Carpet is the perfect hiding place for mold. It supplies everything mold needs to grow, under cover yet dangerously close to you and your family.
Mold needs a few conditions to thrive: moisture, a food source, and oxygen. Unfortunately, these conditions are found in every indoor space, from offices to residences, with carpet.
Mold is responsible for health issues like coughing, runny nose, skin rashes, and shortness of breath. It can also weaken your home by eating away at structural materials.
There is no way to rid your home of mold completely. It is in the air and settles on household surfaces. When combined with the conditions above and without routine carpet cleaning, your carpet becomes a breeding ground for mold. Therefore, monitoring the atmosphere is the only way to limit the possibility of mold in your carpet.
Identifying Signs of Mold in Your Carpet
Of all the things mold needs, moisture is the key ingredient. Moisture can come from leaks, spills, or even high humidity in your home. Mold can grow on virtually any surface, whether soft or hard, organic or synthetic.
Carpet fibers are absorbent by nature, so it is natural that they would soak up excess moisture if it is not removed right away. This quality makes carpet more likely than other household surfaces to develop mold.
What to Look For
What’s dangerous about mold in carpet is that it can stay hidden within the carpet fibers indefinitely. You may never know it’s there unless you recognize other symptoms of mold in your carpet:
- Discoloration – Stains and dark spots in your carpet can be a sign of an undiscovered leak. Or it could be a sign of mold that is growing just below the surface.
- Wetness – Carpet that is wet to the touch (or if you can tell the padding beneath is wet) is cause for immediate action. If you can get rid of the moisture before it gives mold a foothold, consider yourself fortunate.
- Odors – Mold gives of a musty odor that is fairly distinct. However, if something besides pure water is the cause of the moisture, it can leave behind its own odor. For example, pet accidents can be the cause of wetness and odors, then the moisture can lead to mold, which has its own odor.
- Carpet in rooms that are below ground level – In general, carpet in these areas needs to be monitored carefully because mold is so common. Whether this is a basement, cellar, or storm shelter, pay close attention to the humidity and ventilation.
Of course, visible mold growth is a dead giveaway that there is mold in your carpet. A case this severe could also mean that the mold colony has made its way through the fibers and all the way down to the carpet backing.
Mold will appear green, blue, purple, or pink, but most commonly black. This doesn’t necessarily mean it is more dangerous than other mold colors. In close quarters, all mold is toxic.
How to Prevent Mold in Carpet
As we alluded to earlier, prevention is the key to controlling mold in your home. It is easy to put mold-prevention techniques into place in your home. Here are a few ways to keep mold at bay:
- Reduce humidity – Reducing humidity throughout your home with dehumidifiers will prevent mold growth, especially in basements and poorly ventilated areas. It can also ease the symptoms of respiratory issues unrelated to mold allergies.
- Carpet cautiously – Don’t install it in a room that is likely to develop mold. This obviously includes the bathroom and kitchen, and most people would agree that carpet is a poor choice for the basement as well. Remove carpet in other rooms (like the bedroom or living room) if you are concerned about mold getting into your carpet.
- Don’t skimp on the padding – High quality carpet padding can prevent the growth of mold. It costs a little more upfront, but it can save you a lot of money in mold removal or carpet replacement later on. Look for solid rubber carpet padding with anti-microbial defenses.
- Routine carpet cleaning – Be sure to have a professional service like A+ Restoration & Cleaning perform carpet cleaning at least once each year to ensure no food or organic debris remains in the carpet fibers for too long of a period of time.
- Remove moisture ASAP – This includes standing water and minor spills. There is a direct correlation between how long moisture stays on the carpet and how severe its effects will be. If flooding has occurred, the type of water that flooded the carpet is also significant in determining the severity of damage. Black and gray water carry bacteria, viruses, and toxins, so if these types of dirty water flood your carpet, it can be much worse than if a clean-water pipe bursts.
Removing Mold from Carpet
If you suspect there is mold in your carpet, you will want to call A+ Restoration & Cleaning and schedule an on-site inspection to determine if there is mold in your carpet or anywhere else in your home. If the inspection indicates there is mold in the carpet, we offer a demo-free mold remediation service with dry fog technology able to remove mold spores from all surfaces in a home.