You must take the proper steps to eliminate this ugly, unsightly organism.
Unwanted moisture on your carpets can quickly become a significant health hazard if left untreated. Whether the problem stems from an occasional spill or a persistent leak, it's essential to know what to do before it becomes too big to handle. To begin with, check whether any water damage has occurred in your home. If so, take note of where the wet areas are located and make sure they're dry immediately. Then, call in a professional cleaning service that specializes in removing stains and odors from carpets. They'll also help you identify the source of the problem and suggest ways to prevent future issues.
An antifungal product specifically formulated to kill molds might be your best option. Some recommend natural antifungal sprays, such as vinegar and Tea Tree Oil, to remove mildew. These products may work, but they aren't mighty. They inhibit, not kill, molds. Bleach works excellent to clean carpets but can cause permanent stains if used too often.
If you're going to clean mold from your carpet, open up some windows and remove the rug. Wear a mask, goggles, and rubber gloves when cleaning up.
Treat the visible surface mold if you cannot remove the floor covering. If it's possible to remove the floor coverings, do so until you get to the area with mold and examine the back of the floorboards. If the boards are covered with significant mold growth of more than a couple of feet, they must be replaced. If that's too much cost, you could choose to eliminate the affected region with a 12-inch border around the damaged area and put in brand-new floor covering. Also, ensure that you remove and reinsert the part of the subfloor or floorboard to prevent mold remolding.
To clean up your carpet, use a dry, stiff bristlebrush to remove any visible traces of the fungus. Then, put the cleaned-up carpet in a dustpan and throw it away in a garbage bag. Vacuuming is not recommended because the spores may spread to other parts of your house.
Spray the entire room thoroughly with a water-based disinfectant. Make sure to get into corners and under furniture. A good rule of thumb is to spray every surface within three feet of where the problem started. Wait for one full minute before rinsing off any remaining residue.
Blot the antifungal spray with a clean, disposable towel to soak up the excess. Rinse the area with water or another disinfectant only if the antifungal spray does not obliterate the molds. Do not rinse the area with water because it will cause the mold to grow again. Resist the area by closing your windows, turning up the heat in the room, and using a dehumidifier. Please don't walk on or pet the site while it's curing because the molds are still alive and can potentially be spread to other areas.
Wash the broom's bristles thoroughly with a hot soapy solution, spray with an anti-mold treatment, and allow air-drying. Discard the cleaning cloth and the rubber glove.
After the floor dries completely, reapply the antifungals as described in step four, followed by steps five and six. Use a clean, fresh, and disposable rag to blot. Throw away the rag when done.
Let the dehumidifier run longer to remove mold spores from the air.
After the carpet has dried thoroughly, you may be able to breathe again. Don't let your guard down just yet, though. Continue inspecting the area daily or weekly for a few weeks to ensure no new spots have appeared. It can be a slower process than removing the old carpet, so give it about a month before you feel safe enough to relax.
Mold Prevention Tips
- Don't put potting soil directly on the carpet, not even with an underlayment. Only use glaze pots made from terracotta on carpeted floors and use a moisture barrier such as a rubber tray.
- Don't stack firewood directly on top of your flooring. Always use a moisture barrier first.
- If your dog has urinated in one place repeatedly, ask your vet about urine-repellent sprays that could help keep him from doing so again.
- If there are humid areas or a humid house, consider investing in high-quality air conditioners to maintain humidity levels at a constant maximum. These will help prevent damage to wood floors and carpets.