The Relationship Between Carpets & Mold
No one wants mold growing in their home. If you suspect mold is present in your home, apartment, or commercial building, the wall-to-wall carpeting should be the first place you check. Learn what to look for, how to get mold out of carpet, and how to prevent future mold problems.
Why Is Carpet at Risk for Mold Growth?
Mold needs four things to grow: moisture, an organic food source, oxygen, and a surface to grow on. Damp wall-to-wall carpeting and rugs meet these criteria perfectly. After all, the dirt, dust, pet dander, and microorganisms that settle in your carpet provide ample organic material for mold to feed on. Add a little water to the mix, and you have a recipe for mold growth.
Carpet Mold Symptoms
Just because you can’t see mold on the carpet fibers doesn’t mean there’s not mold under the carpet pad. In fact, the only time you can see mold growing on the surface of the carpet is if you have unusually severe contamination. This means you need to dig a little deeper to find evidence of carpet mold. Here are the symptoms to watch for:
- Wet or water-damaged carpet: Flooding or a plumbing leak can result in standing water in carpeted areas. Unless you remove, clean, and dry the carpet within 24 to 48 hours, mold growth is very likely.
- Wet carpet padding: Even minimal moisture caused by high humidity or condensation beneath the carpet pad is enough for mold to grow.
- Odors and stains: Any discoloration or musty odor is a sign of carpet mildew or mold.
How to Get Mold Out of Carpet
Many times, once you discover carpet mold, it’s too late to salvage it. If the mold has spread several square feet, the carpet will likely need to be replaced.
Still, if you act quickly enough and the contamination hasn’t spread, it may be possible to get mold out of the carpet. Start by cleaning the carpet thoroughly with detergent and water in a steam-cleaning machine. Dry the carpet thoroughly to ensure mold doesn’t grow again. If detergent doesn’t work and you decide to try something stronger, test an inconspicuous area of the carpet first to ensure it doesn’t damage the fibers.
How to Prevent Mold in Carpet
Once the existing mold is cleaned up, avoid a recurrence with these tips:
- Avoid laying carpet in high-humidity areas: Basements, bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms are often inappropriate for carpeting. Stick to tile floors and area rugs to avoid the need to rip out contaminated wall-to-wall carpeting.
- Reduce indoor humidity: Run a dehumidifier to keep the relative humidity between 30 and 60 percent.
- Clean up water damage quickly: Remove, clean, and dry water-damaged carpet within 24 to 48 hours to prevent mold growth. Also, dry the carpet thoroughly after having it professionally steam cleaned.
Hire a Professional Mold Remediation Company
If you find mold growing under your carpet, it probably covers an extensive area. This means you should schedule professional mold remediation as quickly as possible. The longer you ignore the problem, the more you put your family, employees, or tenants at risk of adverse health effects.
Count on SERVPRO of Hollywood Hills/Los Feliz for mold remediation services. We assess the damage, address the source of moisture, remove contaminated items, and clean up salvageable belongings. Our goal is to restore a clean, safe, mold-free environment.