Molds are small organisms that are found almost everywhere, including inside, outside, on foods, plants, and dry leaves, and can be almost any color. Some common colors are green, orange, white, or black.
Black mold, also known as Stachybotrys charter and Stachybotrys atra, is a slimy, greenish-black-looking substance that can cause major health problems. It has been linked to illnesses such as bronchitis, asthma, and has caused respiratory bleeding in infants, resulting in deaths.
Many areas that become infected in your home, such as your carpet, are a result of a small leak or plumbing problems. If you happen to find black mold on your carpet, there are some easy steps you can take in order to rectify the problem and making your house a healthy place to live.
Before you start to clean the mold from your carpet, there are some precautionary steps you should take in order to limit your health risk:
- Always wear protective clothing that covers your whole body, including your hands and eyes.
- To protect against the inhalation of mold spores, wear a medium to a high-efficiency filter dust mask.
- No one besides the persons involved in the mold cleanup should be in or around the cleanup area.
- Always work in short intervals. Take breaks in a place where you can get some fresh air.
Beware that some people are more sensitive to molds than others and should not be involved or near the cleaning process. These people include:
- Elderly persons
- Infants and children
- People with cancer, liver disease, HIV infection, etc.
- People who have existing respiratory troubles, such as allergies and/or asthma
The next step is to contain an area that is going to be cleaned. Each area that is affected by mold should be separately contained. To do this, use duct tape and plastic lining or sheeting to seal the doorways, vents, and other openings where there might be airflow coming through. Also, if possible, place an exhaust fan in an open window in order to direct mold spores and airflow outdoors.
Okay, now you are ready to remove the black mold from your carpet. First, you want to lightly moisten the affected area with water. Using a soap and water mixture, thoroughly clean on and around the affected area with a stiff brush. Place the mold-affected materials into a heavy-duty Ziploc bag and take them to a landfill or have them incinerated. Next, apply a disinfectant on and around the affected area in order to kill the remaining mold spores.
- (A solution of 10% household bleach and 90% water will work. Using straight bleach is actually less effective!) Next, rinse the area thoroughly with hot water. An easy way to pick up the excess water is with a wet/dry vacuum. Let the area dry completely for two to three days. To help the drying process, use a dehumidifier, or raise the temperature in the house. When the area is completely dry, thoroughly vacuum the carpet.