12 Health Reasons To
Get Rid of Carpeting
Wall to wall carpeting causes, or contributes to, at least one
dozen major, indoor environmental health problems that can be reduced by
eliminating carpeting and carpet padding in homes, offices, workplaces,
retail stores, and other commercial and public buildings, according to
Phillip and Divine Fry, Certified Environmental Hygienists.
1. Mold growth. The deadly Stachybotrys chartarum mold and other toxic
molds grow on and in wet carpeting. In addition, mold spores and mold
food in the form of organic particles (such as human skin flakes) are
continually landing and becoming embedded into carpet surfaces. Mold
colonies can eat and thrive in most carpet and carpet padding
Certified Environmental Hygienists and Certified Mold Inspectors use
special carpet mold testing equipment to determine the severity and
extent of mold infestation of carpet during building maintenance and
mold inspections. For local carpet inspection and testing, visit
2. Dust and dirt accumulation. Even with frequent vacuuming,
organic and non-organic dust dirt steadily accumulates inside carpeting
and carpet padding.
3. Cigarette smoke and residue. Carcinogens in cigarettes may accumulate
in household carpet. Because dogs, cats, young children, and infants,
often play or sleep on the floor, they may be at risk for developing
lung cancer in households with cigarette smokers.
4. Human skin flakes. A person’s skin sheds about one million skin
flakes every day, many of which becomes embedded in carpeting to become
food for dust mites, plus bacterial and mold growth.
5. Bacteria and viruses. Bacteria such as e-coli can live for
more than four weeks on carpet. The Norwalk virus or Norovirus
(the virus that causes serious stomach flu)
can also survive on dirty carpet for a month or more
6. Dust Mites. Carpet creates an ideal environment for dust mite
populations. About 2,000 dust mites can
flourish on just one ounce of carpet dust. Dust mite allergy
symptoms include sneezing, itchy or watery eyes, nasal stuffiness, runny
nose, stuffy ears, respiratory problems, eczema and asthma.
7. Bedbugs. Bedbugs frequently hide in
carpeting during the day, and then, at nightfall, they can crawl up to
100 feet to climb into beds to feed on human blood. Eliminating
carpeting is one of the important steps to eliminate bedbugs.
8. Fleas. Pet fleas and flea eggs and larvae hide and multiply in
carpeting. Flea eggs do well in
carpet that may be damp because of improper carpet drying after carpet
scrubbing, high humidity, flooding, inadequate bathroom ventilation, or
9. Carpet Beetles. Carpet beetle infestations can develop
undetected in a home’s carpeting, with the infestations then causing big
damage to the carpeting, carpet padding, upholstered furniture, bedding,
clothing, and other fabric items.
10. Naphthalene. Naphthalene is commonly
found in carpet cleaning compounds. In concentrated form, it can cause
headaches, nausea, vomiting, and urinary irritation. It is a suspected
carcinogen and can be toxic to children, infants, and pets. Naphthalene
is a colorless, crystalline, solid aromatic hydrocarbon with a pungent
11. Vacuum cleaners. Vacuuming of carpeting spreads germs and mold
spores unless the vacuum is HEPA-filtered, with the HEPA filter being
replaced at least quarterly.
12. Spills. Wall-to-wall carpeting is less
healthy than small area rugs because it is hard to clean up and remove
moisture, chemicals, liquids, crumbs, and other spills that provide
mold, bacteria, and insects with a rich and nearly continuous supply of
As a healthy alternative to unhealthy carpeting, Phillip Fry recommends
that both new home and building construction and renovations and
upgrades utilize ceramic tile set into cement that contains a
waterproofing compound and with tile grout that also contains
waterproofing. Other healthy carpet alternatives are vinyl tile and
genuine hardwood flooring that has been pre-treated to be moisture and
mold-resistant. Use washable area rugs for both comfort and home
Learn how to be trained and certified online or in class as a Certified
Environmental Hygienist and/or Certified Mold Inspector, visit
For help in mold and environmental inspection and remediation anywhere
in the United States or Ontario Province, phone mold expert Phillip Fry
toll-free 1-866-300-1616 or Phillip’s cell phone 1-480-310-7970, or
firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the website
building mold inspection,
mold inspector directory,
for your real estate property anywhere in USA, Canada, Asia, Europe, or
worldwide, please contact
Phillip Fry and Divine Fry by email
or by phone Phillip Toll-Free 1-866-300-1616
USA and Canada.
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Be trained and certified as a
Professional Industrial Hygienist and receive extensive on-the-job
training during your
industrial hygienist training by
Phillip Fry and Divine Montero.
& Mold Problems
Padding Mold and/or
Carpeting Mold, Carpet Mold Prevention
seepage damage and white Cladosporium mold growth on
the concrete floor and carpeting of a townhouse condominium in
Vancouver, B.C., Canada. The problem is caused by water wicking
up from the ground through the improperly-protected concrete to
cause mould growth in the carpet padding, carpeting, and walls.
This townhouse was inspected by
consultant Phillip Fry in 2010.
Sept. 11, 2012. These are the pictures of
my mold in my Alabama home. The one by the green garbage can didn't come
back but that's where it grew on the carpet area and that's towards the
front of the house. The picture with the hole that under the inside unit
and I just cleaned the mold out of it again before I called you so it
hasn't grown back yet. The other pictures are in a closet that is
adjacent to the room where the green garbage can is. It still has mold
on the carpet and I pulled the carpet back. I don't see any on the
concrete or the wood where the carpet tack down to. It might be in the
What is the source of the water problem
that causes the mold to grow? You mentioned on the phone about the
outside sprinkler wetting the outside wall. You would be wise to
cut open several 2 inch by 2 inch inspection holes in drywall area that
have been wetted in the past by sprinkler system. Look at the
middle and backside of the drywall pieces you cut out for possible mold
growth. Use a strong flash light to look inside the hole for possible
mold growth. There is also a possibility that there is no or a
degraded water moisture barrier beneath your concrete floor, allowing
water from the ground below to wick upwards into the concrete and to
items resting on the floor such as padding, carpeting, and interior
walls. Borrow or buy a high quality moisture meter to scan all of
your walls and floors for elevated levels of moisture therein. For
mold remediation, scrub the concrete floor, the padding, and the
carpeting with the EPA-registered fungicide
When you cut inspection holes into the drywall and discover mold growth
on the removed test pieces or inside the wall (as seen with a strong
flashlight through the inspection holes), remove the drywall and discard
it until you have removed drywall at least two to four feet horizontally
and vertically beyond discovered mold growth. To get rid of mold growth,
please follow the 25 steps for safe and effective
Please email me any mold follow
questions. In service,
mold consultant, Phillip Fry, Certified Environmental Hygienist,
Certified Mold Inspector, and Certified Mold Remediator
I live in a condo which has 40 yr old carpet. The carpet has some
bad musty smells in certain areas. Could this be mold or is it just
normal for an old carpet to smell like this? We plan on replacing it
in November. How do I find out if it is anything to worry about?
Should I just tear up a corner and look underneath it? !!!
back the carpeting and padding in several corner locations is very good in
your inspection for the cause of the mold smell. Carpet loves to grow and
hide inside carpeting and padding. You can document whether or not the
carpeting is mold-infested by using the Scotch tape lift sampling technique
You should also mold test the air of each room and the outward air flow
from each heating/cooling duct register with do it yourself mold test
kits, available from a large hardware or home improvement store.
We had a hose burst on our
washing machine and before we knew it there was 3 inches of water in our
laundry room, 1/2 bath, hall and into about 4 feet into our bedroom. The
insurance company brought out a guy with an extractor and a mildew
inhibitor or something or other which he pulled up the carpet and sprayed
the pad. My question is whether this is sufficient prevention of mold and
mildew? Should the carpet and pad be replaced? I will be selling this
house in the future and do not want any mold issues to arise. I'm also
concerned about any potential health risks.
If the carpeting or padding was wet for more than 24 hours, there is likely
to be mold growth therein. Replacing the carpeting and padding is always the
most sure way of having no carpet/padding mold problems. You can pull back
the carpeting and padding for mold inspection and testing using the Scotch
tape sampling method explained at
Mold Lab. You also need to be concerned about water penetration into
wall materials, inside the wall, and the floor beneath the carpeting/padding
as possible mold growth areas. It would be very wise to mold inspect and
test the entire home to learn the true current mold status of your home. You
can use a
Certified Mold Inspector, or do it yourself mold test kits from a large
hardware or home improvement store. Learn the 25 steps for safe and effective
mold remediation. Learn about possible mold health problems by reading
the entire home page of
I recently noticed what appears to be a type of mold growing in a carpet.
The carpet is on a basement floor which is a concrete floor. The carpet is
all wool. The growth is a pinkish brown in color. It shows through the
carpet in circles that are sort of connected to each other. One area is
round in shape about 8 “ in diameter. The other which is about 1 foot away
from the other is about 6” wide by 18” long. This area was under a
clear vinyl floor protector under a desk. It appeared over a one
week time span. What do you think it is and can I get rid of it without
ruining the carpet?
The mystery substance is likely to be
The mold is eating the carpet, and the damage may be irreversible. You
would have to submit a sample of the moldy carpeting to a mold
laboratory for mold analysis and mold species identification to know the
particular mold species that is devouring your carpeting. Your first need
to find and fix the water source which causes the mold to grow---such as
wicking up of water from the ground through your concrete floor---a very
big and common nightmare because of defective or non-existent or degraded
moisture barriers beneath the concrete floors. By pulling back the
carpeting you can test the floor for wetness with a hidden moisture Another
problem is the possibility of high basement humidity [60% or higher].
Buy a digital hygrometer [$30] from a large hardware store, Home Depot,
Lowe's, etc. to check indoor humidity year-round in your basement, crawl
space, attic, garage, and all rooms of your home. You would also be wise
to mold test the actual carpeting mold growth [Scotch tape lift
sampling] and the air of each room, basement, attic, etc., along with
the outward air flow from each heating/cooling duct register for the
possible presence of elevated levels of airborne mold spores, in
comparison to your outdoor mold control test. You can buy mold test kits
at a large hardware or home improvement store.
Once you have found and fixed all water intrusion problems, you can try
to save the carpeting by first repeatedly scrubbing the carpeting with
Borax laundry detergent [a natural mold cleaner] mixed into warm water.
You need to scrub both sides of carpeting and padding in the mold-growth
We had our plush carpets professionally cleaned in March of 2002. It
seemed quite damp when finished
and it took 3 days to dry even though we used fans, etc. A few weeks later
I began to smell a musty smell when you would walk into our house. Could we
have mold and mildew growing under or in our carpets or in the pads and wood
under the pad?
You should test the air of the affected rooms with mold culture plates to
elevated levels of mold
spores that may be generated from
moldy carpeting as
a mold infestation habitat. If your carpet was wet for more than 24 hours,
it is very likely that mold is growing inside the carpeting and the padding.
You may also have mold growing in wood beneath the carpeting and padding.
You should pull back the carpet and padding in several corners of the
affected rooms and carefully visually examine the carpet and padding for
signs of moisture
damage and carpet mold
growth problems. For testing tips, please visit:
Another way to test your carpeting and padding for
carpet mold is the use of a Zefon carpet sampler, one of the testing
technologies used by
Mold Inspector or
To test carpeting and padding for
carpet mold, use do it yourself
mold test kits
If carpeting and/or padding was wet for more than 24 hours, mold
growth has probably already begun in the carpeting and/or padding. One way
to test your padding and carpeting for mold growth is to attach a
mold test kit to the side of a cleaned, rubbing alcohol-disinfected box fan
so that the air flow through the fan comes from across the surface
of padding itself [the carpet having been pulled back] or the carpeting, and
then impacts air [and thus possibly mold spores] directly onto the open
sticky surface of the mold test kit that has been taped to the fan surface.
Run this fan test for 10 minutes, remove and seal the mold test kit, and
then observe the mold test kit for 7 days for how much mold growth has
happened, or send the kit to a Mold Laboratory for mold analysis and
Very moldy carpeting and severe wall mold infestation.
Mold Victim Rights Association
Are you a
because you are:
1. Working in a moldy workplace?
2. Renting a moldy rental house, apartment, condo, office, or commercial
3. Sick from staying in a moldy hotel, motel, or resort room?
4. Living in a moldy home purchased from a seller or new home builder
who failed to disclose known mold infestations?
5. Having a water intrusion or mold damage problem caused by an
adjoining condominium, co-op apartment, or your home owners association?
6. Making mortgage payments to a lender for a moldy house, condo, or
7. Being unable to pay for needed mold remediation because your
insurance company has wrongfully denied your water or mold damage
8. Living or working in a moldy house or building that was improperly or
incompletely mold remediated by a mold remediation company?
9. Sick from living or working in a building water and mold damaged by a
negligent building contractor such as a roofing, plumbing, or air
10. Attending school or teaching or working in a school that is
Get mold justice by joining the
Mold Victim Rights Association.
For help, phone executive director Phillip Fry toll-free 1-866-300-1616,
cell phone (480) 310-7970, or email