This article is intended to help the reader identify carpet mold and to offer a few suggestions in the event carpet mold is discovered. Whether you have professionally laid carpet or an area rug, carpet mold should be a concern for the smart homeowner. Mold is everywhere it is part of our environment. Its Mother Nature’s way of cleaning up the earth by digesting the natural organic material created by trees, shrubs and manmade products like paper and carpets. The down side is that when mold spores come in contact with water and nutrients, the mold spores then create mold and in some cases toxic black mold.
Mold odors are probably the first sign that you have a mold problem. Mold odors and smells are very distinct. They resemble the smell of an old musty house that has been closed up for a period of time. Mold odors are strong and in some cases will take your breath away upon walking into a mold affected room. Prolonged exposure to mold may require a mold approved respirator. Persons with health conditions such as asthma or week immune systems should be especially careful around mold.
Flood water is one of the worst things that can happen to a home owner. In the event you are struck by a flood, it is important that the water is contained and removed as soon as possible. Contact a flood damage restoration company as soon as possible. Most companies have a 24 hour emergency response team in place. Make sure to advise the contact person that the response must be prepared to extract the flood water minimizing water damage to carpets, walls and building structure. The flooded area must be dried out including any crawlspaces. Flood debris must be removed from the area.
Visible carpet mold growth will appear as a carpet stain, discoloration or have a fuzzy looking mold growth. Carpet padding is also a main concern. Mold can hide between the carpet and the padding, growing and spreading to other rooms of the house. Inspect the area by pulling back the carpet and inspect the padding for mold, odor or discoloration. You may need to hire a professional carpet cleaner. They will be familiar with flood and water damage. They should steam clean the carpet apply the proper treatment depending on the type of contamination. Consider renting a circulation fan from a local rental center for a few days. Air circulation is critical and the key in drying out your carpet and the padding, ensure that both are completely dry.
Protect your home from water leaks and identifying the water source is probably the most important part in protecting your home from damage and carpet mold. Unwanted water will lead to thousands of dollars in repair and remediation cost. Basement areas, lower levels and crawl spaces are the most common areas for mold growth and where moisture can be found. Inspect your home on a regular basis for moisture and leaking water pipes. Water pipes will sweat in high humidity zones, driping onto the carpet causing moisture to build and mold growth to form.
Humidity should be kept in a reasonable range from 40% to 60% year round. Consider purchasing a dehumidifier. Dehumidifiers will remove access dampness and humidity allowing you to control the area. Consider installing ceiling fans in the area of concern. Keeping the air circulating will assist you in reducing humidity and condensation reducing the possibility of mold growth on and under your carpets.
By: Bradley Skierkowski