04February

Something Foul Afoot: How to Detect and Deal with Carpet Mold

Carpet mold can be an especially insidious invader, as it often develops undetected on the underside of your floor covering. In fact, it takes an especially serious case of carpet mold for there to be visible signs on the top surface.

Searching for Symptoms

The first step in dealing with a mold problem is knowing you have one. The presence of carpet mold can be confirmed (or should be suspected) if any of these conditions are present:

Musty odor

Often the first hint that you might have a mold problem doesn’t come through your eyes, but rather your nose. A musty smell, especially in an enclosed space where there is high humidity, is a pretty reliable indicator that there is mold developing.

Black, green, or white growth on carpet

As stated previously, if you see mold—black, green, or white colonies— on the top surface of your carpet, you can be absolutely certain that it is growing wild on the underside.

Mold growth on walls at floor level

If there’s enough moisture in a room for mold to grow on walls, it is surely growing in and under the carpet.

Higher incidence of allergies

Mold can trigger breathing problems and allergic reactions. If you or others in your home begin to exhibit a higher incidence of these conditions and there is not another explanation, you may want to pull up your carpet and take a look at the underside.

Wet carpet

Carpet that has been thoroughly saturated with water, even for a short time, is at a high risk of developing mold. Even carpet that is in a room that has been noticeably humid for an extended period stands a good chance of harboring mold.

Positive report from a mold inspection service

Of course, the best way to not only detect mold, but also to understand what type of mold it is, why it has developed, and what to do about it is to have a mold inspection performed.

“Rip Out” Remediation

Unfortunately, once carpet mold has been confirmed, your options are limited. If the mold is present only in a small area, it can be effectively cleaned in some cases. However, more often than not, the only 100% effective remediation is to rip out and replace the carpet and padding.

An Ounce of Prevention

The best way to deal with a mold problem is, of course, to prevent it from occurring in the first place. Ensuring proper ventilation, using anti-microbial carpet padding, quickly tending to leaks or spills, and simply not carpeting in areas at high risk of mold (bathrooms, for example) are some of the ways to keep your home carpet mold-free.