Signs You Have Mold In Your Carpet & How to Get Rid of It

by | May 1, 2024 | Mold | 0 comments

Carpets and rugs are common places in the home to find mold growth, especially in high-humidity areas like bathrooms and kitchens. The risk of mold in carpets is highest after water damage. But mold can still spread in area rugs and carpets even without any flooding.

 

If you think there’s mold in your carpets, submitting a sample for testing can help protect your home and your health. Mold can damage your carpets, floors, and other building materials. They also frequently cause allergic reactions and can irritate your skin, eyes, nose, throat, and lungs. 

 

The good news is that there are effective ways to get rid of household mold once you identify it. In this article, we’re breaking down common signs of mold in carpets and how to remove it from your home!

How Does Mold Form in Carpets?

mold under a microscope

Molds are a type of fungus that spread via tiny reproductive spores that float through the air. Once these spores land on a suitable surface, they can begin growing. 

 

In order to grow, molds need a combination of moisture, oxygen, and a food source (such as wet wood and decaying plant material). Since wall-to-wall carpets and area rugs generally meet these conditions, they’re common places for mold spores to settle and reproduce.

 

There are many different types of mold, but they all require water to grow. That’s why finding mold in carpets is most common when excess moisture is present, such as after a flood or leak, in humid areas like bathrooms, and in damp climates like the PNW.

How To Detect Mold in Carpets

A Musty Odor

Common types of mold release microbial volatile organic compounds (mVOCs) that produce an earthy, musty smell. If you notice this odor persisting or worsening around your carpets, it could be a sign of mold or mildew and should be investigated.

Discoloration

Arguably the most conspicuous sign of mold in your carpets is the presence of visible blotches or spots. These spots will usually appear black, green, yellow, or brown. If you notice unexplained discoloration in your rugs or carpets, it’s a good idea to test for mold.

Related: 10 Types of Mold Colors

Persistent Dampness

Because mold thrives in damp environments, significant or persistent moisture in your carpets can act as a hotspot for mold spores to land and spread. Whether carpet moisture is caused by flooding, a plumbing leak, or excessive humidity in the air, it’s important to clean and dry out the area to remove and prevent mold growth.  

Allergy Symptoms

woman blowing her nose on the couch because she has allergies

If your household is experiencing persistent cold-like symptoms, it may be due to mold allergies. Significant exposure to mold has been proven to produce allergy symptoms such as:

  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Itchy nose and/or eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Dry skin

If you’re experiencing these symptoms and they won’t go away or are getting progressively worse, it’s important to consider mold as a potential cause.

Positive Mold Test

Whether you use an at-home testing kit or get a professional assessment, getting a positive mold test is the easiest way to determine if you have mold in your home.

How To Get Rid of Mold in Carpets

Get a Professional Mold Analysis

If you suspect mold in carpets around your home, a mold test from an AIHA proficient laboratory can help you confirm the presence of mold and give you all the information you need to address the problem. With a state-of-the-art facility, advanced technology, and a team of trusted experts, JSE Labs can provide you with fast, comprehensive, and accurate mold testing results to ensure you learn everything you need to know about the mold in your home. 

Remove the Mold

Regardless of the cause, severity, or location of the mold, it should be fully removed to preserve the health of your household and the integrity of your home. If you discover household mold in your carpets, clean the area thoroughly with a strong carpet cleaner or other household cleaning product such as baking soda or hydrogen peroxide. Then vacuum the affected area thoroughly and repeat the process as needed. 

 

You should always wear protective gear such as gloves and a respirator mask. You can also opt to hire a professional to clean the area for you, which can be especially helpful for those with respiratory conditions or extreme allergy symptoms.

 

Keep in mind that this process is best suited for milder cases of mold. If significant mold growth is present, you’ll likely need to replace the carpets.

Dry Out The Area

The key to controlling mold in the home is to control moisture. Molds thrive in damp environments. Without excess moisture collecting on your floors due to spills, leaks, or indoor humidity, you’re much less likely to find mold in carpets or rugs in your home.

Here are some tips to help keep your carpets dry and free of mold:

  • Vacuum your carpets regularly, particularly after mud or other outdoor debris is tracked inside.
  • If you’ve recently dealt with water damage, dry the area thoroughly with indoor fans.
  • Try running a dehumidifier.
  • Avoid putting plush rugs in high-humidity areas like kitchens and bathrooms.
  • Fix plumbing and roof leaks as quickly as possible.

Remove the carpet if necessary

Because carpets are fibrous and porous, removing mold may be more difficult compared to smooth, non-porous surfaces such as tile. If the mold in your carpet or rug is severe, covers a broad area, or won’t go away even after cleaning, then having the carpet removed is the best way to ensure any remaining mold is gone for good.

Get Your Carpets Tested for Mold at JSE Labs – Oregon’s Premier Environmental Laboratory

dehumidifier

The first step to getting rid of mold in carpets or other areas of your home is to accurately identify it. If you’re experiencing symptoms of allergy or irritation, a musty odor, or persistent dampness after a leak, professional mold testing can provide valuable information. At JSE Labs, we’re honored to serve residential and commercial property owners, contractors, and others with timely, accurate mold testing and analysis.

 

We can come to your property or you can collect a sample yourself and submit it to our Milwaukie laboratory for testing in person or by mail

 

Contact us to speak with our experts and get professional testing you can rely on.

Lisa Jones-Stohosky

Lisa Jones-Stohosky

Lisa started in the industrial hygiene and environmental industry in 1992 as an asbestos microscopist and began performing building inspections for asbestos, lead paint, and other hazards in 1994.

“This career has been an amazing experience, traveling for work to perform inspections both locally and abroad to locations such as Hawaii and Germany. My real love however is being in the laboratory and assisting our wonderful clients.”

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