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How To Prevent Mold In Wet Carpet

When a seasonal storm passes through your neighborhood, do you think of the state of your carpet after? Do you think about your carpet when the weather is particularly humid? What about times when you find a leak in your plumbing — do you think about your carpet then? 

For most people, the answer is likely no. The typical homeowner would be more concerned about other areas of their house, such as the plants and trees in their yard, bathroom, or roofing.

Suppose you have a carpet in your home. In that case, however, you should check it whenever there are conditions that could cause it to get wet, such as storms, humid weather, plumbing leaks, burst pipes or water heaters, or even accidents like leaving a faucet running. 

This is because getting your carpet wet will facilitate mold growth, threatening your and your family’s health. If you want to keep the mold at bay, keep reading for valuable tips on preventing mold in wet carpet. 

How To Tell if Your Carpet Is Wet

This may seem like a no-brainer, but in reality, there are times when your carpet isn’t moist to the touch but may still be hiding wetness. Old moisture could be trapped below the surface, or you may have an undetected leak seeping into the carpet over time.

The easiest way to identify moisture problems in your carpet is by the scent — wet carpet carries a musty, foul odor that’s especially strong in the affected area. This odor can also permeate the rest of your home. It may be a wet carpet if you notice an unpleasant odor even after cleaning or vacuuming.

Other signs are discoloration in sections of the carpet and unexplained allergy symptoms in family members.

Here are some steps to take when you’ve determined that your carpet is wet:

1. Take Immediate Action

Speed is essential in preventing mold from developing in your carpet when you’ve identified moisture problems. In the right conditions — moisture, warmth, darkness, and bad air circulation — mold can grow incredibly fast. In warm weather especially, it can take as little as 24 to 48 hours for mold to form after your carpet gets wet. 

2. Cut Off The Water Source

If the wetness is from a spill (e.g., a dropped glass, an overflowing bathtub, a broken fish tank), clean it up and ensure no more water gets spilled. 

If the wetness is from a leaking plumbing fixture, like a sink faucet, toilet, washing machine, or dishwasher, use the fixture shutoff valves to cut off the water flow to the affected fixture. 

If you can’t find the source of the wetness and suspect a burst pipe or some other slow leak, shut off your water main and call a plumber. 

3. Get Rid Of The Excess Water

The simplest solution to soaking up excess water is a few old towels. Remember to wash and dry the towels, so they don’t grow mold or mildew. If you have a wet/dry vacuum, however, it can help suck up the water.

4. Check Your Furniture

If you have furniture in the area of the wet carpet, be sure to check if they also got affected by water damage. Some may need to be removed, dried, repaired, or replaced. 

While you’re working on preventing mold from developing in your carpet, you can protect furniture by wrapping its legs or feet with aluminum foil or plastic wrap, lifting curtains and furniture skirts away from the carpet, and removing items that may be ruined by moisture (e.g., books, delicate fabrics, etc.).

5. Generate Airflow

If the leak is relatively fresh and you haven’t noticed a musty odor in your home, you want to create as much airflow as possible to combat humidity and dry out the carpet. You can use standard fans or dehumidifiers for this.

However, if you suspect mold has already grown, don’t use a fan — this can worsen the problem by allowing mold spores to spread through the HVAC system.

6. Call A Water Damage Professional

Even when you’ve done all you can to dry out your wet carpet, you might still see water damage in the affected area, especially if it took you a while to discover the leak. 

For best results, call a water damage professional to determine whether or not the area was dried out completely and assess the state of your flooring, furniture, and walls. 

Call A Professional Carpet Cleaning Service

If your carpet has turned into a moldy mess after you couldn’t address moisture problems, professional carpet cleaners can help you. 

At Carpet DryClean, our signature dry carpet cleaning method can clean and disinfect your carpet of any mold, mildew, dirt, stains, and bacteria, leaving behind a carpet that looks good as new. In addition, our dry cleaning method uses no water at all, so you don’t have to worry about preventing mold from developing in your carpet after cleaning.

Call us at (919) 878-0748, and get a free estimate for your needed carpet cleaning services today.

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