Everyone knows that mold isn’t particularly healthy for them. However, many do not realize that mold can cause a lot of health problems, especially if the exposure is long-term. While short term exposure can cause problems like sneezing, runny nose, coughing, wheezing, and red itchy eyes. However long-term exposure or exposure to more dangerous molds can cause problems like hair loss, hemorrhaging, memory loss, and lethargy. In some cases, symptoms will be long-term and cannot be reversed even after the mold is removed. Therefore, it is important that any mold issues are dealt with immediately
By the time it smells like mold or mildew the problem is already quite extensive, and mold problems are not visible until the problem is severe. Aside from a musty or mildew smell, you may also notice discolored fabrics and walls. It can grow on paper, cardboard, ceiling tiles, wallpaper, paint, insulation, and fabrics like clothing, upholstery, and carpet. The most likely places in a home for mold to grow are the bath and laundry rooms, kitchens, and basements. This is especially problematic in climates that are damp or areas around the home where moisture hangs around for long periods of time. Mold can start growing in as little as 24-48 hours according to FEMA. It can grow on all sorts of materials from fabrics to insulation. It can even grow on dust.
Mold Growth & Entry Points
The entry points for mold are numerous. The most obvious point of entry is leaky pipes or a basement that has foundation issues that are letting moisture through. However, not all points of entry are as obvious. Mold can also enter through the heating and cooling systems, especially if they are not well maintained. It can also enter the home of those residing in it. Pet paws, shoes, fabric bags, and clothing can also be a source of entry. With so many entry points it is a good idea to work toward prevention.
There are some simple things that can be done to help prevent the growth of mold. First, understand that mold needs food and moisture to grow. If you live in an area with high humidity, purchase a dehumidifier. The interior of a home or office should be around 30% humidity to help prevent mold growth. In addition, always hang up wet or damp clothes until they are dry before sticking them in the laundry if laundry day is more than 24 hours away. Towels and clothes should never be left on the floor of the bathroom. Second, mold’s primary food source is dust. Make sure to vacuum, dust, and change the furnace filters on a regular schedule.
Carpets are an area where mold prevention is important. Purchase anti-microbial, or synthetic carpets as they are more mold-resistant. Avoid putting carpet in areas of the home where there is a higher risk for moisture such as the bathroom. Do not put plastic mats down over the carpet in areas where there is higher humidity. The mats can trap moisture. Finally, be sure to vacuum the carpet at least once a week, and professionally clean the carpet annually.
If a leak should occur over the carpet, it is important to dry the carpet as quickly as possible. Carpet and pads can start growing mold in as little as 24-48 hours. If the leak was severe, take pictures for your insurance company before acting. Suction as much water up as possible, you may need to pull back the carpet to allow the pad to dry as well. Place fans in the area. If you have access to an ozone machine run it. Ozone can kill mold but be careful. Ozone is strong and can hurt the lungs when in concentrations high enough to kill mold. If you are going to place a machine in the area, make sure that it is clear of people. When it is time to turn the machine off, go in turn it off, open a window, and leave the room for an additional 30 minutes to clear the air before going back in. If it takes longer than 24 hours to dry get a restoration professional in your home as soon as possible to take care of any issues. Carpets and padding at a minimum will need cleaning but may need replacing. In addition, the water may have impacted the baseboards and walls. It is better to be safe than sorry.
Mold & Carpet Cleaning
In ideal circumstances, most people will not need to worry about carpet cleaning causing mold or mildew. However, there are instances where cleaning the carpet can cause a mold problem. Knowing what to look for in a carpet cleaning company can make a huge difference in the outcome of the cleaning, and whether or not mold or mildew makes an entrance into your home.
Do Your Research
While it goes without saying that everyone should research companies before they hire anyone. This is especially important when highering a carpet cleaning company. Carpet cleaning companies with low-ranking reviews can be more than just a sign of poor business practices. It can also be a sign that they don’t know what they are doing. Training is extremely important. Companies that push out trainees in two weeks are not going to be able to provide quality carpet care. They may leave the carpets too wet, use the wrong amount of solution, and improperly diagnose problems. In some cases, inexperienced cleaners can even make existing problems worse.
Fast Drying is the Goal
No matter what, the carpets need to dry quickly. Hire a company with a track record for fast drying capabilities. If the carpet is wet longer than 24 hours the risk of mold increases. If the cleaning company says the carpets will be wet longer than 24 hours make sure they are using a mold mitigation product to kill mold spores.
Here at Pristine Carpet Cleaning, we do two things that specifically work to prevent mold growth. The first is we offer a fast drying cleaning process. Most carpets are dry within 2-4 hours with a few exceptions due to severe pet urine problems. Second, our cleaning prices include sanitizer which is a mold inhibitor. It stops mold from growing while the carpet dries. However, this product will not tackle a full-blown mold problem. If mold is already present, we may be able to help with minor issues, but our goal is to prevent mold growth from the beginning.
We are not a mold remediation company and are not able to tackle restoration projects. If a severe mold problem exists, we will refer you to a company that specializes in severe mold problems.
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