You can find yourself with moldy carpet after a pipe breaks, or your roof leaks, or even simply leaving a window open during a bad rain storm. Carpet mold is also common in carpeted bathrooms, where moisture results from steamy hot showers and water may splash out of the bathtub.
Mold in carpet poses the same health risks as mold growing on any other household surface or material, including risks of allergic reactions, asthma attacks, pneumonia and other respiratory infections.
Mold also spreads easily from carpet to other surfaces, including floorboards. Because it is very difficult to remove mold from porous surfaces like wood, if your floorboards become moldy, you'll probably have to remove and replace them. As you might imagine, this can quickly become a time-consuming and costly undertaking.
We frequently tell people that it is better to prevent mold than to have to clean it up, if at all possible. While you can't always prevent it, there are things you can do to help avoid moldy carpet.
Unfortunately, it is not possible to completely remove mold from carpet. If you get mold in your carpet, you'll need to remove the carpet and replace it. The carpet must be removed carefully, with specific safety precautions in place, in order to prevent the spread of mold and to avoid further exposure to potentially hazardous mold spores.
Recommended safety precautions include:
Appropriate safety gear must be worn when removing carpet with mold in it, because the process puts you at risk for mold-related illness. The necessary safety gear includes:
If you have carpet with mold on it, there is a good chance the padding beneath the carpet is also moldy, so it should be checked carefully and removed and replaced if needed. It is also possible for the floorboards themselves to be moldy, so those should also be examined carefully. If floorboards are moldy, they must also be removed and replaced.
Because mold spreads easily, if you have mold on your carpet, you may have mold elsewhere in the home. We recommended inspecting the entire house to be safe.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends getting professional assistance with mold removal if you have mold covering an area greater than 10 square feet. If you've got a large area of mold, or if you just want some expert advice about handling the mold removal, we suggest scheduling a free consultation with an experienced mold removal professional at your place of residence. Follow the link for a list of qualified professional near you offering free home inspections.
EPA: Mold Cleanup