Mold removal from upholstered furniture and textiles
Upholstered furniture that has become wet with clean water should be dried within 24 hours and monitored for mold and odors.
Discard upholstered furniture and other highly absorbent stuffed fabrics such wall partitions, when they have been saturated with gray or black water. It may be possible to remove the upholstery from furniture and clean the wood or metal frame.
Textiles that have been water damaged should be promptly laundered in hot water and dried in a dryer, or sent to a dry cleaner. Not all dry cleaners will do mold removal.
Mold removal from carpets
Carpets that have become wet with clean water (or gray water over a small surface area) are remediated by the following steps:
- Remove all materials (desks, furnishings, cabinets) from the carpet.
- Extract as much water as possible from the carpet using wet vacuums.
- Shampoo the carpet with a dilute surfactant.
- Soak with a 10 % bleach / water solution. (A biocide is not recommended.)
- Rinse with clean water and extract the carpet to remove detergent / bleach residues.
- Instead of soaking with bleach and rinsing, the carpet can be steam cleaned. Water is heated above the boiling point and the moisture is vacuum extracted. This is effective for mold removal from carpets.
- Dry the carpet immediately after treatment. Increase the temperature, use heaters, fans, and dehumidifiers to accelerate the drying process. During the summer, it may be more difficult to dry the carpet if conditions of high relative humidity exist. If the carpet cannot be dried, it must be discarded.
- Verify that the carpet, the under-padding, and the floor are dry after mold removal. A section may have to be lifted or a moisture meter can be used. If the under-padding is wet, the carpet should be removed to facilitate drying. If the carpet is glued directly to the floor, investigate and monitor sub-floor for moisture and damage. Swelling, buckling, ripples and cracks in the sub-floor will require removal of the carpet.
- Vacuum the carpet. Fine particulates will wick up the fibers during the drying process. Use an industrial grade vacuum with a beater bar.
If visible mold appears or the area smells of mold, the treatment process (cleaning and bleaching) 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.