mold growth on wet carpet

How Long Does It Take for Mold to Grow in Wet Carpet?

mold growth on wet carpetIf you have experienced a flood or a spill, you may be wondering how long it will take for mold to grow in your carpet. In other words, how long do you have to get this mess cleaned up?

Typically, mold growth in carpets begins 24 to 48 hours after they get wet. You should seek to dry your carpet in that time or call in the professionals to do it for you.

Already have mold in your carpet? Here are a few types of mold that may have started growing in your wet carpet and what you can do to avoid the problem next time.

Types of Mold that Grow in Wet Carpets

There are many types of mold spores in your home, waiting to find the right conditions to grow. While several of these types could grow in your carpet, some prefer the conditions of wet carpet in particular. Plus, some of these molds are more harmful than others, capable of provoking allergic responses or irritating your lungs and eyes. Here are some o the carpet molds you should know:

  • Cladosporium: This is a common indoor mold which can provoke allergic reactions. Those with respiratory conditions may also be bothered by this mold.
  • Alternaria: Alternaria is also an allergenic mold that can bother your lungs. It spreads particularly quickly and must be removed fast to prevent spread.
  • Chaetomium: This mold is allergenic, and certain strains of it can also cause skin and nail infections. It usually produces an odor when growing in your home.
  • Tichoderma: Tichoderma prefers to grow in wet carpets and other fabric surfaces. Some strains of it are non-toxic and just unsightly. Others are more dangerous and produce toxins. As tichoderma is resistant to heat and anti-fungal treatments, any carpet it is growing on must be removed.
  • Fusarium: This is another toxigenic mold that tends to prefer carpeting. It is also tolerant to cold conditions, so you may find it in your basement or growing in your home during winter.
  • Stachybotrys: Stachybotrys is the so-called “black mold.” While the mold is uncommon, it is dangerous and produces toxins. While infants have died from exposure to large amounts of this mold, cases of “sick building syndrome” from this mold are somewhat controversial.

Trying to identify your mold by color and texture often doesn’t work, as most molds have dozens of variants. Only a mold professional can identify the type of mold you have and tell you how to remediate it best.

How to Avoid Mold Growth in Carpet

With all of these annoying and potentially dangerous mold types, it’s important to prevent them from growing in your carpet. The number one way to prevent mold growth is to keep your carpet dry, and to dry it quickly after plumbing leaks or floods. Professional drying and restoration can help you dry out your carpet quickly and help restore any other parts of your property that may be damaged. Remember that you only have 24-48 hours before mold starts growing.