When carpets get moldy there are is a problem. It is important to take care of the issue as soon as possible. Mold can cause a lot of negative health effects as well as spread where ever it is warm, wet, and there is a food supply. For mold the food supply can be found in the dirt you bring in your house, in pet dander, and even in shed skin cells! But when it comes to getting rid of mold in carpets what do you need to do?
While you may find that it is too late for prevention in your home, knowing the reason you have the mold you do and knowing how to prevent it in the future can make a huge difference. Whenever there is a large spill you need to make sure that the carpets are dried out with fans, heaters, and or dehumidifiers. For other mold prevention tips check out the article How to Prevent Mold In Your House.
Consider Calling a Professional.
Mold is both dangerous to clean and difficult to get rid of when it is in your carpet. Therefore it is often recommended to avoid trying to do it yourself. You should consider calling a professional before deciding to handle it on your own. If you are looking to do it yourself use these tips and meothds to get the job done well.
Mold can cause a wide variety of irritations of both the skin and the lungs. You should always wear rubber gloves when touching it. In addition to wearing gloves you should wear a mask or respirator when dealing with mold in the carpet and safety goggles. For more information on what you should wear you should see What to Wear When Removing Mold From Your Home. Your safety should come first.
Make the Hard Decision.
If the mold covers a large area of the carpet or if the a large area of the carpet has gotten wet and was not able to dry in 48 hours or less then you need to consider whether or not you can remove the carpet. If you keep it you may find that you are struggling with mold more often and some people may be sensitive to the mold causing respiratory and allergy related symptoms.
Treat The Mold.
Treating carpet mold is often harder than treating mold in other places because the mold has a pourus surface to "hide" in. If you follow these steps you should be able to get rid of the mold.
- Lift the carpet up. The first thing you need to do is lift your carpet up. In most cases this is pretty easy by finding out how it is attached around the edges. Peel it back in the area(s) that there are mold. This will let you treat the floor underneath, the carpet pad, and both sides of the carpet.
- Clean the floor. The first thing you want to do is clean the floor. To do this make a 1 part white vinegar and 1 part water solution and scrub the floor where the mold is using a stiff bristled brush. This will kill the mold well.
- Wipe it all up. After scrubbing the floor you need to make sure that you wipe it up using a fresh water and a cloth.
- Dry the Floor. Before working on the carpet pad (if there is one), you need to make sure the floor is really dry. Use a fan to speed up the process.
- Clean the carpet pad. This often depends on what type of carpet pad you have. If you have one that will allow you to scrub a bit then you should soak it with vinegar water solution or old fashioned Lysol solution (comes in a bottle and you mix it with water). Scrub as you can and rinse it well.
- Dry the carpet pad. Before working on the carpet it is important that you dry the carpet bad. Using a heater, a fan, and or a dehumidifier can speed up the process.
- Clean the back side of the carpet. You will need a hard bristled brush to scrub the back side of the carpet using the a 1 part vinegar and 1 part water solution or using a Lysol solution. Scrub it well. You want to kill the mold, dislodge as much of it as possible, and get rid of any dirt that it is feeding on.
- Dry the backside of the carpet. You need to make sure that you dry the back of the carpet as well.
- Tack the carpet back down. Now that you are done with the cleaning of the surfaces below the carpet it is time to tack it back down.
- Clean the top of the carpet. In a similar manner you need to scrub the front of the carpet. Make sure that you get it really good.
- Vacuum the carpet. Using a wet/dry vac you want to vacuum up the mold area. This will help remove spores.
- Clean the carpet. Using a carpet cleaner (preferably steam) you will want to clean the entire carpet. You can use the solution that comes with the machine or you can use 1 part vinegar and 1 part water. Make sure you do a really good job without getting the carpet too wet.
- Dry the carpet. The faster the carpet dries the better. So, place a fan on it, turn up the heat, and do the things you need to to make a difference in the carpet.
- Vacuum really well. Once you are all done you want to make sure that you vacuum really well with a vacuum that has a good filter. This will help you remove dirt that the mold is growing on and it will make sure that you are removing the molds food source (primarily dirt).
While it isn't really and easy process, by taking the time to do each step you will eliminate more mold spores, make for a healthier and safer environment for your family, and you will also make sure that you are making it harder for mold to grow again in the future. By skipping steps you may open yourself up to regular mold problems. Cleaning carpets with mold is something you can do and can do right!
Take mold seriously and you will have a cleaner and healthier home. For getting rid of mold in the carpet you should use a vinegar and water solution. This isn't likely to cause issues with your carpet, but most carpet companies suggest that you check it before applying it to large areas. Lysol is another option. It works well and often adds a pleasant aroma without sacrificing the mold killing powers. Other solutions should be avoided. Some recommend bleach, but this is likely to cause discolorations and isn't healthy for you or the environment (check out Why You Should Stop Using Bleach for more information. However, you can make a difference in your home and you can get your carpets clean again.