How to Identify Mould Growth in Carpets
Carpets make our homes feel cosy, warm and inviting. They typically don’t require much upkeep, but the biggest downside to carpet is the susceptibility to mould growth – and nobody likes the idea of walking on carpet when there’s something nasty lingering underneath.
So how can you spot mould growth in your carpets? How can you prevent it?
How does mould grow on carpets?
Mould growth is a nightmare in any home. It smells odd, it can be difficult to remove and it can cause health problems in the long term. Household members with underlying respiratory problems such as Asthma are particularly at risk when mould is present in the home.
Like any living organism, mould needs just the right conditions to survive. The ideal conditions for spores to thrive are dark, moist environments and warm temperatures.
Sound familiar? The underside of carpet makes the perfect breeding ground for these spores. If there is a leak or a spill in your home that went undealt with, you should consider testing for mould to be safe. When spores are met with the right conditions, mould can begin to grow within 24-48 hours.
How can I tell if there is mould hidden underneath my carpet?
If you even so much as suspect mould growth in the home, you should get a mould testing kit or contact a professional as soon as possible.
There are a few common signs to look out for that may indicate mould in your carpets:
- Odd smells – Mould emits a musty, sour, unpleasant smell. If you have noticed a musty smell in areas of your home with carpet, you may have mould.
- Stains and discolouration – If you spot an area of carpet that is stained or discoloured and you are unaware of the cause, you should pull up that section to inspect it for mould and mildew.
- Reactions – Mould continuously releases spores and these can cause health problems in the home. If you notice eye irritation, shortness of breath, a sore throat or a developing cough and these symptoms ease outside of the home, you should check your home for mould.
Keep in mind that when you are inspecting areas for mould, you should always wear appropriate gloves, eye protection and a mask/respiratory protection. If you are unsure or uncomfortable dealing with suspected mould, contact a professional.
How can I prevent mould growth?
Mould needs a dark, damp, warm environment with a food source to breed far and wide. Simply altering the conditions in your home can massively reduce the risk of mould growth.
- Clean and maintain your carpets properly. Vacuuming your carpet regularly will remove any dust and dirt hiding in the fibres. Deprive mould of its main food source and it will reduce the speed at which it can spread. Clean carpets are less susceptible to mould growth even in moist conditions.
- Clean up any spills and deal with leaks as soon as possible. It is vital that you deal with exposure to liquid quickly because mould thrives in moist environments.
(You can read about how to deal with non-mould related water damaged carpets here on our blog!)
- Control the humidity in the home. It is always a good idea to invest in a dehumidifier for rooms in the home with carpet. Open windows to allow fresh air to circulate throughout as this will reduce humidity levels in the home.
Keeping your carpets clean and free of damp will starve mould spores of the conditions they need to grow.
If you have discovered mould inside or underneath your carpets, we do not recommend trying to remove it yourself. A professional carpet cleaner will have the correct knowledge, experience and protective equipment to safely deal with the mould.
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