Carpet mold is pretty nasty — it can appear within 24 to 48 hours of water exposure. Whether you’ve suffered a burst pipe, a roof leak, or a natural disaster, the last thing you want to do is replace a whole lot of carpet because of a little water.
And mold won’t just ruin your carpets. It can pose a health hazard to you and anyone else living in your house. Symptoms include respiratory difficulties, headaches, and even bronchitis or other serious infections.
How to Prevent Carpet Mold
So what should you do to keep carpet mold from ruining your day? Read on for five tips on avoiding mold on your favorite carpet floors.
1. Find the Source of the Water
Your first step should be finding the reason your carpets are flooded in the first place. It might be an obvious answer if you’ve experienced a natural disaster or an overflowing toilet, but a burst pipe in your wall or under your foundation might be the kind of thing only a professional can find.
Once you’ve found the source of the leak, make repairs or hire a professional if necessary. Before you deal with existing water damage, you need to make sure you aren’t at risk of any future issues.
2. Remove Furniture from the Effected Rooms
Furniture can trap water underneath the carpet. It can also get in the way while you’re trying to get things cleaned up! Move your furniture out of any flooded rooms so it’s easier to clean up after a flooding event, and check it as you move for any water damage.
3. Vacuum Excess Water
You can rent a wet/dry vacuum at your local hardware store or hire a professional to remove the water from your carpets. It’s important to get rid of as much water as possible immediately since mold grows quickly.
4. Use a Large Blower Fan or Floor Dryer
If you’re the person who turns on a fan for white noise while you sleep, you’re going to love this suggestion. Floor drying fans range from $60 to $100, depending on the retailer, but they’re invaluable when it comes to peace of mind.
Pull up the affected carpet and place the fan between the carpet padding and carpeting to dry the carpet quickly. Depending on the severity of water damage, it may take up to a week for the fan to dry out the carpet completely. Use a wet-dry vacuum to remove water beforehand if you want to speed up the fan-drying process.
5. Clean and Sanitize Walls and Baseboards
While mold can cause a lot of problems with your carpets, it can also affect the walls! Use a solution of bleach and water to wipe down any walls and baseboards that came into contact with floodwater. This step is especially important if you’ve been the victim of a natural disaster — stormwater can carry bacteria, sewage, and all manner of nasty things.
Proactivity is Key
Once you’ve taken these simple steps to prevent carpet mold growth, you’ll be all set to clean up after the floodwaters recede. If you’re the victim of a major flood or natural disaster, you should also consider calling a professional water damage restoration company. They can make sure you’re not at any risk of long-term damage or mold growth.