We Spend A Lot of Time Touching Carpet
By Cesar Collado
Mold in and below your carpet can be the source of significant health hazards. Carpet harbors chemicals, mold, bacteria, skin cells, dust mites, allergens, mycotoxins, and other microscopic particles. Carpet can appear to be clean on the surface; however, doing a mold test may reveal it to be a significant source of mold.
About Carpet Construction
Carpets are made from thick woven fabric, typically shaped to fit a particular room. It is normally tightly fit and stretched to be seamless in any room. Carpet padding is used almost universally underneath the carpet. Carpet padding is a sheet of foam rubber or spongy material. Carpet pads are either glued or stapled to the subfloor. They help protect and extend the life of your carpet, as well as provide a nice cushion under your feet.
Both the carpet and the carpet padding are made with organic material or cellulose that provide nutrients for mold to reproduce. Since mold spores are everywhere, they will eventually settle in the carpet. The principle problem with carpet and padding is that they absorb and retain moisture. Because of the dense woven fabric, they provide a stable environment for mold to reproduce.
Moldy Carpet Characteristics
Carpet is also recognized as the largest air filter in the room that seldom gets cleaned properly. Gravity draws mold and dust downward and most vacuums aren’t completely effective in removing all dust and debris. A moldy carpet can weigh 8 times its installation weight when removed. The vast majority is composed of microscopic particles.
Microbial Carpet Hazards
Exposure due to touching or disrupting mold spores, allergens, and other particles can find their way through inhalation and ingestion if children put their hands in their mouths or touch their faces. Children can develop respiratory diseases such as asthma or get severely ill if the immune system is triggered continuously. Adults can find themselves with many serious symptoms like headaches, chronic sinusitis, brain fog, neurological , cognitive, and motor dysfunction due to mycotoxins. We often for get about our pets health and the environment. That alone can be the cause of expensive Veterinarian visits, medicines, and can result in an early departure.
Mold Hygiene for Carpets
There are many ways moldy carpet can be a hazard to human and pet health. One important issue that should be understood is that regular vacuums suck the dust out of the carpet and blow a portion of the microscopic particles that can include mold spores, dust mites, allergens, and other small particles back into the air. This is why having a HEPA vacuum is essential for people sensitive to mold. A HEPA canister vacuum or an upright vacuum with HEPA bags are good solutions to keep mold down to a minimum.
Key Considerations in Cleaning Carpets Routinely
- Sitting and touching carpet can expose hands and clothing to mold. This can be a big concern when children play on the carpeting.
- Each time a person steps on a moldy carpet, mold colonies get disturbed and release spores into the air.
- Even the appearance of a clean carpet can be deceiving.
- Every time liquid is spilled or leaked onto a carpet, there is potential for a mold problem. If the moisture does not completely dry within 24-48 hours, mold can reproduce and colonize.
- Carpets can also harbor bacteria that when combined with mold can produce putrid and musty odors that are difficult to remove.
- Cleaning chemicals often do not address mold and often use fragrances to mask odors.
- Carpet shampooing can leave high levels of moisture in the carpeting.
There is a Solution
Cleaning your carpet with HavenClean carpet cleaner and a hot water extraction rug cleaner (rentable at hardware and grocery stores) is an ideal solution. You can learn more about HavenClean by reading “A Dirty Carpet May be What Stands Between You and Your Health” HERE
HavenClean was formulated in a collaboration between ImmunoLytics, CitriSafe, and Jeff Bookout, President of BioBalance, and a well known licensed mold inspector/remediator who has spoken often over the past 2 decades at conferences to educate physicians and other mold professionals. Development included years of trying new formulations, while testing for mold and moisture before and after, initially using rented commercial water extraction carpet cleaners rented at hardware stores.
The water extraction method sprays a mold cleaning solution mixed with hot water into the carpet, penetrating the carpet fibers and padding. The solution is immediately extracted by a powerful vacuum with a tight carpet fit or seal. You can see by the extracted solution, significant dust, microbial debris, and bacteria is removed.
If you have questions or would like to share your experience, please comment.