Carpet Mold, Damp Carpets and How To Deal With It
Mold in carpeting is a far bigger and more dangerous problem than many people realize.
Mold spores are naturally airborne, and if they find a food source and a damp area, they can feed on it. Mold growth will soon follow.
Inhaling or even touching mold spores can cause allergic reactions in some individuals. Common allergic reactions include sneezing, red eyes, skin rashes, and even asthma attacks.
Sometimes it is hard to detect if there is mold, especially in carpeting. The fact that a mold is present is not always obvious — and if present, a person's reaction to mold can be delayed for several days, hampering identification. Because detection is so crucial in dealing with mold, Doug Berjer, product manager for CFR (Continuous Flow Recycling) carpet extractors, offers the following tips on how to identify if mold is or might be present in carpeting:
Visible signs: Sometimes mold growth is obvious by visible inspection. In such situations, it is often best to dispose of the carpet.
Odor: When a "mildewy" odor is detected in a room or carpet, very often this is a red flag that mold growth is present.
Damage: If a carpet has been subjected to water damage and has not been cleaned or dried within 48 hours, mold growth is likely. This possibly can be rectified with carpet extraction.
Wet padding: If the padding underneath the carpet has become damp, mold growth is possible in both the pad and the carpet. Replacement of both may be necessary.
Basement: Carpeting in basements, below ground level, is especially at risk because of the possibility of higher humidity.
"One of the best ways to prevent mold growth is to keep carpets clean," says Berjer. "Regular vacuuming removes dry soiling, but extraction deep-cleans the carpet. With sources of food for the mold reduced or eliminated, it is less likely mold will find a home in your facility's carpet."
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