When mold becomes embedded in carpet fibers, it’s nearly impossible to get rid of. It can grow fast in any damp area in your home, and once it gets a foothold in your carpet, you have to put a significant amount of time and effort into getting rid of it.
How Can You Tell If Your Carpet Has Mold?
If you and your family are having a higher than average incidence of respiratory problems, asthma, or bronchitis, and the walls, floors, and basement of your home are otherwise mold free, your carpet may be the culprit. A damp carpet and possible leak from the floor underneath it is a good conduit for mold. Musty odors may be present after a time, but may not be immediately apparent if you spend a lot of time indoors. When mold growth is at an advanced stage, you can start to see it, as discolored patches of white, green or black appear on your carpet. Those patches are mold spores multiplying in your home. If you are still unsure, you can use a mold testing kit to confirm its presence.
How Can You Remove Mold From Your Carpet?
Carpets, like any other fabric, are porous, meaning they have thousands of microscopic holes for mold to live and thrive in. If you clean your carpet with a professional carpet cleaner it may look and feel clean to the naked eye, but mold spores will remain hidden and active, and musty odors, discoloration, and illness are likely to make their way back into your home in no time. Professional carpet cleaning tools also leave floor coverings damp for a day or two after cleaning, which bodes well for continued mold growth. The floor underneath your carpet may also be at fault if there is a hidden leak. Moldy carpets and the padding underneath must be ripped out and replaced, and if there is mold coming from your floorboards, it is best to call in a professional and certified mold remediation and removal expert to do the job.
Best Way To Keep Your Carpet Mold-Free
The best defense is a good offense—keep mold out of your home from the get-go by checking for and repairing any potential leaks and maintaining humidity within a 30% to 60% range of with the help of a dehumidifier. Don’t install carpet in rooms where humidity is higher (i.e., bathrooms or kitchens) and mold can proliferate. It’s also best not to skimp on padding—anti-microbial, rubber-slab padding is pricey, but worth it in the long run, as it helps prevent mold growth, particularly in humid climates. If your carpet is exposed to standing water caused by spills or leaks, clean and dry the area immediately, and when it needs a good scrub overall, opt for a dry cleaner when possible. If you must use a wet cleaner, make sure your carpet dries as thoroughly and quickly as possible.