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6 Steps to Stop Mold in Carpet from Water Damage

So you’ve walked into your house only to find there is a major leak causing excessive water damage on your carpet. What do you do?

While it’s inconvenient, there is also a health and safety concern to address because standing water due to a leak can cause mold. Mold is dangerous, so how do you get mold out of carpet?

Act fast!

Our cleaning and restoration company in Chicago helps property owners restore their water damaged carpeting each day.

That’s why we put together this guide. Read on to learn how to deal with soaked carpeting.

How To Dry Water Damaged Carpeting

1. Remove The Water Right Away

The first and most important step to stop mold in carpet from water damage is to remove the excess water from the carpet immediately.

Using a wet-dry vacuum will help you effectively remove water from the area. Depending on the amount, however, you may need to shovel it out with large buckets before the shop-vac will work. 

When you are in need of a wet-dry vacuum, you can often rent one or have a professional cleaning company like ServiceMaster Lake Shore come into your home and rid your carpet of water for you. The quicker you tend to the standing water, the more effective you will be in minimizing water damage and mold.

2. Remove the Damaged Carpet Pad and Dry Your Carpet

Once you remove the water from your carpet, you will need to remove the water damaged carpet pad–tear it out completely. Then, spray an antimicrobial solution on the floor and on both sides of the carpet. 

Once sprayed, put the carpet back, suction the carpet to remove excess water and moisture, and spray antimicrobial directly on the carpet. Then, dry your carpet completely. If it does not fully dry, you may find mold under your carpet pad in the long run.

In order to ensure you do not get carpet mold, you need to use large carpet-drying fans, created specifically to dry wet carpet and prevent mold growth. You should lay fans on the carpet and leave them running all day and night long for up to two days. 

dehumidifier for wet carpet

Not only will these fans dry your carpet effectively, but they will also do it in the shortest amount of time, minimizing the possibility of mold growth–which is important since mold from wet carpet is dangerous. 

3. Dry the Room


Drying the air in the room where the leak occurred is just as important as drying the carpet and should be done early in the process. Moisture from the water will stay in the room where the leak occurred and this can also cause carpet mold.

To prevent this from happening, use a dehumidifier to dry the air in the water-damaged room. A dehumidifier should be used alongside the carpet-drying fans and should run for up to two days. 

4. Check Your Furniture and Clean the Surrounding Areas 

You will also want to check any furniture that was near the leak to ensure it did not get damaged by the water. It is a good idea to remove your furniture from the wet area and check for any standing water hiding underneath a piece of furniture. 

It can take less than 48 hours for mold to grow in wet carpet. So the longer standing water is left unattended, the more likely you are to have mold growth. So inspect your furniture and ensure there is not any water hiding underneath it. 

And while your carpet may have taken the hardest hit from the water damage, you still need to clean the surrounding walls and baseboards. Use an EPA certified disinfectant to effectively clean these areas, as they may have been exposed to excessive water where mold could grow. 

5. Replace the Water Damaged Carpet Pad 

Once you have taken the steps to rid the carpet of water, you will need to replace the carpet pad that was taken out and reinstall carpet. Hiring a professional restoration company such as ServiceMaster of Lake Shore to replace your carpet pad will ensure it is done quickly and effectively. 

6. Steam Clean Your Carpet 

Just because your carpet is now dry doesn’t mean you have done enough to prevent mold in carpet from water damage. You also need to steam clean your carpet to remove disinfectant from the water damaged area. 

While you can rent a steam cleaner and do it yourself, consider hiring a carpet cleaning company to do the job. Between the cost of you having to buy the supplies and rent the machine, hiring a professional will not only be cost-effective but will also ensure the carpet gets thoroughly cleaned.

Now, you may be wondering, should carpet be replaced after water damage?

It depends.

If the water damage is extensive, it may be in your best interest to replace your carpet all together to prevent mold growth. 

It also depends on how long it takes for you to completely clean and dry the infected area. If you are quick to clean and dry your carpet, it is likely you will not need to replace your carpet due to carpet mold.

How to Deal with Existing Carpet Mold 

carpet mold
Image via Flickr / cc by SA 2.0

You cannot reverse carpet mold, you can only stabilize it from spreading. Once mold is trapped and growing in your carpet fibers, there is no way to reverse the damage. To effectively deal with existing carpet mold, you will need to replace your carpet pad and carpet completely. The sooner you replace your water damaged carpet the better.

Dealing with Moldy Carpet in Chicago, IL? Let us Help!

ServiceMaster of Lake Shore in Chicago has all the tools you need to effectively prevent and remove mold in carpet from water damage. 

From professional cleaning equipment to knowledgeable technicians, we are here to help you detect mold in carpet and get wet mold out of carpet fast.

Contact us today for help with moldy carpeting: 312-707-8597