Mold is a fungus that grows and spreads on various types of damp surfaces. It’s the last thing you want in your house as it doesn’t come without its negative health effects like breathing problems, headache, watery eyes, and wheezing to mention a few.
In extreme cases, mold can cause food poisoning. The question is, “can steam cleaning carpet cause mold?”
This article discusses the connection between mold and steam cleaning your carpet. At the end of the read, you shall learn how to steam clean your carpet correctly to avoid mold, as well as discover more about how to prevent excess mold from growing inside your house. But first, let’s answer the question below.
Does Steam Cleaning Carpet Cause Mold?
Steam cleaning carpet can cause mold growth if it isn’t done correctly and drying isn’t fast and effective. Mold grows on a surface if dampness persists for at least 24 hours. This can happen when carpets are poorly steamed.
How Do I Tell if My Carpet Has Mold?
The most straightforward way to tell if your carpet has mold is to smell it for a musty odor. A carpet with mold will give off a distinct, bad smell. You can also use a piece lens to find any white, green, or black growth on the carpet’s surface.
Such growth is likely to be mold, especially if the same carpet gives off a bad smell. But if mold isn’t visible on the surface, and you still have a strong feeling that it’s present, you can check underneath the carpet for mold growth. You can also call a professional to help with the inspection.
Tips For Steam Cleaning Carpets Without Causing Mold
A surprising fact is that no matter how clean your house is, mold is always present but at low levels that may not cause any health effects. Mold reproduces using spores, which are always airborne.
When the spores land on damp surfaces, they grow and cause mold. The best way to steam clean carpets without causing molds is to ensure that drying is complete so that no damp conditions are left behind to favor the growth of spores. Some of the ways to do so include:
1. Opt For Spot Cleaning
Spot cleaning involves concentrating on the visible stain or dirty area alone without subjecting the whole carpet to the cleaning process. This means less water will be used, and fewer areas will be exposed to steam.
Consequently, drying will take less time as not even the carpet’s underpad will get wet. But while spot cleaning is effective at reducing mold growth, it can’t be implemented every other time. That’s why we have more options for you.
2. Dry The Carpet Fast
A steam cleaning machine works by applying steam on a surface using high pressure and sucking it back, repeatedly. In most cases, only up to 75% of the moisture is often sucked back by the steam cleaner.
If the remaining moisture is left to stay in the carpet for between 24 and 48 hours, mold may start to grow. That’s why you need to dry the carpet fast after steam cleaning. We recommend leaving all windows open, using fans, and making use of dehumidifiers among other methods.
3. Vacuum The Carpet After Steam Cleaning
Vacuuming removes debris from surfaces. After steam cleaning, loose materials like dirt, cellulose, and dead microorganisms are usually remaining on the surface. Mold uses such materials for food while they grow, so you need to eliminate them by vacuuming. We recommend using a vacuuming machine with a HEPA filter.
Will Steam Cleaning Get Rid of Mold From Carpet?
Yes, steam cleaning at high temperatures has been found to be effective for killing mold. Mold spores usually die at high temperatures around 140 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Luckily, most steam cleaners operate at between 150 and 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
That means, a standard steam cleaner will kill all mold spores along with a wide variety of bacteria and viruses, while also loosening dirt and removing stains from your carpet.
Meanwhile, you need to expose the mold to steam for at least some seconds to kill them completely. But you must be careful not to damage your carpet’s fibers with very high temperatures.
That means you need to check the recommended temperature for the type of material that makes up your carpet before you start steam cleaning.
Note: As the temperature increases, the amount of time needed to completely kill the spores reduces.
How To Prevent Mold Growth in Your House
- Always wipe/dry water that spills or leaks anywhere within your house as quickly as possible. When such water is dried from surfaces before the end of 24 hours, it is highly unlikely that mold will grow.
- Remember to clean and repair roof gutters regularly to avoid leaks that could increase moisture levels in your house.
- Ensure that indoor humidity is always kept low. We recommend keeping the relative humidity between 40 and 50 percent.
- To protect your foundation, ensure that the ground slopes away from it to prevent any water from entering or gathering around it.
- Leave windows open while taking a shower. Also, use exhaust fans and open windows while dishwashing, cooking, or running the dishwasher.
- Cover cold surfaces like water pipes with insulation to prevent condensation.
- Always vent all appliances that produce moisture to help reduce humidity in the air. Such appliances may include kerosene heaters, clothes dryers, and others.
The Bottom Line
Your question, “Does steam cleaning remove mold” is now fully answered. You no longer have to hire a professional to help you identify, remove, and implement measures to prevent mold build-up, as you have all the knowledge you need for that here.
It’s now your turn to take action and live a mold-free life at home with your children or at the office. Good luck!