Cleaning mold/mildew from carpet...

Old 04-12-08, 09:58 AM
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Cleaning mold/mildew from carpet...

Once a carpet has been really wet, is there any way to effectively remove mold and mildew stains and odors from it, short of outright replacement? We recently experienced a period of near-record rainfall, and rain-/groundwater crept in the house, either through the foundation or the retaining wall (house has berm wall on the north). I extracted all I could with my household carpet cleaner, but think I need to rent one of the machines from the grocery store (you know the ones!) to continue. Any input?
Old 04-12-08, 05:11 PM
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Mold/mildew spores are everywhere in the air. When they find damp, soiled surfaces then tend to settle in. Carpet and cushion that is wet 24-48 hours tends to have mold/mildew and associated odor problems.

You can clean carpet, but you can not clean carpet cushion and subfloor beneath. In the event of flood, carpet should be lifted, cushion discarded, water removed from carpet with wet/dry vacuum, subfloor disinfected, carpet professionally cleaned and disinfected, and dehumidifiers run to expedite drying, and fans run to improve air circulation. This must occur within the first 24-48 hours.

Since it sounds like it has been longer than the 24-48 hours, so it's probably best to call the homeowner's insurance and have the carpet replaced. The subfloor should be disinfected and allowed to thoroughly dry out with dehumidifier and fans running. If odor remains, subfloor can be sealed to seal in odors.

Note: DIY carpet cleaners do not have the ability to maintain heat at 180 degrees plus to disinfect or the suction to adequately remove excess moisture.

Keep in mind, too, that water can wick up inside the wall void and wet insulation and sill plate and studs. These areas are inaccessible to cleaning. Once insulation gets wet, it loses its insulative qualities.

For health reasons, it's best not to take any chances with mold/mildew. Elderly and young children are especially sensitive to allergens and mold/mildew. If you begin to show signs of respiratory distress, go to a doctor.
Old 04-13-08, 12:05 AM
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Yep carpet and padding and no doubt some drywall need to be replaced. This is a cat 2 to being with since it was ground water...and after 3 days becomes a cat 3 if left untouched. Which would be complete rip out and replacement of effected surfaces to ensure mold doesn grow. Contact your ins comany.

But with this being said...Did you know that most homeowners does NOT cover seepage damage? unless you have a rider stating that
Old 06-08-09, 10:39 PM
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In many mold problems that occur in the home, the carpeting is a prime suspect to cause some serious problems.The fibers in the carpeting will hold moisture and this is usually where you will see a mold and mildew problem start. Cleaning carpet mold is strategic, but if done properly you can salvage many moldy carpets.

Last edited by aaroni; 06-08-09 at 11:33 PM. Reason: spelling mistake
Old 10-05-10, 10:46 AM
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When you say strategic, aaroni, what exactly do you mean?
Old 10-05-10, 11:51 AM
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aaroni has not logged on in more than a year, we will likely never know what he meant

Bottom line is carpet can often be salvaged, though getting it dried out as soon as possible is important

Wet pad needs to be replaced

Mold and mildew stains, however, are going to be difficult and replacement might be in order
Old 10-06-10, 12:55 AM
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you have to solve the moisture issue first before you can do anything with materials getting wet

if the carpet is wet longer than 72 hours or the source of the water is from a pipe leak (black water) or storm should be tossed out...some insurance policies will help you out there...after 72 hours mold will start to show up or if its a black water loss...there is already bacteria in there that you dont want...remember carpet is pourous you can not say for 100 % sure its disinfected

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