If you have recently noticed a musty smell in a room but cannot quite place it, it could be mold in the carpet. Whilst most people associate it with something that normally happens on the walls, mold can generally grow anywhere it deems is a nice place to set up a home.
Whilst a kitchen and a bathroom are the likely culprits due to the humid and warm environment, mold can also affect cellars and even your closet too, due to the darkness and the fact these places are closed off – there is certainly no ventilation in these areas!
So, if you have found yourself sneezing every time you relax on the couch in the evening ready for a Netflix marathon, take a look for mold in the carpet.
If you already know you have mold on the carpet, then you are going to want to know how to get rid of it. This simple and easy guide by CLEANA’s professional commercial cleaners will help you to understand what mold is, how to prevent it, and the number of ways you can remove it.
What Is Mold?
Mold is a type of natural fungus that can grow both outdoors and indoors. Whilst not dangerous outdoors indoors can prove problematic due to the lack of ventilation. For it to grow, it favours warm and damp places, and a house can provide this type of environment.
Whilst mold itself does not look harmful, it can be to those who have a weakened immune system, and it can cause respiratory issues even in those who are healthy – think sneezing. It can also damage walls and cause staining – plus, it can be annoying to clean and get rid of.
This is why make sure you dry out anything that has been damaged by water quickly because if left to soak, mold can start to form within 48 hours.
How To Check If Mold Is In Carpet?
A carpet is quite complex due to having more than one layer. This means that identifying mold can prove tricky and less straightforward, unlike if you find mold lurking on the bathroom ceiling. Here are a few signs to look for:
- Odor – one of the first signs you may notice is the smell. Even when you cannot see mold, you can most certainly smell it. It has a harsh, musty and sour smell that you cannot ignore.
- Stains – sometimes a stain may prove to be mold, but getting it checked by a professional is the only way to know. If you can smell an odor too, it is quite likely that this is the case.
- Visible Mold – if smelling the mold is not your first sign of it hanging around, then actually seeing it will be. Whilst this is more the case for walls and ceilings, you may see a layer of mold on the fibers of a carpet. If you can smell it and know it is coming from a carpet – or at least think it is – pull up the carpet to check and look at the padding too.
Why Might Mold Grow On Carpet?
Because mold spores can live anywhere in the home, all they need is moisture and they are ready to settle on whatever they have found. This can include your carpet because it is a great example of something that can trap moisture.
Moisture can be trapped from various sources such as a leak in the roof, a spilt glass of drink, or even a plumbing issue – if not dried properly, the fibres have a chance to form mold.
Unfortunately, a carpet has many layers, and this can make drying it difficult. Using something like a fan can do wonders, but you will need to make sure it is thoroughly dry. Any amount of dampness can result in mold.
How To Prevent Mold?
Whilst mold can prove troublesome, there are plenty of ways to prevent it from appearing in the first place, and mostly it is to do with ventilation.
Whilst opening your windows every day is one of the key ways to stop mold from forming, if it is particularly humid or raining outside, keep them shut. This is because it is too wet outside and the moist air will only enter your house and give mold a place to live.
Here are some of the ways to prevent the build-up of mold:
- Ventilate rooms – the number one way to keep the airflow in a house is to open windows. If it is too cold or raining, use a fan instead to air a room out. The fresh air will do wonders at keeping mold at bay.
- Prevent at the source – if there are particular areas of the house that are likely to build-up moisture, then do something to prevent it happening before mold has time to form. This could mean buying material that is anti-moisture to use under the carpet.
- Invest in a dehumidifier – another way to help prevent mold from happening around the home is to buy a dehumidifier. It can help to dry out a humid room and is best left to run at night.
How To Clean Mold Out Of A Carpet?
Now that you understand what mold is and how it may form, let us take a look at how to get rid of it. Whilst mold can seem rather daunting, it can be easy to get rid of, but you must then keep on top of it otherwise it will come back.
Whilst the majority of people will turn to chemicals, you can do a great job with non-toxic items which will be much safer if you have children or pets. Let us look at both natural and chemical so you can choose which one is best for you.
Before we go into the steps on how to remove mold, make sure that the area is completely clean and ventilated. You may also want to think about shutting doors to other rooms to stop spores from spreading.
Also, wear gloves and a mask, especially if you are working with chemicals. If you are, then open any windows too for extra ventilation.
Baking Soda And Vinegar
Baking soda is great at cleaning, and in this case, it can be used to help soak up any remaining moisture that may still be present.
Pour over the area and leave it to work overnight. In the morning, vacuum the area to remove the baking soda.
In a spray bottle, add straight white vinegar and then lightly spritz the area. With a stiff brush, scrub the area to kill bacteria and remove stains. Once this has been done, dry the area thoroughly – do not leave it to air dry.
You can also use a steam cleaner to get rid of and prevent mold. The appliance uses a high temperature to kill bacteria and to effectively clean areas.
If you do not have one, you can rent one easily at a hardware store. Always remember to dry the carpet afterwards to prevent mold from reforming.
Sometimes mold can be extra difficult to remove, but there are stronger chemicals that can do the job if the more natural ways are not cutting it.
Chlorine dioxide is a chemical that is usually used within mold cleaners, but it has a habit of lightening carpets, so test a hidden area first just in case.
Remember to follow the instructions on the bottle closely, and always wear a mask when using this product as it can cause irritation to the lungs.
There are many anti-mold cleaners available on the market, but you will need one that is specific to cleaning mold off a carpet. If you use something that is not made for carpets, then you are likely to discolour the fabric.
Just like with chlorine dioxide, always follow the instructions closely and wear protective gloves and a mask.
Some of these cleaners may need additional steps at the end, such as vacuuming.
Finding mold on the carpet is always disheartening, but it can be treated and prevented. By keeping the area dry and the room well-ventilated, you should find that your carpet will stay mold-free.
If you do find that you cannot get rid of the mold, it may be time to either get rid of the whole carpet or cut away the affected area. If that is not something you are willing to do, then it is time to call in the professionals.