What To Do If You Find Black Mould in Your Carpet
6 October 2022
Black mould is a problem that effects thousands of households. In fact, its so common that its likely many more households have black mould, but they aren’t even aware of its presence in their home. It can set in behind plasterboard, under floorboards, or even begin its life in your home behind wallpaper.
With this being the case, it might not be long before black mould sets into your carpet. Of all your decorative elements, your carpet is always going to be one of the more expensive and difficult pieces to repair or replace.
So, if you get black mould in your carpet, what should you do? More importantly, how can you stop it from happening again?
Why Do I Have Black Mould in My Carpet?
Black mould is, at its core, a fungus. The reason that it grows wherever it grows is because the conditions in that area are ideal for the black mould spores, and they can support the black mould as it slowly grows and spreads.
Breaking that down, lets first talk about what ‘ideal conditions’ are for black mould. The main deciding factor here is moisture. If a surface is continuously or regularly wet or damp, without being cleaned or dried, then there is every chance that that area is going to be ideal for black mould.
You should also be aware of the temperature – black mould enjoys growing in warmer temperatures. You might now understand why bathrooms, kitchens, and other high condensation areas might have a higher level of black mould in them than others.
So, why do you have black mould in your carpet? Because, somewhere near that carpet, is damp – and that damp is creating the ideal conditions for black mould to grow. Once the black mould fugus has grown its going to fruit, and spread itself continuously.
So, with all that in mind, how can you stop black mould from appearing in your carpet, and how can it be removed once its already growing?
How To Stop Black Mould from Growing in a Carpet
Before we tackle the issue of removing black mould from a carpet you need to make sure that the chance of the mould returning is minimised – otherwise its like shovelling snow whilst its still snowing.
So, because we are dealing with black mould in a carpet, we can assume that (unless it’s a particularly nasty infestation) the black mould is close to the floor.
This usually means that there is damp or condensation forming near the floor itself – or perhaps even underneath the floor.
So, one of three forms of damp could be at fault here.
Rising damp is the process of moisture being absorbed into your property via the ground, through a process known as capillary action. Its entirely possible that, if given enough time, rising damp under your carpet could be creating the ideal moist environments in which black mould thrives.
That’s because the rising damp can eventually spread to different surfaces if there is heavy rain. Your underfloor joists and floorboards are all at risk of rising damp spreading through them, and this is especially true if there has been heavy rain throughout the summer.
Rising damp can be stopped with a simple treatment from a trained and knowledgeable damp proofing specialist. A damp proof course stops the spread of rising damp up into your properties walls, and our specialist will be able to install the DPC with minimal disruption or invasive work, drilling into your exterior walls and injecting the damp proof course in.
If however, rising damp isn’t found to be the cause of the damp, then there is every chance it could be penetrating damp or condensation.
Penetrating damp is when damp has set into your properties walls due to a fault with your property and its features. This could be a leaky drainpipe, a blocked drain, failed pointing – but considering we are talking about black mould within a carpet, we can assume that the fault might be a lot closer to the floor.
This might include things like a leaky radiator, a burst pipe, or blocked drain, which is slowly seeping into the underfloor area around the carpet itself. Either way, there will be no point in having the black mould removed from the carpet until the source of the damp is identified.
The best way to do this is by having a qualified surveyor visit your property to determine where the damps source is. Once found, our surveyor can provide detailed recommendations on what you will need to do in order to put a stop to the damp for good, and then you can begin on treating your carpet.
Condensation however, is a little trickier. Condensation is the process of warm, moist air coming into contact with colder surfaces. On contact the temperature of the air drops, the moist air reverts to a liquid form, and sits on the surface with which it has come into contact.
Commonly you will find that rooms like conservatories, bathrooms, kitchens, and other rooms where plenty of heat are produced creates condensation. You will need to think about your habits in the room where the black mould has appeared, and examine whether condensation might be to blame.
If you have a bath mat with black mould in it for example, it might be that the bathroom itself is holding too much condensation. You might find yourself in the same situation if you have a conservatory with underfloor heating and a rug sat in the same room, or a kitchen that generates a lot of heat.
So, if you do find that the black mould in your carpet is a product of condensation then you are going to have two main goals to eliminate it. First, you want to reduce the amount of warm moist air you are creating. This could mean sticking lids on your pots and pans in the kitchen, cooler or shorter showers, drying your clothes outside, or something else.
You can read more about reducing the amount of condensation you generate here, but the other goal you are going to have is just as important, and that’s creating ventilation so the dense ait can leave your property.
Ventilation can be achieved through simply opening a window, the installation of an extractor fan, or even having a positive pressure system installed in your property so that the dense air is constantly pushed out of your property by an automated system.
You can read all about different methods of ventilation on our site here, but regardless of how you do it, ventilation is key.
Removing Black Mould from Your Carpet
Black mould in a fabric is much different than black mould on a surface. On a surface like tile, black mould can easily be scrubbed away, especially if its treated with a mould removal spray.
However, in fabric it’s a little different. The first thing you are going to want to do is assess the level of damage that the black mould has caused. If you have discovered just a few blots of mould on the carpet, then that will be easy enough to treat, but if the mould is widespread, then you may want to consider getting a new carpet altogether.
If you are set on removing the black mould from your carpet though, you are going to want to start by making sure that the area around the black mould is dry. No excess moisture, condensation, or leaks should be present, but if you have properly stemmed the source of the damp that allowed the black mould this problem should already be solved.
Then you are going to have to scrub the area the black mould has set into. You can use a baking soda and vinegar mixture, and that will clean the area well, but you can also apply a carpet cleaner, anti mould fabric cleaner, or even call in a professional carpet cleaning company if you are unable to treat the area yourself.
Once you are done scrubbing, and the mould has disappeared, its important to make sure that the area dries completely. You want to make sure its dry in case any microscopic spores of the black mould fungus remain in the carpet, if they are left in a damp environment its likely that they could fruit into black mould again.
Once this process is complete, you should have a nice, clean carpet once more.
Remember though, all of this hinges on you discovering and remedying the source of the damp in your property. Make sure that you call on a trusted and qualified surveyor to discover the source of the damp in your property, so that the black mould can be eliminated securely and permanently.
Contact our team for a damp survey on our website here, or call 0800 288 8660 to talk to a customer services advisor today.