The excessive growth of mold is a common problem in many households. Mould, otherwise referred to as mildew or ‘black mold”, can become a nuisance when it has the proper conditions to grow and thrive. If you are experiencing issues with this fungi in your home, here you will find tips on black mold removal and prevention, specifically from porous materials such as carpets or rugs.
Mold is a type of fungus. There are several different kinds of common molds, but long term exposure to any of them can cause health problems. Exposure to black mold can aggravate allergies, asthma and cause other breathing problems. It is important that any mold problem be taken care of properly and quickly.
What Causes Mold to Grow on Carpets and Rugs?
Rugs and carpets are a perfect place for molds to grow because they have the ability to retain moisture. Black mold on carpets and rugs also occurs because they can collect lots of dust. This gives it the nutrients they require to exist.
Locate and Eradicate the Source
In order to remove black mold from carpet, the first thing you’ll need to do is locate and eradicate the source of moisture. Excessive moisture being trapped in the carpet is the cause of it’s growth. If the source is not identified and eliminated, the mould will be a reoccurring issue, even after the removal and clean-up.
When attempting to remove black mold from carpets and rugs, examine the material to assess whether it is damaged beyond repair. If so, it will need to be discarded.
When getting rid of material that is infested with mould, put it in a plastic bag and seal it. Mould is not hazardous material, so it can be put out with other household trash. Containing the moldy material with protect the people who handle it while transporting it to the landfill.
If the damage is not too severe, you may remove the mildew by cleaning and disinfecting the carpet or rug.
How to Remove Black Mold from Carpets and Rugs
It is important to note that there are some people who should not be involved in cleaning up mold due to their health. Infants, children, the elderly, those with immune system problems or respiratory health issues should not participate or be present during the mould removal process. In fact, anyone who is not involved in the clean-up process should leave the area due to the risk of inhaling it’s spores.
Before starting the removal of the mold and disinfecting of the area, you’ll want to use safety gear to protect yourself. It is important to wear a medium or high-efficiency filter dust mask to reduce the possibility of inhaling mildew spores. The clothing worn during a clean-up should cover your entire body and be easily removable and cleaned. It is recommended that rubber gloves and goggles be worn during mold removal. Please dispose of these items after using them in a fungus infested area.
Step 1: Begin by slightly dampening the affected area. This will make it more difficult for the mildew spores to travel to other places during the removal process.
Step 2: If removing mold from under the carpet, lift up the carpet to examine the padding and flooring below. If the padding is moldy, discard and replace it. Using a stiff scrubbing brush, apply a soap and water mixture to the area. Scrub the area thoroughly until all of the residue from the mold is removed. You will want to clean the flooring below the carpet in the same manner, scrubbing it with the soapy water mixture.
Step 3: Next, using a mixture of 10 parts water to 1 part household bleach, disinfect the mold-affected area. Household bleach is fungicidal, which means that it will kill the mould. After disinfection, rinse the affected area thoroughly with hot water.
Step 4: Absorb as much of the rinse water as possible with paper towels and let the area dry completely. It may take two to three days for the area to fully dry. A dehumidifier can be used to speed the drying time. Once the area is dry, vacuum the affected area of the carpets or rugs.
Preventing further mold growth is possible with the right devices. Since moisture is the most important factor in mold growth, the humidity level in a living space should be assessed and monitored. Mildew thrives in environments where the humidity level meets or exceeds 55%. Relative humidity sensors, also known as moisture meters, are available for in home use.
Areas in the home that are likely to experience excessive mold growth include basements, bathrooms, closets and cabinets. Relative humidity sensors are very helpful in these areas.
If there are areas in your home that have chronically high levels of humidity, a dehumidifier can be used. Dehumidifiers reduce the amount of moisture in the air. Most of them work by using a refrigerated coil to condense the air, then collecting the moisture in a compartment. The dehumidified air is put back into the environment.