How To Remove Mold From Carpet

Indoor mold can make life in our homes very dangerous. Here are some cleaning tips for getting mold out of carpet.

Mold is a fungus that occurs naturally in the environment. It eats and grows in damp or moist areas. It feeds on decaying matter such as dead leaves or trees on the forest floor. Mold can digest what it grows on and can do some serious damage in our homes. It can eat into paper, cloth, carpet, rugs, and even our walls and ceilings. Mold in nature can be very beneficial, but indoor mold can make life in our homes very dangerous.

Some names of common indoor molds include peniccillium, cladosporium, mucor, alternaria, and aspergillus. These common indoor molds can come in many different colors: black, red, orange, white, yellow, blue, brown, or violet. They can grow year-round and live in warm and humid conditions. Mold can appear in patches or a speckled-type of growth. The area where the mold is growing will also have a musty smell.

The dangers of mold contact are many. If mold is touched or inhaled, it can cause symptoms like wheezing, stuffy nose, eye or throat irritation, severe allergic reactions, and even serious lung problems.

There are many ways in which to prevent mold growth in the first place. Reduce the humidity in your home to between 30 and 60 percent. Use a dehumidifier if you have to. Never install carpeting in areas where there is always a moisture problem, such as in bathrooms. When cleaning your carpet with a machine that uses water always be sure that the area is thoroughly dried or this can cause mold growth. If there is flooding or a water spill, the area must be dried within 24 to 48 hours to prevent mold growth. Mold causes more damage the longer it is allowed to sit so clean these areas as soon as possible.

Whenever dealing with mold and mildew, always wear protective gear. Never touch mold or moldy items with your bare hands. Wear gloves that extend to the middle of the forearm. Goggles, without ventilation holes, are a must to keep mold and mold spores from getting into your eyes.

The first step in cleaning up moldy situations is to find the source of excess water and moisture. Look for any roof or plumbing leaks or flood damage that still needs to be cleaned up or fixed. Be sure to check the air ducts in your home. Heating/ventilation/air conditioning systems can spread mold throughout the rest of the house. This step must be completed before any cleaning will have any effect.



The second step is to determine if the area of mold growth is small enough that you can take care of it yourself or if you should hire a professional. If the area of mold growth is more than 1 to 10 square feet, you should definitely hire a professional. When looking for a specialist in carpet and rug cleaning, make sure that they are specially trained in dealing with mold problems.

The third step, if attempting cleaning on your own, is to begin the cleaning process. If the area is a very small area, you can try cleaning the carpet with a simple solution of detergent and water in a steam-cleaning machine. Wet the surface and suck up the water, repeat until the water starts coming out clear. If detergent and water doesn't work try some original liquid Lysol and water. Use Lysol only if it doesn't trigger your allergies.

Another method to try is quite a bit more dramatic. You can use a sanitizing agent such as hypochlorite, or household bleach. The solution is made with 1 cup bleach to 1 gallon of water. This solution can be used on hard surfaces as well as carpets and rugs. To be effective the solution must remain on the surface for 15 minutes. For indoor or outdoor carpeting and rugs you must remove them from the home and place them on a flat area such as the carport or driveway. Hose both sides well to remove dirt and soil. Dump several buckets of the bleach solution on each side and scrub with a broom or hard bristled tool. Rinse both sides well, and remove as much water as possible with a wet/dry vacuum or another cleaner that will pull water. Allow the carpet or rug to dry thoroughly.

Whichever method you choose, always dry the area completely by opening all windows, using a heater, fan, or dehumidifier. This is very important, or the mold will just grow back. Remember to check for colorfastness in an inconspicuous area 24 hours before doing a complete clean.

It is a good idea to know what kind of flooring is under your carpet. If it is something that will be ruined by wetting the floor, even for a short time, you might want to reconsider or be very careful not to use very much water.

Materials, such as carpets and rugs, may have to be thrown away if they become too moldy. Mold grows in the spaces and crevices of porous materials and can keep growing back. It may be difficult, if not impossible to remove. Replacing carpet may be the only way that you can guarantee that mold will not still grow in the area.

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