Mold Removal: Carpets and Upholstery

Mold removal from upholstered furniture and textiles

When upholstered furniture is soaked with clean water it can be rescued so long as it is dried within a day. After that it should be watched for signs or smells of mildew for several weeks. Upholstered furniture  soaked with black or gray water needs to be discarded. Wooden or metal frames can be saved if properly cleaned.

Water damaged textiles should be immediately washed in hot water or sent to a dry cleaner. Many dry cleaners will not do mold or mildew removal.

mold removal carpetsMold removal from carpets

How to remediate carpets soaked with CLEAN water. Note small patches of gray water can also be treated with these steps:

  • Clear the carpet of anything on top of it, such as furniture boxes etc.
  • Wet vacuum the carpet to remove as much water as you can.
  • Shampoo the carpet.
  • Steam clean the carpet.
  • Using fans, dehumidifier and heater dry the carpet as quickly as you can.
  • Check that the under-padding and the floor are dry after mold removal. If they are not dry the carpet needs to be moved to where it can completely dry. If it can’t be efficiently dried it needs to be disposed of.
  • Vacuum the carpet, preferably using a powerful industrial vacuum that has a beater bar.

If visible mold appears or the area smells of mold, the treatment process should be repeated. This should be done only once. If mold growth and odors persist the carpet and underlay will have to be removed under controlled conditions.

Carpets and under-padding saturated by black water must be discarded. The exception is when a small (1 square meter or 10 square feet) area is affected and the above procedures can be followed for mold removal, or if the carpet is an area rug which can be  sent for professional cleaning.

Note that carpets and under-padding are made of various natural and synthetic materials, each having different water retention and drying properties, and cleaning requirements. However, in all cases, the carpet and substrate must be completely dry within 24 hours after treatment.

When hiring a professional cleaner to remove mold from carpets we suggest using a technician with certification from the Institute of  Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC).