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How to Get Rid of Moldy Carpeting Once and For All

How to Get Rid of Moldy Carpeting Once and For All

Is mold growing in your house? If so, getting rid of it as soon as possible is an absolute must. Mold produces airborne spores, which can negatively impact your home’s air quality, and exposure to those spores can cause serious health issues. When mold growth occurs on hard surfaces, such as concrete, brick, or tile, getting rid of it is usually as easy as scrubbing it down with a cleaning solution and a brush; however, it mold is growing on soft surfaces, such as the fibers of your carpets or rugs, eradicating it can be a serious hassle. Mold and the spores that it produces can measure as small as three microns in size. As such, mold can infiltrate the smallest spaces of soft surfaces, such as wood, linens, furniture, and even carpeting and rugs. Scrubbing these surfaces is an ineffective way to remove mold spores.

In order to get rid of mold from your carpets or rugs, you need to use special cleaning techniques and strategies. To learn more about mold growth in carpets, including how it occurs and what you can do to get rid of it, keep on reading.

How does mold grow on carpets?

Mold is a living, naturally-occurring organism that is classified as a fungus. It spreads by releasing miniscule spores that aren’t visible to the naked eye. These spores are all around us, including inside your home. In order to grow, mold spores needs just a few key elements:

  • Moisture
  • An organic food source
  • Dim lighting
  • Warm temperatures (above freezing)

It’s actually pretty common for mold growth to occur in carpeting and rugs. That’s because the fibers that carpets and rugs are made of are organic, so they act as a source of food. Additionally, those fibers are porous in nature, and as such, they are very good at trapping moisture. Underneath carpeting, the lighting is quite dim, and typically, the temperatures are above freezing. For all of these reasons, it’s easy to see why carpeting and rugs are prone to mold growth.

Mold growth can occur on carpets whenever they get wet. Obviously, floods or pipe leaks that spread to these flooring materials can increase the risk of mold growth; however, moisture development doesn’t have to be that obvious. For example, if a drink spills, a pet has an accident, or wet feet walk across a carpet or floor, moisture can get trapped in the fibers. For this reason, whenever carpeting or rugs are exposed to any degree of moisture, thoroughly drying them out is imperative. You can use fans, hot air driers, or a dehumidifier to attempt to dry out these flooring materials; however, even with these efforts, thoroughly drying these surfaces out can be virtually impossible, and as such, the risk of mold growth to occur increases.

Carpets and rugs that are located in areas where they don’t receive much attention – underneath a heavy piece of furniture, in front or inside of a closet, or in corners that are within close proximity to a bathroom or kitchen, for example – are more likely to experience mold growth. Why? – Because flooring in these locations usually go unnoticed, which means that mold spores have plenty of time to accumulate and can then grow.

Why mold growth on carpets is a big problem

Any type of indoor mold growth can lead to serious problems, the reason largely being that the spores that it produces can negatively impact your home’s indoor air quality. Breathing in mold spores can lead to serious health issues, particularly in those who are sensitive to mold, such as individuals who have allergies or who have an underlying respiratory health problem, such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), individuals who have a sensitivity to mold can develop upper respiratory symptoms, increased symptoms related to asthma, eye irritation, nasal congestion, and a number of other adverse health effects. In a study that was conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO), several studies that examined the effects of mold growth on human health were assessed, and it was determined that there was a correlation between the presence of mold and respiratory symptoms, as well as the exacerbation of asthma-related symptoms. It has also been found that exposure to mold spores can trigger allergic reactions in individuals who suffer from old allergies.

Given all of these findings, mold growth in carpeting can be extremely problematic. If mold is growing underneath it, whenever the carpet is walked on, the spores can be loosened and released out into the air. As a result, carpet mold growth can significantly reduce your home’s indoor air quality and can increase the risk of adverse health effects.

In addition to the health-related issues that carpet mold growth can cause, it can also pose a number of other issues. For instance, mold spores produce a musty, mildew-like odor, which can easily spread throughout your entire home. It can also damage the surface that it grows on, as it feeds on the material, which can break it down and decrease its structural integrity. When mold growth occurs underneath a carpet, not only can it damage the carpet itself, but it can also damage the wood, tile, or subfloor that it is covering, as well as baseboards and even the lower portions of walls.

Is there anything I need to consider prior to trying to eliminate carpet mold?

Before you attempt to take on the task of removing mold growth from your carpets, remember that the process can be quite difficult. While it may be pretty easy to remove from hard surfaces, like underneath appliances and tiles, when it comes to removing it from soft surfaces like carpets or rugs, removing mold can be a serious challenge. When it comes to softer organic materials, however, such as drywall, gypsum, insulation – and of course, carpeting and rugs, as well as the padding underneath – removing the mold can be a serious challenging. In fact, it can be so difficult and virtually impossible that the vast majority of mold remediation companies recommend getting rid of mold-infested items of this nature and replacing them. Therefore, if mold is growing on your carpets or rugs, you should seriously consider replacing them. If it’s smaller throw rugs that have been impacted, unless you can wash and thoroughly dry them, get rid of those, too.

When removing mold-riddled carpeting and rugs, make sure that you protect yourself with essential protective gear, such as gloves, safety goggles, and a respirator mask, as needed. The process of removing carpeting, rugs, and underlying padding can release mold spores, and thus, they can circulate throughout your home’s air, and you or someone love can breathe them in.

Another option that you might want to consider instead of the DIY approach is getting in touch with contractors to receive mold remediation estimates. Removing mold growth from carpets or rugs is a dirty, frustrating, and can be a very time-consuming task that might require purchasing or renting different types of tools and the use of certain kinds of chemicals. As such, hiring a mold remediation professional who specializes in the removal of mold growth will know exactly how to address the problem so that you can improve the health of your home’s indoor air quality. Plus, while it may cost you a fee to hire a mold remediation expert, in the long run, it will actually end up being cheaper than the DIY approach. Since you don’t have to worry about making mistakes and you can have confidence knowing that the job will be done the right way the first time around.

DIY Moldy Carpet Removal

The cost of hiring a professional mold remediation company to remove moldy carpeting from your home varies and depends on a variety of factors, such as where you live and the amount of carpeting that needs to be removed; however, on average, it can cost about $2,000 or more. While having a pro do the job for you is the preferred method, if you taking the DIY approach is something that you want to try, here are some tips that you can use to make sure the process is done properly and goes as smoothly as possible.

  • Make sure the area is properly ventilated. In order to prevent mold from spreading, the space needs to be well-ventilated, otherwise the mold spores that will be loosened when pulling up the carpeting will spread to other parts of your home, further exacerbating the problem. To prevent this from happening, make sure that all doors are closed, put up plastic sheeting to block areas where there are gaps, open windows, and use fans to blow the air out of your house.
  • Remove as much of the mold that you can visibly see with a stiff brush. Sweep up the mold into a bag and dispose of it. A vacuum that features HEPA filtration would be useful, but there is still a chance that mold spores will remain inside the vacuum or that they will spread to other parts of your home the next time you run the vacuum cleaner.
  • Scrub down the area that has been impacted with a cleanser. Bleach isn’t necessary or even recommended. Instead, use a cleanser that is recommended for mold removal.
  • Let the carpet dry out completely.
  • Use a vacuum that feature HEPA filtration on the carpet after it has fully dried out in order to remove as many remaining mold spores as possible.
  • Apply an anti-fungal coating to the carpeting to slow future mold growth. These coatings are available as sprays and they can be purchased at most major and local hardware stores.
  • Use a steam cleaner to clean the carpet, as the heat will kill the mold.
  • Use a cleanser that is made of baking soda and vinegar to clean the affected area. This solution can help to kill some of the mold spores, as well as eliminate some of the musty smell.

 

Contact a Professional Mold Inspection Company

Whether you remove the carpeting yourself or you hire a professional to do the job for you, one thing that you are definitely going to want to do is hire a professional mold inspection company. After the affected carpeting has been treated, it’s wise to hire a professional to test for additional mold growth in your home, as the spores may have spread to other areas. Mold Inspection and Testing (MI&T), the country’s most trusted mold inspection company, will perform a comprehensive assessment of your home to determine if mold spores are present, and if so, will provide you with tips that you can use to effectively eliminate the problem.

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