Mold in Carpets

by Daryl Watters Real Estate Consultants
As a mold inspector and indoor air quality testing specialist I have noticed that in dusty homes with dirty carpets levels of some types of mold spores are often elevated. In addition to dust and dirt, the carpets must have come in contact with some moisture source at one time or another as well. It appears possible that wet carpet cleaning without proper drying as part of the cleaning process can do more harm than good in regard to microbial growth. 

When I view air samples from such properties the levels of spores and other particulates in the air can be elevated due to carpet alone even in the absence of other fungal sources.   

 A few types of spores in particular that I have observed to be present around dirty carpets are Curvularia, Cladosporium, Nigrospora, and Pen / Asp.

On several inspections I have taken home air samples and found unusually elevated levels of Curvularia and the only reservoir or growth site that seemed to be present was dirty carpets.

In addition I conducted one mold inspection in Miami where I found Nigrospora mold growing on an apartment carpet near a leaky window. And during another Miami mold inspection I found a visible colony of Curvularia mold growing on carpets in a leaky water heater closet. At another property I found Spegazzinia growing visibly on a carpet.  In each case the colonies were dark black obvious growths. This was unusual because Curvularia, Nigrospora, Spegazzinia do not often form visible colonies usually you just see the spores the air samples and not on surface samples.

The most unusual thing I can remember was encountered during a mold inspection in Lake Worth where I found slime mold growing on carpets; this is unusual because slime mold almost always grows outdoors in mulch.

For the benefit of carpet lovers and manufacturers everywhere let me add one disclaimer, if a carpet is kept dry and clean it should not produce any more mold than any other surface, in fact without a moisture source carpets cannot grow mold.

In conclusion homeowners are often very concerned with two inch patches of visible toxic black mold on walls, small spots of mold from leaks under sinks, brown tannic acid stains on ceilings resulting from water leaks, and other conditions that stand out in people’s eyes and minds. However if you live in a home with 1000 square foot of carpet and that carpet is not maintained in a clean and dry manner then you must keep our eyes and minds open to the fact that the carpet can become a 1000 square foot incubator for spores and fungal growth.

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About Daryl Watters Junior   Real Estate Consultants

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Joined APSense since, March 1st, 2013, From Florida, United States.

Created on Dec 31st 1969 18:00. Viewed 0 times.


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