Identifying, Preventing & Removing Carpet Mould

Identifying, Preventing & Removing Carpet Mould

Tiny mould spores have a knack of finding their way onto carpet; a significant hidden danger which many people are unaware of. Unwanted side effects include irritation to the eyes, nose, lungs, and throat, as well as allergies and the provocation of asthma attacks.

Furthermore, mould is also home to dangerous mycotoxins which are detrimental to our long-term health. With that in mind, it is essential to identify, prevent, and remove mould as promptly as possible.

Where mould grows

Mould can grow anywhere, although areas prone to moisture are at the greatest risk. Pay particular attention to carpet exposed to water for a prolonged period, and high humidity regions such as basements.

Identifying mould

Mould is rather tricky to spot. Worse still, if you can see it with the naked eye, it is probably already too late. Take the following into account to determine if you have a problem:

1. Visible growth: In extreme cases, you can identify mould via green or black splotches on the upper or bottom layer of a carpet. Unless isolated to a small region, you will probably need to replace the entire carpet.
2. Mildew: Discoloration or an unpleasant odour consistent with mildew will likely progress to a full-blown mould infestation.
3. Flood-damaged carpet: Any flood-damaged carpet will grow mould if left untreated.
4. Wet padding: If the padding beneath the carpet has become moist due to humidity or condensation, then mould growth will likely occur.
5. Unexplained allergies: Mould may be to blame if household members are persistently suffering from unidentified allergies or irritations.

Preventing mould

As the old saying goes, “prevention is better than cure”. Avoid mould by mitigating the environmental conditions which promote their growth.

1. Lowering humidity: Indoor dehumidifiers are great at reducing the moisture within a home and thus preventing mould growth. Aim for anywhere between 30% and 60% humidity for optimal results.

2. Use carpet sparingly: Avoid installing carpet in high-humidity regions. At the very least, use floorboards or tiles for your basement, bathroom, and kitchen.

3. Install quality padding: Home owners in high humidity regions should seriously consider using a rubber padding with anti-microbial properties. These may be slightly more expensive to install, but could entail significant savings in the long term.

4. Clean up those spills: Even minor carpet spills should be dried thoroughly and immediately to prevent mould growth. Larger spills often require drying on both sides of the carpet, while flooding incidents need immediate professional attention.

Removing mould

Removing mould out of carpet is a daunting task which is only possible when confined to an isolated area. A mixture of detergent and water used in a steam cleaning device is sufficient for low-level growth. More advanced growth will require stronger cleaning chemicals. Just be sure to test the cleaning agent on a small section of carpet for 24 hours to ensure it doesn’t cause discolouration. In either case, thoroughly dry the carpet after cleaning to avoid the reoccurrence of mould growth.

Another option is to cut out and patch the affected area. Note, however, that the new patch will leave an unsightly seam which is not aesthetically ideal.

If the affected area is large (roughly one meter square or more), then it is important to get the experts in for the job. With over 26 years of experience in the cleaning industry, O’Shea’s is experienced in mould remediation in such situations. Contact us today, and one of our friendly team at O’Shea’s can provide you with more information on how we can assist you.