Carpet is beautiful in a home and especially feels good under your feet in the bedrooms of the house. But what happens if you have an unexpected water leak or water got in your home and now you have mold growing? Unfortunately, mold spores like moist carpets because of the thickness of the carpet and the backing holds in the moisture well. How do you remove mold from carpet? You can remove it with several things: Vinegar and baking soda, antifungal cleaner, or bleach. Use bleach as a last resort as it can bleach the carpet.
Let’s take a look at why this is necessary, how mold grows, how to remove the mold safely, prevention of future mold growth, regular maintenance, and when to call a professional.
Why This is Necessary
Mold spores can grow rapidly in moist areas and lead to health issues and destruction in a home. When you find mold, it is important to remove the mold from the carpet right away. Your loved ones can develop upper respiratory issues such as severe asthma and eye irritation. Also, many families have young ones who crawl or play on the floor. Playing near mold can send the spores back into the air and spread them around the home.
Mold also will smell musty and that smell will linger through the home. If you have just a small amount of mold, less than 10 square feet (3in x 3in patch), you should be able to remove it. If it is more than that, or you had flooding that included sewage, hire a professional to remove the carpet and replace it. Mold on throw rugs that can be washed can usually be cleaned and salvaged.
How Mold Grows
As mentioned above, mold spores are in the air and will fall and grow in moist areas. This is often seen in bathrooms because of the high humidity and moist conditions. The moist carpet will lock in the mold and it will start to multiply. Often, our nose will smell the musty air before we even see it growing. This is a good reason to act quickly when mold appears.
Also, pay attention to the walls nearby to make sure the mold is not growing there as well. If it is, you could have a bigger problem on your hands.
How to Remove Mold From the Carpet Safely
Ventilate the Room
Open a window and door if possible to get the smell and moisture out. Even though not all molds are hazardous, it is important to prepare yourself with a facemask, rubber gloves, and eye protection. If you can remove the rug, take it outside in the fresh air to air out for about 48 hours.
Lift Up the Area of the Carpet That is Moist and Has Mold
If the mold is in a small area, you can clean it. If the mold is on the backing of the carpet, you may need to replace it. However, you can remove the mold from the carpet by cutting it out. Leave a border of about 12 inches around and add in a replacement piece. If this does not work, then you will need to replace the carpet.
Baking Soda Has Been Used for a Long Time as a Cleaner
Put baking soda on the mold and let it sit overnight. The baking soda will soak up the odor and the moisture. Then, the next day, add some vinegar to the mold spots and scrub the surface using a scrub brush with a handle. Also, scrub the back of the rug or carpet.
Vacuum the Remnants If You Have a HEPA Filter
Be sure to change out the vacuum filter before using it again, as it will contain mold spores. If your vacuum doesn’t have a HEPA filter, use a broom and dustpan instead. Have a trash bag handy to dump the remnants of the mold into the bag. This is important so you keep the spores out of the air and get them into a bag to discard.
Open the Windows, Use a Fan or Dehumidifier
The carpet will be moist again from the vinegar so open the windows or bring in a fan or dehumidifier to dry out the room. White distilled vinegar is a fantastic cleaning agent that does not harm your health, objects, or the environment. Anytime you can use vinegar before other chemicals like bleach.
Use an Anti-Fungal Spray to Remove Mold From Carpet
If the baking soda and vinegar did not work, next try an anti-fungal spray. Before you resort to using bleach, keep your lungs healthy and the environment happy, and use an anti-fungal spray. You can find this spray online or at a local hardware store and choose one safe for carpets.
Below Are the Steps to Using the Anti-Fungal Spray
- Spray the area of the mold and about 6 inches beyond with the anti-fungal spray and let it sit for about an hour.
- After one hour, blot it with a disposable rag so you can soak up the excess spray and let it sit for 24 hours. Don’t try to dry it yourself, but instead set up the dehumidifier or have the heat turned up in the room so it will dry naturally. Leave the room as it is. Keep pets and children away from the area.
- Clean a scrub brush that has a handle with warm soapy water so you know there is no mold residue left on there from using it. You don’t want mold spores flying around.
- Once the carpet has dried, repeat step 1. Use a clean rag to blot and let the dehumidifier or heat run for a few more days to ensure the mold is gone.
- Check the carpet every few weeks to make sure it isn’t coming back and again at the one-month mark.
Use a steam cleaner- you can use a steam cleaner to clean up the mold as well. The heat from the steam will kill the mold and the bristles on the brush will help loosen it up in the carpet.
Prevention of Future Growth of Mold in the Carpet
- Potted Plants- When using potted plants in the home, make sure there is a mat between the bottom of the potted plant and the carpet. This will keep moisture from building up and causing mold.
- Firewood– If you use firewood, make sure there is a moisture barrier between the firewood and the carpet.
- Dehumidifiers– If your home is humid, investing in a dehumidifier is essential. This is a great way to eliminate the high moisture in the air, create low humidity, and will also save your hardwoods and art from being ruined due to the moisture. Humidity levels should be less than 60% and running the air conditioning will help with this.
- Air purifier– This will help clean the air and get rid of the spores. It will be good especially for those with a sensitivity to mold.
- Running the air conditioning on the “auto” setting instead of the “on” setting will keep the humidity lower in the home.
Home Maintenance to Avoid Mold in the Carpet
- Replace the air filter in the home every 3 months and make sure it filters out allergens such as mold and dust.
- Vacuum often– this will help get the mold spores off the carpet that may be tracked in the home.
- Painting- keep up with painting the outside of your home. Often when builders paint the outside of a new home, they don’t use quality paint so unfortunately, water can come into the home. You may need to invest in painting the home again yourself or hire a professional to do it.
- Roof Maintenance– check around your roof after damaging storms to see if there are any leaks or issues. Making sure shingles are in place and gutters are not clogged is a good idea. Water can get into the home if shingles are missing or gutters back up.
When to Call a Professional to Remove Mold From the Carpet
If you have tried the ideas above and cannot get rid of the mold, it may be time to call a professional. Also, if the area is bigger than 10 square feet or you have health issues, call a professional to diagnose the problem. Often the water may be coming from somewhere inside the walls and a professional can do a thermal imaging inspection and find the source of the water intrusion.
Mold is nothing to play around with and it needs to be taken care of as soon as it starts growing. Need help getting rid of it or have other ideas for removing mold from carpet? Leave us a note below; we would love to hear from you!