How to Get Mold Out of Carpet: Mold Remediation October 22, 2019 – Posted in: Blog
With so much traffic and activities going on the carpet, it isn’t surprising to know that it’s one of the filthiest parts of a home. For every square inch of carpeting, there are 200,000 bacteria present which is 700 times more than the number of bacteria thriving on your toilet seat. Eew! In addition to bacteria, carpets can also be a haven for mold and mildew. If your carpet smells musty, it’s very likely that it has mold on it. Aside from causing irreparable damage on your carpet, mold can also put your family at risk of health problems. Thus, knowing how to get mold out of carpet is very important.
In this guide, learn how to spot signs of mold build-up, how to deal with a moldy carpet, and some tips and tricks to keep it clean.
Dangers of Mold
There are many types of mold and most of them can pose a threat to your family’s health. They are often invisible which is why many cases of mold infestation are discovered too late.
Mold spores multiply by traveling through the air, infesting any surface they attach themselves to (such as your walls, cabinets, carpets, floors, etc.). When inhaled, mold spores can cause allergy symptoms in sensitive individuals. These include runny nose and eyes, and skin irritation.
Among the top dangers of mold spores is asthma. When they enter the lungs, they can trigger asthma. Sometimes, mold allergies have delayed symptoms, starting from frequent sneezing to nasal congestion, and worsening of asthma over time.
A common type of mold, which is the black mold, is highly toxic and can cause respiratory problems and poisoning. If ingested or inhaled, it can cause a wide range of unpleasant (and in some cases, dangerous) symptoms like chronic coughing, nasal congestion, persistent headache, and fatigue. If you live in a humid area or you have moisture problems in your home, you and your family are at risk of the dangers of black mold.
Mold exposure is also linked to depression. Yes, you read that right. In a groundbreaking study by Brown University, researchers have found a connection between damp and mold homes and depression. According to them, these toxins can affect the nervous system and the prefrontal cortex – the part of the brain that plays a role in memory, impulse control, socialization, and problem-solving.
Signs of Mold in the Carpet
Mold on carpets is difficult to deal with because they are unseen and unnoticeable, especially during the initial stage of infestation. It only takes 24 hours for mold spores to invade your carpet, after which, they grow rapidly. And by the time you find out about it, you already need to put in so much work to eliminate them.
Once you see mold spores on the carpet, you should clean it immediately. But what if you don’t see any visible stain? What do you do?
Detecting signs of mold growth is a skill. Fortunately, it isn’t very hard to master. Here are the signs to watch out for:
Musty smell – you may not see those familiar black or green patches all the time (especially if the mold is growing underneath your carpet). But if your carpet smells musty, it’s most likely that there is mold growth. A smelly carpet is one of the major signs of mold problems in your home.
Damp carpet – food spills on carpet are inevitable. But sometimes, if we don’t dry them soon enough, the moisture trapped underneath can cause mold build-up. Leaky pipes, especially in basements, can also lead to water-damaged carpets. Mold under carpets is hard to detect. If you have issues with water leaks at home, consider having them fixed immediately to avoid dealing with mold later on.
Discolored patches – you may also notice a change of color on some parts of your carpet. They can be white, black, or green. This suggests a major mold problem or infestation.
If you experience any of these signs, it’s time to take action. You can use a mold-testing kit to confirm the presence of mold.
Prevent Mold Growth in Carpet
They say prevention is better than cure. Cleaning mold takes time and money. Follow these easy steps on how to prevent mold:
Regularly inspect carpets
Checking your carpet once in a while should help you find mold issues before they get worse. Look for any discolored patches and turn it over to inspect the bottom for mold. Additionally, if you’re experiencing allergy symptoms whenever you’re near the carpet, you should start to suspect that there is mold. You should also inspect nearby areas for any sources of leaks such as damaged water fixtures and broken pipes. Furthermore, do not install carpets in areas that are subject to high moisture like the bathroom or kitchen.
Reduce indoor humidity
This is the first and most important step in mold prevention as well as in mildew prevention. The ideal humidity for a mold-free home is 60-65%. If you live in a humid area, you’ll benefit a lot from using dehumidifiers. A portable one can do the job but you can also invest in a whole-home dehumidifier if you have the budget. Install exhaust fans in your kitchen and bathroom, grow plants that absorb moisture. Regularly ventilate your house or room by opening doors and windows when possible. Clean your AC filters. These are highly effective ways to lower humidity levels in your home.
Keep your carpet clean
For a clean and mold-free carpet, the golden rule is to vacuum it twice a week and have it professionally cleaned at least once a year. Whenever possible, use a dry cleaner. If removing stains or spots using a liquid carpet cleaning product, make sure to dry it completely afterward. There are anti-mold carpet cleaners that come in handy when you have to deal with minor mold infestation. However, always check if you’re using the right type of carpet mold cleaner. Carpets made from different materials require different cleaning approaches.
Remove Mold from Carpet
It is easy to get mold out of carpet if it hasn’t reached the backing of the carpet yet or if the affected area is fairly small. Otherwise, it is best to leave the job to a professional carpet cleaner.
Here are some tips on how to get mold out of carpet safely and effectively:
Get your supplies and gears ready
To kill mold in carpet, you need a reliable cleaning solution. You can use cleaning supplies that you probably already have such as vinegar, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, or bleach. Alternately, you can purchase a carpet mildew remover or mold cleaner. Also, make sure you wear hand gloves and mask before you start with your carpet mold cleaning project.
Clean it thoroughly
If you’re using a commercial mold cleaning solution, follow the instructions carefully. If you’re using a homemade cleaner, you will likely need to dilute it with water. For example, if you’re using vinegar, mix one cup with two cups of water. Put the mixture in a spray bottle and spritz a light layer on the affected area. In most cases, you will have to scrub the area to completely clean mold out of carpets and rinse it with water.
The third and very important step in getting mold out of carpet is to dry it. You need to dry the carpet properly or else, mold will reoccur. If the carpet is removable, take it outdoors, under direct sunlight. The thicker your carpet, the longer the drying process will be. If it isn’t possible to remove the carpet, you need a tool to dry it such as a hairdryer or a blower. You can also hard-press cloth or rag on the wet area to absorb moisture. Open the doors and windows to ventilate the room and speed up drying time.
Get Musty Smell Out of the Carpet
Once you completely get mold out of carpet, the odor will eventually subside. But if you want to get mildew smell out of carpet quickly, there are several ways to do so. One is to treat the area once again with a cleaning solution. Vinegar is a good choice because it naturally eliminates the musty smell. Do not oversaturate the area and make sure to dry it completely to prevent the reoccurrence of mold. Another approach is to use a carpet odor remover which you can buy from your local hardware.
You can also pour baking soda on the treated area and leave it there, preferably overnight. Baking soda absorbs moisture really well, as well as the musty smell. You can also use
Moldy carpets are a common problem in many households. It is possible to get mold out of carpet using homemade or commercial cleaning solutions. But if you find it hard or impossible, particularly in the case of a major infestation, it’s best to hire professionals instead.
Note, however, that prevention is the best way to avoid mold on the carpet. By regularly inspecting and cleaning your carpet, and addressing moisture problems in your home, you’ll never have to deal with moldy carpets ever again!