If you recently experienced a flood or broken water pipe, you might now be dealing with mold. When carpets get wet, it can be hard to dry them completely. Even if you dried the top surface of the carpet, the padding beneath might have still been wet, which can cause mildew. The mildew can turn to mold if it isn't removed quickly enough. Here are some tips for removing mold from your carpets.
Any time you suspect mold, you should wear protection. Certain types of mold, especially black mold, can be toxic. You should not ouch it with your bare hands or inhale the fumes. To protect yourself, wear gloves, goggles, and a mask to cover your nose and mouth. Even if you think you will be extra careful, accidents happen, so it is always better to be prepared. If you feel ill after working with the moldy carpet, seek medical attention right away.
Test Your Home for Mold
Another thing you might want to do before you start removing mold from your carpets is having the rest of your home tested. If you have mold in other areas of your home, such as your hardwood floors, the walls, or the HVAC system, just cleaning it from your carpets is a waste of time. There are store-bought mold testing kits you can use, or you can call a mold restoration company to test and inspect your home for mold. If mold is only found in the carpets, proceed to the following steps.
Remove the Mildew
The first thing you need to do is remove the mildew, which is on the top surface of the carpet. The mildew will begin to loosen as you do this, so make sure no children or pets are in the vicinity. Grab your broom and start sweeping the carpet. It may seem silly, but the mildew will actually loosen and lift from the carpet fibers. After you have thoroughly swept the carpets, vacuum them immediately. If you have a vacuum that takes bags, remove it after you have vacuumed up the loose mildew.
Once you have done that, combine dishwashing detergent and warm water in a bowl. Dab the mildew areas with a sponge that has been dipped in the soapy water. Dab and let it soak into the mildew, but don't scrub it. Once you have dabbed enough soapy water into the mildew areas, throw away the sponge and continue removing mold.
Clean the Mold
Soap and water will take care of surface mildew, but not mold. For mold, you need to use hydrogen peroxide. Mix a small amount of hydrogen peroxide with warm water into a bowl or container. Dip a rag into the solution and press it against the moldy areas of your carpet. You want to work from the outside to the inside. Make sure you are dampening the areas, but not soaking it, or the extra moisture will create a bigger problem. Let it dry on the carpet.
For more information, or if you would like professional assistance, contact American Flood and Fire or a similar company.