Signs of mold, and mold prevention and cure methods
When we’re asked, “Can mold grow on carpet?” the answer is a definite yes.
In fact, carpets are among the household items most at risk from mold, which needs warmth, moisture and a food source to grow – carpets often provide all three. A damp spot often goes unnoticed. Carpets are warm (which is why we have them). Dust gathers in carpet fibers to produce food for mold spores to live off. Especially at risk are carpets in basements, where you will probably be most nervous of mold growing on your basement walls.
If mold can easily grow on carpet, it is best to know how to remove it; and even more importantly, to know how to prevent mold on carpet. This article answers both questions.
How do I remove mold from carpet?
Mold is notoriously difficult to remove from carpet, so if the mold infestation on your carpet is large, it is likely that the carpet will need to be replaced. If you are lucky and have caught the mold growth early, you should follow the seven-step process we detailed in our blog “Cleaning 101: How do I remove mold from my carpet?”. As a reminder:
- Wear protective clothing.
- Dry the carpet.
- Remove mold with a stiff brush.
- Use an anti-mold spray on both sides of the carpet to help prevent a return.
- Repeat step 4.
- Dehumidify the room for 48 hours.
- Clean up, replace the carpet, and take measures to prevent mold from returning.
Removing mold from carpet is hard work, which is one reason why people with a carpet mold problem often call professionals to tackle the job.
Prevention of mold on carpet is the best cure
They say that prevention is the best cure, and when it comes to mold and carpets this is certainly the case. Maintaining good ‘housekeeping’ habits will save you a lot of heartache, hard work and cost. Here are five things to do to prevent mold from making a home in your carpet.
1. Reduce humidity in your home
Use dehumidifiers to reduce air moisture to 30% to 60%. Humidity above this is perfect for mold spores to thrive.
2. Keep carpets out of high-humidity areas
Don’t install carpets where humidity is likely to be high in your home, such as bathrooms and kitchens.
3. Install antibacterial padding
When installing carpets, spend a little extra on high-quality antibacterial padding. This will help in your fight against mold, which loves to grow under carpets.
4. Clear up spills quickly
If liquid is spilled on your carpet, clear it up and dry it quickly. Don’t allow it to stand. You should also clean and dry the padding underneath.
5. Have carpets cleaned professionally
When the time comes to give your carpets a thorough clean, consider having professionals do the job for you. One of the most common reasons for mold growth in carpet is shampoo that was too wet, and consequently took too long to dry. By the time it dries out, the mold has already started to multiply.
How do I know my carpet is moldy?
Even if you are habitual with all the above mold prevention habits, it may still not be enough to prevent mold growing in your carpet. Because the speed at which you tackle a mold infestation can make the difference between getting rid of mold on carpet or getting rid of your carpet, you should be wary of the signs of mold in your carpet:
· Visible signs of mold
Usually mold hides in carpet, but you may spot blackening, discoloration, or those furry spore growths. If you suspect that your carpet may be harboring mold, you should inspect underneath as well as looking for signs on the surface.
· Wetness or dampness
If your carpet is wet or damp, it is a target for mold spores. If you have suffered flooding, you should have the carpet removed, cleaned and dried.
· Wet padding
If you notice the padding beneath your carpet is damp, it is at risk from mold. You should figure out why the padding is damp, and deal with the cause. You may need to replace the padding and the carpet.
· A musty odor
One of the first signs of mold or mildew is a musty smell. If you notice this, don’t wait for visual confirmation – call the professionals in to examine your carpet and remove the mold if possible.
Prevention of mold is better than curing it. However, if you find your carpet is suffering from a mold infestation, you’ll need to assess whether the mold can be removed effectively, or if you need to replace the carpet. For help assessing for mold, removing it, and preventing it in the New Jersey area, call Porter’s Cleaning. We’ve got the tools and experience to ensure a carpet that can be saved form mold is saved.