When carpeting is wet for longer than a few days, it will most likely grow mold. The backing that the carpet fibers are attached to contains organic material that provide an ample food source for mold spores, and most carpets have a layer of padding underneath that also contains organic material that mold can use for food. When water gets into the carpet backing or padding, mold spores are provided with an abundant food and water source, and they'll begin to grow quickly. Thankfully, it's easy to remove mold from carpeting as long as the spores haven't spread very far. To find out how to clean up mold from carpet, read on.
Pull Up the Carpet to Determine the Extent of the Mold Growth
The first step is to pull the carpet up from the floor in order to see how far the mold has spread. Start at the wall and gently lift the carpet up until you can see the underside of the moldy area. Mold growing on padding and on the underside of the backing is normally more extensive than mold growing on the carpet surface. Looking at the underside of the carpet lets you know how large of an area you'll need to clean.
Rent a Dehumidifier and Dry Your Carpet
Once your carpet has been pulled up, rent a dehumidifier and set it up next to the moldy area. A dehumidifier will rapidly dry out the carpet, which prevents any more mold from growing there. Using a dehumidifier is a much better idea than using fans to dry out a carpet, since the mold will start releasing spores once you start trying to clean it up — running a fan in the room can spread spores throughout your house, which can lead to a larger mold infestation elsewhere if they find a damp area to colonize.
Use Vinegar to Kill the Mold Spores, Then Remove them With a Vacuum
Once your dehumidifier is running, fill a spray bottle with white vinegar and spray it onto the moldy areas. You'll need to spray enough vinegar onto the mold in order to fully saturate the carpet backing and the padding. Vinegar is highly acidic, and it will kill mold spores quickly.
Let the vinegar sit on the backing and padding for about an hour, and then vacuum it up using a handheld vacuum with a HEPA filter attached to it. Using a vacuum with a HEPA filter will prevent mold spores from escaping the vacuum bag and spreading throughout your home, since the filter will trap them. White vinegar is mostly water, so it's not a good idea to let it sit on the carpet for more than an hour — this can lead to more mold growth.
Steam Clean Your Carpet to Fix Discoloration Caused by Mold
You may need to rent a carpet cleaner and steam clean your carpet after killing all of the mold spores and drying out the backing and padding. Any dead mold spores remaining on the carpet can discolor it. A steam cleaner injects hot steam into the carpet backing and then immediately vacuums up the water used to make the steam. The steam will dislodge the dead mold spores, and then they'll get sucked up into the cleaner.
If you can't easily pull up your carpet or are worried about spreading mold spores around your home while you're trying to remove the mold infestation, call a professional mold damage cleanup service for help. Mold removal services use high-powered fans to create a negative pressure zone inside the room they're cleaning, which prevents any mold spores from escaping — this eliminates the risk of making a mold problem worse by trying to remove mold from your carpet, and a professional mold removal service can quickly remove the mold in order to restore your carpet.Share