synthetic carpet.
- Pick carpet underlay or padding that is moisture resistant. You can even buy padding with anti-microbial properties which although more expensive can save you time, money and hassle in the long run.
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