Today, we are going to talk about mould (or mildew, whichever way you prefer) and why you should address it immediately after you see it. I know it is not a particularly sexy topic, but most people underestimate mildew because they do not have enough knowledge about it. After all, how dangerous could the small brownish spots in the corner be?
What Is Mould?
Let’s start by saying that there are multiple different types of mould. They are all fungi, however, and proliferate quickly if they find the proper habitat. The difference between mould and the regular types of fungi is that the former grows in the form of multicellular filaments called hyphae, while the latter evolve as a single-cell organism.
Why is this important? Because it explains why mildew is so tricky to remove and may require much greater effort and skill. If it were a single-cell organism, it would be elementary to deal with. The fact that it can spread exponentially from a small core and can survive even if you remove the core makes it a tough opponent to beat.
Domestic Mildew: Is It Inevitable?
What mildew needs, above all else, is moisture. So there is your first step in pre-empting the problem before it appears – reduces the levels of humidity at home. A properly working air conditioner with an in-built bacterial filter will help you keep the relative air humidity below 60% – the advised optimal limit.
Mould loves natural materials – and most of all, wood and fibres. If there is a lot of carpentry in your home, applying protective polish to its surface is a must. You may not like the following advice, but if you spot mildew on a wooden piece of furniture, you should seriously consider removing it from your home right away.
Bottomline – mould is by no means inevitable, and since it is so visible, you have the chance to address it before it becomes a tiresome issue.
Mould On The Carpet – React Immediately
Let’s recap what we have said so far:
- Mould is multicellular and once formed, develops rapidly if it finds the proper habitat.
- It needs moisture to grow.
- It loves natural materials – and most of all, wood and natural fibres.
These three points alone should convince you that if you live in a humid city like London and have carpeted floors, the danger lurks around the corner. The first signs of mildew are not that hard to find, and you cannot mistake it for anything else – tiny brown, greyish or greenish spots that usually appear near the corner of the room. They will be slimy and unpleasant to touch and emit a heavy bog-like smell.
I know what you are going to say – alright, it sounds nasty enough, but wouldn’t a quick wash fix the problem? And why should I panic for something so tiny and unimportant? Let’s start with the second question – you definitely should not panic, but don’t take the issue lightly either. What most people don’t understand is that the mould cells actually feed off the carpet fibre – they can corrode it to the point of irreparable damage. And I do not mean to freak you out, but the process can take much less time than you imagine. In other words, even if you thoroughly remove the nasty fungi, there will not be much of a carpet fibre left in the affected area.
But that’s not even the worst of it. Some types of mould produce biotoxins that can be dangerous for your health. Their spores are light and transmit easily in the air. If you inhale them continuously and in large quantities, they can provoke respiratory and neurological problems, and even cause death.
We want a bit too bleak, didn’t we? So let’s get back to the brighter side of life. Unlike some other of the most common domestic allergens – dust mites or bacteria, for example – mould is not invisible. It is up to you, therefore, to react quickly and remove it before it becomes a problem. Which brings me to the final point I want to make.
How To Effectively Remove Mould From Your Carpet?
I have read dozens of Internet articles on the best ways to remove mildew or the most powerful natural agents that destroy it. I will not apologise for what I am about to say – the people who write them are either frauds or stupid. Tips like “sprinkle the mould spot with baking soda, wait for fifteen minutes and then vacuum” make me want to sprinkle the person who wrote this with baking soda and see what happens. These people obviously do not understand what mould is – if you remove it from the carpet surface, there is no guarantee that part of the fungi will not remain below, in which case the problem will reappear in a few days.
So what is the alternative? What every professional carpet cleaner would tell you – hot water extraction. It is the most common method to deep-clean a carpet, and it remains to this day the most effective one. The combination of injected steam and a powerful biodegradable cleaning agent leaves the mildew no chance of survival. It removes it thoroughly down to the carpet pad, along with all the other nasty microorganisms that lurk in the shadows.
To sum it all up – mould is neither a reason for panic nor a tiny nuisance you can postpone forever. The quicker you deal with it, the less damage it will do. At the first signs of mildew spots, do not get to your browser to look for handy tips – instead, call a professional carpet cleaner and let them tackle the problem.