If your carpet is water damaged from flooding or busted pipes, clean it quickly to avoid mold. Wet carpet makes the ideal breeding ground for mold since mold thrives in moist environments. Once mold is present, it poses health risks such as eye irritation, throat irritation, and respiratory problems. Here are some tips to prevent mold from wet carpeting.
Gather Your Tools
For this project, you need:
- rubber gloves
- bath towels
- paper towels
- wet-dry vacuum
- baking soda
- paper towels
If it isn't humid outside, raise a window in the room to provide a cross breeze for faster drying. In humid weather, don't open windows; instead, turn on a ceiling fan, central air unit, or window air conditioner.
Get someone to help you move furniture to give you room to work, and dry wet furniture immediately. Flood water is usually contaminated, so discard other items that may have come into contact with it, such as clothing, books, or toys.
Soak Up Excess Water
Use unfolded bath towels to absorb as much water as possible in small sections. Push them with your hands, or stand on them to help them absorb water better. Wring out damp towels, or toss saturated towels in the bucket.
Don't use a standard household vacuum on wet carpeting. Rent wet-dry vacuums from hardware stores or home improvement stores. Set the wet-dry vacuum to "dry" and run it over the carpet several times in slow, straight lines.
Check the canister periodically, and empty it, if it is full. Clean walls and baseboards with soap and water, disinfect them with a cup and half of bleach mixed with water and let it dry naturally. Check the padding under the carpet for damage.
Set Up Fans And Dehumidifiers
If the carpet is removable, pull the carpet from the installations strips, and lay it outdoors on a flat surface to dry. Otherwise, set up fans on dry areas of carpet, or in doorways. Set up a dehumidifier on a dry area of carpet in the direction of the fan so dry air blows across the room, and check the dehumidifier's canister occasionally. Don't set fans or dehumidifiers on wet areas to avoid shock.
Spread baking soda over the area, and let it set for about half an hour to soak up remaining liquid. Vacuum the baking soda with a standard household vacuum. Leave the fans overnight, and check for moisture by pushing paper towels over the carpet. After everything has dried, move the furniture back into place.
Cleaning wet carpets quickly will prevent harmful mold growth. If mold still develops after drying the carpet, hire a mold removal service to assist you.