Carpet Mold: The Hidden Health Risk
Why is mold bad?
Molds are a major source of allergens. Allergic responses include hay fever-type symptoms, such as sneezing, dripping nose, swollen red eyes, and skin rash. Allergic reactions to mold are common. They can be immediate or delayed. Molds can also be the culprit that triggers asthma attacks in people. In addition, mold may irritate the eyes, skin, nose, throat and lungs of both mold-allergic and non-allergic people.
Carpet at Risk
Carpeting is a part of the home that can be at high risk for mold growth. In order to flourish, mold needs dampness, oxygen, a food source, and a place to grow on. Mold spores are often found naturally in the air. If spores rest on a moist spot indoors that contains dirt for them to feed on, mold growth is sure to come. Normal carpeting, as well as throw rugs, can provide an abundant breeding ground for mold if conditions are right. At especially high risk for mold growth are carpets located below ground level in basements, carpet in homes located in moist or damp climates, and carpet that has been wet for any period of time.
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Here is tip No. 1 regarding spots and spills on your carpeting: Clean them immediately. If you catch the spill when it is brand new, you’ve got a good chance of removing it totally. Consider these tips, too:
Carefully blot or scrape the entire area before applying any cleaning solution. Remove as much of the spill as possible.
Before using any carpet cleaning solution, test your carpet in an less visible to make sure the cleaner won’t damage or discolor it. Test the cleaning agents that you keep on hand before you have to use them to make sure they will not harm your carpet.
Do not rub spot or spills, that might spread the problem to a larger area.
When you apply your spot cleaner, work from the outside of the stain toward the inside to avoid spreading the stain. After applying a cleaning solution, blot up all the moisture.
A clean white bath towel is unsurpassed for drying carpet and brushing the nap back up to a standing position.
If you feel that there is still too much moisture after blotting the carpet, place a half inch thick stack of white towels over the spot and weigh them down with something heavy.