Mould infestation is a common problem found in many homes with high humidity levels. Moisture encourages mould growth and this can appear on your walls, furniture, and even your carpets. If your home is suffering from a mould infestation, you want to address it as soon as possible because it can lead to serious health issues. Today we’ll be talking about the dangers of a mould infestation and what you can do to help minimise mould growth. Should any of the below affect your home then it is imperative to get in touch with your local carpet cleaning professional.
What is mould?
Mould is a fungus that can be found indoors or outdoors. These microorganisms have existed for millions of years and are present everywhere around you. They can grow on materials like leather upholstery, wood, cardboard, ceiling tiles, and more. Mould thrives on damp, wet environments where they can spread very quickly. Mould is usually found on bathrooms and basements, but can also extend to other areas of your home if the infestation is not mitigated.
Because their spores travel through the air, mould can spread really fast. The spores can float to a dry area and remain there, waiting until the conditions are perfect for them to grow. Once there’s a sign of moisture, they grow quickly without notice. The most common types of mould found in a household are cladosporium, penicillium, and stachybotrys chartarum.
Is mould dangerous to your health?
At first, mould may seem like a harmless nuisance. But don’t be fooled as these microorganisms can trigger serious health problems, especially in individuals who are allergic to mould spores. Mould produces airborne spores that increase the particles in an indoor environment. Dust, mould spores, and other allergens can lead to nasal congestion, itchy eyes, and coughing. For those with weakened immune systems, mould spores can trigger hay-fever like symptoms and severe asthmatic reactions.
Signs of mould in your carpet
While moulds can be easy to detect in walls and floors (black spots), it can be difficult in carpets. This is because the fungus can thrive underneath the surface where it is hidden from the naked eye. Thorough inspection is key to identifying mould growth in your textile flooring and here are the signs you should look out for:
- Musty odour – If there is a stale, damp smell lingering around your carpets, chances are you have a mould infestation. This might not be immediately apparent to homeowners who’ve grown accustomed to the smell, but visitors will be able to notice it right away.
- Green or white spots – In some cases, you will be able to visually identify mould growth on your carpet. Green or white spots indicate that the mould infestation has reached its advanced stage and the mould colony is rapidly multiplying on your carpet.
- Lifting up the carpet – Since mould tends to grow underneath the carpet, you can lift it up to see if there are any indications of the fungus. Discoloured patches accompanied by a damp smell are telltale signs of mould that you should look out for.
- Higher occurrence of allergies – Carpet mould can trigger allergic reactions like coughing, sneezing, and watery eyes. If you notice a higher occurrence of allergies in your home, carpet mould is most likely the culprit.
- Water damage – A carpet that has been subjected to carpet damage will likely develop mould in around 24-48 hours. Examples of water damage are flooding occurs or when there is a faulty water pipe where water has reached your textile flooring.
How to prevent mould growth in carpets
There are a number of ways to reduce mould growth in carpets. It can be difficult to clean textile flooring once mould infestation occurs so it’s best to prevent it as much as you can. Below are a few tips to keep carpet mould at bay:
- Minimise indoor humidity. Use a dehumidifier to control air moisture which will deprive mould spores of the water they need for growth. Ideally, you want your indoor humidity levels to around 30-60% to inhibit mould growth.
- Avoid installing carpets in areas where frequent moisture is present like in bathrooms, laundry rooms, and more. This can quickly turn into a breeding ground full of mould if you don’t keep the moisture levels under control.
- Select high-quality carpet padding. There are plenty of carpets out there that have rubber-slab carpet padding containing antibacterial properties. It’s a bit more expensive than conventional carpet padding but the added cost is certainly worth it, especially if you live in an area where moisture is prevalent.
- Never allow standing water in your carpet. Textile flooring that’s soaking wet will suffer from water damage as well as mould infestation. Spills and water leaks should be fixed immediately to prevent mould growth.
You can get away with cleaning small areas of mould growth in your carpet, but if the problem has already affected a large portion of your textile flooring, it probably needs to be replaced. There are disinfectants that are specifically formulated to kill mould spores at their roots, preventing them from reappearing in your carpet. But before using it, it’s best to test it on a concealed part of your carpet to ensure that it won’t stain or ruin its colour.
In instances where mould growth is relatively small, you can cut off a portion of the carpet and replace it with a similar patch. Of course this might not be the best solution if aesthetics is a concern, but it’s effective at preventing the spread of mould even further. As with any carpet, prevention is the best method for carpet mould. The key is to control your home’s indoor humidity levels and address any mould growth as soon as possible.
If you suffer from severe mould growth, you can contact a professional carpet cleaning company to deal with the problem. They come with all the tools and equipment to remove mould spores like a HEPA vacuum and industry vacuums to drive out moisture and keep your carpet mould-free. They will determine the possibility of whether or not your carpet can be saved or if it needs replacing.