Any kind of water damage can eventually lead to mold, no matter the size or severity of the leak. Mold doesnít need too many different elements to come together before it can grow and expand: dark and damp conditions combined with moisture can facilitate the growth of mold almost anywhere. Molds introduce allergens and dangerous odors into the air in your home, which can lead to allergic reactions or asthma attacks, irritation of the eyes, nose, throat, lungs and skin in people who are both allergic and not allergic to mold.
In many cases, if mold has started to grow on more than one area of your carpet, or there is a very large area of growth, it is past the point of no return. You should toss the carpet and buy a new one. If you were able to spot the mold early on, growing in small or isolated patches, you can take care of this in one of two ways.
Your best bet is to fill a steam-cleaning machine with detergent and water and steam clean the entire carpet, with emphasis on the affected areas. Ensure the carpet dries completely once youíre done steam cleaning, to prevent the spread of mold. If possible, take your carpet outside to dry in the sun, away from the part of the home affected by water damage. If detergent and water donít work to clean the mold, consider trying the same process with a stronger cleaning agent. Remember to test out the cleaning agent on a small part of the carpet first, then wait 24 hours to ensure that cleaning agent doesnít damage the rug. If the tested area is fine after 24 hours, steam clean the rug using the cleaning agent.
A second option is to remove the affected section of carpet. If youíve tried cleaning the carpet to no avail, consider cutting out the section of carpet affected by mold growth, and replace it with a new carpet of similar size and color. This is not a fool-proof solution, nor is it something to be considered if aesthetics are very important to you. It is probably not an effective mold removal technique if your carpet is affected by mold growth in more than one part of the carpet, either.
Prevention is your best mode of controlling the growth of mold. Preventing the risk of flood or leakage will reduce the possibility of growth. If circumstances change and the risk of flood goes up, removing carpets beforehand and opening windows and running electricity to bring in light and air circulation will hinder the spread of mold. Never attempt to salvage a carpet that is significantly covered in mold, as mold poses a serious health risk.
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