That unusual black or green growth on your carpet may not look dangerous but it’s most definitely a health hazard.  Mould can trigger asthma attacks and allergic reactions, like sinusitis, sneezing, and cough, in sensitive persons.  Even people who are normally not allergic or asthmatic can suffer from eye irritation, skin itching, and respiratory problems due to mould.

Here’s what you should know about mould and its risk to your carpets and your health.

How does mould develop?

Mould is produced when mould spores in the air find a surface to settle in.  They then rapidly multiply when exposed to moisture, oxygen and dust.  Carpets and rugs are especially vulnerable as mould can grow unnoticed underneath them.  In fact, you will notice the mould growth on the surface of the carpet only when the damage is already widespread.

mouldWhat should you watch out for?

When your carpet gets wet, particularly from flooding, it is sure to develop mould in 24 to 48 hours, if it is not dried quickly.  Carpet padding that gets soaked is also at risk for mould, even when the carpet’s surface has dried.  Carpets in basements or those kept in storage are likewise susceptible to mould because of the humidity in these areas.  Whenever a carpet is stained or emanates an unpleasant odour, start checking under it for mould growth.

Avoiding mould growth

Do not install carpets in rooms that tend to be humid, such as bathrooms.  Invest in high quality carpet cushion or padding to protect your carpet.  Whenever the carpet gets wet, dry it thoroughly.  Use dehumidifiers or open all doors and windows and run the fans directly on the carpet.  Clean and dry the surface of the carpet, the padding and the floor.  In extreme cases where your house was flooded, it’s best to get help from professional cleaners.

Eliminating mould

You will still have a chance to remove mould from your carpet if it affected only a small part of your carpet.  You will need to completely clean and dry the carpet, preferably through deep cleaning or steam cleaning done by professionals.  If you choose to do the cleaning yourself, use a detergent solution and only resort to more potent cleaning solutions if the detergent does not work.  Be sure to pre-test your cleaning solution on an inconspicuous part of the carpet first.  If you cannot remove the stain, another option is to repair the carpet through patching.  This will involve taking out the damaged area and installing a new patch from your excess carpet.

However, in severe cases where the mould has covered a large area or most of the carpet, you will need to replace the entire carpet.

As you can see, mould is not just a blemish that ruins the beauty of your carpet, it can even shorten your carpet’s life span.  Fortunately, with the advice we’ve given you, you can prevent and treat any mould problems and maintain a clean, spotless, lovely carpet.