Have you noticed more frequent asthma attacks? Have you started experiencing symptoms similar to those of allergies? This could be a result of mold in your carpet.
Mold in carpet can be quite difficult to notice. It’s not always visible and it sometimes grows inside the pad itself or the fibers. No matter what, it is important to remove and exterminate the mold. Through our ultimate guide on how to clean mold from carpet you will learn how to handle this phenomenon.
Is Carpet Mold Dangerous?
Mold, itself, could be dangerous to your health when found indoors. However, it is a naturally occurring fungus that grows not only indoors, but also outside.
Not everyone will be affected by exposure to mold, however, people with mold allergies or immunocompromised systems are more at risk to developing infections if exposed for a prolonged amount of time.
The Institute of Medicine found that mold can be linked to respiratory tract symptoms in their 2004 study. It caused healthy individuals to begin coughing and wheezing, while those with asthma had more frequent asthma attacks.
Continuous exposure to carpet mold is very hazardous because of the chemical reactions in the mold cells. Our health is at a greater risk if placement of the carpet is in the most used living spaces, such as the bedroom or living room.
How to Identify Carpet Mold
There are multiple signs to identify mold if it is not visible on the surface of the carpet. These include the following:
Visible mold growth: Mold can grow on the fibers of the carpet, though the fungus prefers a darker environment. Make sure to always check underneath the carpet as well as the padding.
Mildew in carpet: Mildew is the beginning of a mold problem. The two can be identified and differentiated by their different colors. Mold is black, blue, red or green in color. While mildew is white.
Water Damages: Within a time span of 24-48 hours, mold will begin to grow if the carpet is exposed to water. Fast action is required in this case.
Stains and Odors: Once you start noticing a musty, foul and sour odor be sure to check for mold. These are common odors associated with mold. Stains and discoloration on the carpet could also be a sign, however you can always get a sample test done but professionals.
Mold does not mean the end of your carpet. In this guide we will show you how to revive your carpet to make it look fresh and new once more.
How to Naturally Remove Mold from Carpet
If you have children or pets, a more natural approach would be best suited to remove mold instead of using harsh chemicals. The only products you will need are baking soda, vinegar and ventilation.
First: Inspect Your Carpet
With the help of your guide, determine whether you have mold growing on the carpet. Find out where it is growing, the fiber or the padding. Make sure to thoroughly inspect the carpet on all sides.
Second: Ventilation is Key
Mold grows in dark, moist and warm environments. Opening a window or turning on a fan can help reduce the humidity levels in the room and reduce the chance of mold forming. This also eliminates the odor that can occur.
Third: Sprinkle with Baking Soda
Mold needs a moist environment to grow, using baking soda can eliminate this crucial growing factor.
Baking soda is a great product to fight odors and absorb moisture. Use a generous amount on the mold infected area of the carpet and then leave it overnight to strongly combat the outbreak. Don’t forget to vacuum up the baking soda in the morning.
A great substitute for baking soda is cat litter, as this also has liquid absorbing properties.
Lastly: Finish with Vinegar
Vinegar is used for many different reasons, it can also help remove mold stains. Vinegar is a healthier and cheaper option to remove mold, although it won’t be effective against all species of mold.
Do be careful when using vinegar if you own hardwood flooring. It can have a negative effect and ruin the hardwood.
The best method is to fill a spray bottle with vinegar and use a stiff brush. Apply vinegar lightly to the affected area and scrub. Dry it with a fan or blow dryer to get rid of the moisture.
How To Clean Mold from Carpet Using Chemicals
A more effective way to eliminate mold is through the use of chemicals. Sometimes professional help is required.
If the steps from above are not helping, try out one of the following methods:
Use an Anti-Mold Treatment
Most hardware stores have anti-mold cleaners. Online websites, such as Amazon and Home Depot, also sell a variety of cleaners.
Make sure to pick a product that is safe for carpets. One meant for kitchens and bathrooms could damage and discolor your carpet.
Concrobium Duo Blast, is one of our personal favorite products to use. It combines two formulas that work brilliantly against mold and mildew. Additionally, it will remove the left over stains.
If you would like to prevent future mold growth, you can get “encapsulates” or “mold-barriers”. They leave a thin protective layer on the carpet to prevent mold from forming.
You can also create your own mold-blasting solution using half a cup of color-safe bleach in a gallon of water.
As you will be using bleach, first test it on an inconspicuous area.
Use the anti-mold treatment as instructed. Don’t forget bleach should not be left on the stain for more than a couple of minutes. Using a stiff brush, scrub and blot at the spot. Repeat this as many times as necessary.
Carpet Cleaning Products
To battle odors and stains left by mold and mildew, carpet cleaners are very effective products to use. You can get these at home improvement, hardware and supply stores.
Always make sure the product is safe for your carpet before you invest in something. This information can be found on the label or in the description of the product.
ZEP High-traffic Carpet Cleaner is one carpet cleaner that uses enzymes to break down stains and odors, it is also one of our favorite cleaners to use.
Always follow the instructions. Some cleaners have to sit for a while, whereas others you can rinse straight at the end.
Apply Chlorine Dioxide
Chlorine dioxide is a chemical that is commonly found in mold cleaners and is very effective at removing mold. Do use this with caution as it can discolor the carpet.
Chlorine dioxide can irritate eyes and lungs if not used properly. To prevent side effects from the vapors, be sure to use the treatment in a well-ventilated area and stop when you start to feel out of breath or start coughing.
We strongly suggest testing this out on a small area, following instructions and allowing the spot to fully dry. Some products should be removed through the use of a wet or dry vacuum.
Rent a Steam Cleaner
Mold can be easily removed and killed through the high temperatures created by a steam cleaner. You can hire these from your local hardware stores.
Use a blow dryer or fan to get rid of the excess moisture on the carpet after using a steam cleaner. This prevents new mold from growing.
Keep In Mind
Steam and hot water could damage your carpet, even causing shrinkage. Only use the correct machinery for this type of job.
Leave It to the Professionals.
It’s never wrong to ask for help from professionals. They can identify the mold in the carpet and treat it more easily. They also know which equipment to use to combat carpet mold.
Professionals often use dry ice blasting. This method uses dry ice, the solid form of carbon dioxide, by applying it to the affected area with a pressurized machine.
If You’re Out Of Options
If you are not able to remove the mold completely through the methods mentioned above, you would likely have to discard the carpet.
If the infected areas are still small, you can always cut them off and throw only them away. This can also be left to professionals.
Make sure to leave an additional 12 inches when cutting the carpet on all sides to ensure all the mold is gone.
How to Prevent Carpet Mold
The most effective way to treat mold is to prevent it from forming in the first place. The following tips will outline how to prevent future mold outbreaks:
1. Increase Ventilation
By keeping a fan or opening windows throughout the day, you can increase ventilation in the house keeping mold and mildew at bay. The recommended time for ventilation is 2 hours each day.
Mind The Weather
Humidity can cause mold to reform. Make sure to keep windows shut when it’s cloudy and rainy outside.
2. Use a Dehumidifier
Placing a dehumidifier in the room where the carpet is can help control the humidity of the area. Leave it running during the night and it will remove moisture and keep the carpet dry.
You can even place one next to a fan to blow dry the carpet after you finish the cleaning treatment.
3. Treat Sources of Moisture
Anti-moisture polyethylene sheeting is a perfect way to keep areas dry between carpets and flooring. Always remember to also check the vents, closets and upholstery for mold as the spores can spread easily in the home.
Vacuuming your house often will remove mold spores leftover in the carpet fibers. This will keep the mold at bay, preventing it from growing again.
HEPA-filtered vacuums are perfect for large spots of mold. They are made with a specialized vent to trap tiny particles and prevent them from being released into the air. The Shark Navigator Upright Vacuum is a real recommendation to fight mold as it catches 99.9 percent of the allergens left.
Will Lysol Kill Mold in a Carpet?
Lysol will remove and cover the odor but will not fully remove mold as it is a disinfecting product used all over the house. Instead use bleach and water, however do not mix Lysol and bleach.
Can I Burn Moldy Carpets?
By burning a carpet with mold you release the spores into the air. This can cause you to inhale the spores and result in health issues.
How do I Test for Carpet Mold?
To identify carpet mold, we recommend hiring a professional. They can not only find the mold, but they can find out which strain it is and find the most suitable treatment.
Mold testing kits are also an option, one such kit is from First Alert. It comes with all the necessary tools to test for mold, which can then be sent to the lab for testing.
Is Black Mold on Carpet Dangerous?
Black mold is a less noticeable strain of mold. This can cause severe allergic reactions and is also one of the more aggressive types of mold.
This type of mold could produce mycotoxins. Mycotoxins cause severe health issues, such as:
– Trouble breathing
– Intense Headaches
– Continuous Exhaustion
– Continuous Cough
Always Be Cautious
Mold as well as mildew can cause serious health issues and should never be taken lightly. They pose a threat especially to those who are immunocompromised.
Make sure to examine the whole of the carpet, discoloration could always be a sign of mold growth. Mold can be identified by its blue, black, green or red color. Mildew is usually white. Use our guide on how to clean mold from your carpet to successfully combat the problem.
If you have ever had a mold problem in your carpet, how did you deal with it? Be sure to share your experience down below in the comment section.