Removing mold from carpets is essential for health reasons, but is very difficult to do. In some cases, replacing the carpet is more practical than restoring it. Do-it-yourself homeowners may be able to eliminate a little surface mold; however, professionals will need to remove any extensive or deep-rooted mold.
Anyone removing mold should wear protective gear for health reasons. It is highly recommended that you wear an N95, 3M #1860, or a TC-21C particulate respirator or mask to filter out mold spores. Also, make sure you have proper air ventilation, and wear eye protection, rubber gloves, rubber boots, and clothing that can be laundered immediately after removing the mold.
First, inspect the carpet pad. It has to be discarded if it has been contaminated with mold. It is also best to discard any carpet that has been wet for two or more weeks. The mold elimination is likely to be more successful if the carpet can be taken outdoors and exposed to sunlight. The specific mold removal steps are:
- Thoroughly vacuum the contaminated area using a true HEPA vacuum cleaner, as it is highly important not to let the mycotoxins become airborne. Immediately take the vacuum cleaner outside and thoroughly clean and disinfect it.
- Depending on the size of the stain, apply an appropriate carpet shampoo using a hot water extraction machine, or use a damp cloth to apply a mixture of one tablespoon of liquid laundry detergent and two cups of cool water that has been vigorously mixed to the point of being frothy suds.
- Thoroughly rinse the area, making sure you remove all the detergent.
- Repeat steps 2 and 3 until mold disappears.
- Place the carpet outside, with backing facing the sun’s direct rays to kill off any remaining mold or mildew.
- Apply a good disinfectant solution or a light coating of a weak chlorine solution of a ¼ teaspoon of chlorine bleach to one-cup water and thoroughly sanitize the area. Be sure not to mix ammonia with chlorine bleach, as it can be highly toxic.
- Repeat step 3
- Dry the carpet as quickly and thoroughly as possible. Either hang the carpet on an outdoor clothesline or lay it flat in a warm, dry place, with electric fans blowing directly on the carpet.
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