Dangers Of Mould Growth In Your Carpet

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Dangers Of Mould Growth In Your Carpet

Dangers Of Mould Growth In Your Carpet

Mould spreads fast. The spores of the fungi travel through the air, and there are usually plenty floating about. They will get to a dry surface and remain there, waiting for conditions to change that will allow them to grow. Not much is needed. A damp environment will enable them to thrive, which is why different mould species are found both indoors and outdoors. From wood surfaces, cardboard, the ceiling tiles, and upholstery-mould can develop on them all. It’s usually found in the basements and bathrooms, but also extends to the other sections of the home if the infestation is not contained and dealt with. The carpeting in the building will also not be spared in this. 

 

What Causes A Mould Infestation In Your Carpet?

It can result from different factors. Take overwetting for instance. This is a common occurrence during the DIY carpet cleaning jobs. Basically, the carpet is drenched with too much water- perhaps in a bid to flush out the heavy build-ups of soiling. This is further compounded by the low capacity machinery that is used or the extraction during the DIY jobs, meaning that loads of water are left behind in the carpet, thus extending the drying time. The mould spores that end up latching on your unit find suitable conditions for them to develop, and within as little as 48 hours the growth will have already started. 

It can also be due to flooding caused by anything ranging from plumbing accidents to leaky roofing that let water into the building during heavy downpours. The water that remains in the carpet encourages mould to grow. There are situations where the moisture comes from the ground below through the floor structure- with this rising damp increasing the moisture levels within the carpet. Even spills that were allowed to remain standing for too long on the carpet, such that they soaked into the pile and took long to dry out, can cause mould growth.  

 

Signs that there is mould in your carpet

So, how do you know that your carpet has been affected? For other sections of the house- like the walls and floors, it will be easy to spot the spots that are forming, since they will be in stark contrast with the rest of the surface. With carpets, on the other hand, detecting the growths may be difficult since they can even be developing underneath the material, which Iies hidden from sight. However, there are signs that point to a mould infestation, these include:

  • A musty odour coming from the carpet

That damp smell that lingers around that carpet can be an indication that there is mould festering within the material. However, for the building’s occupants- homeowners who live in it daily, or the employees in the business premises who spend most of the day within that environment- they may have grown accustomed to the smell. This means that it’ll take a while longer for them to notice it. However, the visitors- be it the friends and relatives dropping by your home to catch up, or the customers accessing your business premises- will be able to notice it immediately they walk through the front doors.

  • Spots of different colours forming on the carpet

This is different from the stains. In fact, with stains you will already know what has caused the spot- be it the coffee or tea that was spilled, some red wine that ended up on the carpet after a glass was knocked over, blood spots from cuts or nicks, and even issues like pet urine stains. However, with mould, the spots will show up and keep growing in size. The colour varies based on the particular type of mould that is affecting your carpet. For instance, Cladosporium presents itself in a brown or olive-green colour, while the toxigenic Fusarium mould is often white, pink or reddish in colour. Penicillin is blue or green- and it’s known for its velvety texture, while the Trichoderma mould colonies will be white in colour and have patches that are green. By the time you’re noticing these spots on your carpet, the mould growth will already be at an advanced stage, as it is an indication of the mould colony quickly spreading through the carpet’s structure. 

  • The carpet lifting up

This is particularly for those cases where the mould is growing underneath the carpet. As the size of the mould colony increases, it will cause the affected section to bulge upwards. 

  • Increased cases of allergies

Mould is not just unsightly. It also produces spores. These spores trigger allergic reactions. As the mould infestation grows, the concentration of allergens that are being released into the indoor air space increase, meaning that there will be more reactions to those in the building. From coughing to sneezing, watery eyes and irritated throats, conditions like bronchitis getting inflamed- there will be a likelihood that your carpet is affected by mould. This is especially if it has been recently subjected to water damage- be it overwetting from the DIY carpet cleaning, or issues like faulty water pipes causing flooding. 

 

Preventing Mould Growth In Your Carpet

Since the mould is fuelled by the presence of moisture, controlling the levels will be a key determinant in protecting your carpet. This can be done in different ways, including:

 

  • Minimizing the indoor humidity. 

 

With installations like dehumidifiers, you will have much more control over the levels of moisture in the indoor airspace, thus depriving the mould spores of the moisture that they need to grow. Restricting the humidity levels in the rooms to between 30 and 60% will aid in inhibiting the growth of mould. 

 

  • Deal with water damage as soon as possible

 

Allowing standing water in the carpet is a recipe for disaster. If there has been an incidence of water damage, fix the source of the problem- such as the plumbing leaks, and get the carpet thoroughly cleaned and dried. 

 

  • Use professional carpet cleaning services

 

This will prevent incidences like overwetting, thus protecting your carpet. What’s more, the professionals use powerful extraction systems that remove the bulk of the moisture from the carpet, and it’s left just slightly damp to the touch. This will then dry up within a couple of hours, as opposed to the days that it would have taken after a DIY carpet cleaning job. 

Dangers Of Mould Growth In Your Carpet

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