How to kill mold in carpet

Kill Mold In Carpet

It is nearly impossible to kill mold in carpets. Unfortunately, mold gets into the carpet fibers and even if it looks as if you've removed the mold, it is very likely small amounts remain.

You're probably aware of the many health risks associated with mold in the home – and if not, you can read about them here – and it is important to remove mold thoroughly from all household materials. We'll tell you what to do if you've got moldy carpet in your home so that you can protect your health and the health of your family.

Why Can't You Kill Carpet Mold?

There are numerous products available that kill mold, but none are very effective when used in an attempt to kill mold in carpet. Why not? Well, carpet, like all types of fabric, is made of tiny fibers twisted together to make thread and then woven together to create a type of fabric. While there are many different styles of carpet, all are made from fibers spun into thread, which is then woven into carpet.

When fibers are twisted and woven together, tiny spaces are left between the fibers. Microscopic mold spores can get into those spaces and it is virtually impossible to remove them. If you scrub the moldy carpet, you may not be able to see any more mold, but tiny amounts will still remain.

What Happens When Mold in Carpet is Not Completely Removed?

Most strains of mold grow pretty quickly and also spread easily, so if even small traces of mold remain in the carpet, you may find yourself dealing with a serious mold problem again in the future. Mold may begin to grow beneath the carpet and can ruin your floorboards. It can also spread to other areas of the home. If it enters your heating and air conditioning ducts, it will quickly spread throughout the entire house as soon as you turn on your heat or air conditioning.

Of course, the continued presence of even small amounts of mold in your carpet will continue to pose a health risk. The longer you are exposed to mold, the greater the risk to your health.

If You Can't Kill Mold in Carpet, How Do You Deal with It?

Carpet moldCarpet With Mold

Since you cannot kill carpet mold completely, you need to remove moldy carpet and replace it. It's the only way to make sure your home is free of potentially harmful mold.

Moldy carpet must be removed carefully, though, to avoid spreading mold spores throughout the room.  

First the work area should be prepared by taping heavy plastic over heating and air conditioning vents and any open doorways. This prevents mold spores from drifting into other rooms or entering your HVAC system.

Then the carpet should be pulled up carefully and sealed in heavy plastic bags before it is carried out of the house. The padding beneath the carpet will most likely need to be removed as well. If the floorboards beneath the carpet and padding are moldy, they will also need to be removed and replaced.

Pulling up moldy carpet sends hundreds of thousands of microscopic mold spores flying into the air, where they are easily inhaled. Cutting into moldy floorboards in order to remove and replace them has the same effect. This exposure to mold can cause all sorts of health problems. In fact, it is recommended that if your health is compromised in any way, you avoid removing moldy carpet or handling other aspects of mold removal on your own. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)  recommends checking with your doctor if you have any questions or concerns about whether or not it is safe for you to remove mold on your own.

Appropriate safety gear must be worn while removing moldy carpet, including disposable gloves, hair covers, shoe covers, and an N-95 face mask. Long pants and long sleeves should be worn and clothing should be laundered in hot water as soon as the mold removal work is completed.

For Help Dealing with Moldy Carpet

As you can see, since you can't kill mold in carpet and instead must remove and replace it, dealing with moldy carpet is a pretty big job. The job is made even bigger and further complicated if you must remove and replace floorboards. If you need help with the job, or if your doctor recommends you not handle moldy carpet yourself due to health concerns, we suggest scheduling a free consultation in your home with an experienced mold removal professional. Follow this link to find qualified professionals in your area.

Additional Reading:

Subfloor Mold - How to know if you have subfloor mold. Health issues, removal, safety precautions.

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Ref: EPA Mold Cleanup

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