Mold in carpet from water damage

Mold in carpet from water damage

Mold thrives in areas with appropriate moisture and humidity, and unfortunately, carpet can be an attractive breeding ground under the right conditions.

Mold can often start growing beneath the surface and is not immediately visible, but mold growth becomes more apparent when the room has a musty smell and/or patches of discoloration begin to show on the carpet. These patches may be black, green, or white and can often be mistaken for stains.

What causes carpet mold?

Whether it’s due to high humidity in the room or a spill, leak, or floor, the majority of carpet mold is caused by some form of moisture. Spills and leaks that have not been correctly cleaned and dried have a high potential for mold growth. Improperly installed carpets and lower-quality carpet materials are also at higher risk.

How to clean mold in carpet from water damage

Before attempting to remove the carpet mold, you should identify and remove the source of the water. If you know that something was recently spilt in the area, this is likely the cause. However, water may have seeped into the carpet from elsewhere. This water could be classed as category 2 or 3, which presents health risks and shouldn’t be tackled using home methods. If you’re unsure of what caused the mold, consult a professional.

Make sure you properly ventilate the room and isolate the affected area as well as you can before attempting to clean the mold. This will help stop the spores from spreading during the cleaning process. You should also take precautions to protect yourself and your household. Wear a face mask and gloves throughout the process, and keep any children, pets, or people with respiratory issues out of the room.

There are three common methods for cleaning carpet mold, depending on the severity of the growth:

White vinegar

Vinegar is a mild acid that kills most types of mold. Mix vinegar with equal parts of water and spray onto the affected area. Let this sit for around an hour, and then scrub with a hard brush.

Baking soda

Baking soda absorbs moisture well and can neutralize odors. Combining baking soda and water will form a paste that can be applied directly to the mold. Let this dry, and then vacuum up the residue using a vacuum with a HEPA filter.

Hydrogen peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide kills mold and can also brighten the carpet. Apply 3% hydrogen peroxide directly to the mold and let it sit for around 15 minutes before scrubbing the area with a hard brush.

After any of these methods, ensure that the area is completely dry, then vacuum thoroughly using a vacuum with a HEPA filter to remove any leftover spores or residue.

Professional mold removal

No home removal method will eradicate 100% of the mold spores. Although the carpet may appear clean after, there may still be remnants of the mold that are undetectable to the human eye, ready to spread again once the conditions are right.

It can be beneficial to invest in a professional carpet cleaning service to thoroughly steam, sterilize, and dry your carpets after experiencing mold growth. Being proactive and having a professional clean immediately after a spill or leak onto the carpet can help prevent mold growth entirely.