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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 materials. 

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 and

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 kitchen-generated moisture.

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 odor.

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 nutrients.

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 decorating success.

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 email, or visit the website

For mold inspection, building mold inspection, mold inspector directory, mold remediation, and mold prevention for your real estate property anywhere in USA, Canada, Asia, Europe, or worldwide, please contact mold consultants 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 mold experts Phillip Fry and Divine Montero.
Carpet, Carpeting, Rugs, Padding & Mold Problems
Also read: Padding Mold and/or Carpeting Mold, Carpet Mold Prevention

Picture of mould growth in a townhouse in Vancouver, British Colombia, Canada.
Water 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 mold consultant Phillip Fry in 2010.

     Q. 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 wall.
     A. 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 Tim-Bor. 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 mold remediation.  Please email me any mold follow questions. In service, mold consultant, Phillip Fry, Certified Environmental Hygienist, Certified Mold Inspector, and Certified Mold Remediator

        Q. 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? !!!
       A. Pulling 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 explained at Mold Laboratory 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.
Q. 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.
         A. 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 Mold Inspector.

Q. 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?
A. The mystery substance is likely to be mold infestation. 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 areas.

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?
A. You should test the air of the affected rooms with mold culture plates to detect 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: Mold Testing. 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 Certified Mold Inspectors. Find a Certified Mold Inspector or Certified Toxic Mold Investigator.

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 identification.

Photograph of mold growing in carpeting and on the wall.
                                Very moldy carpeting and severe wall mold infestation.
Mold Victim Rights Association
Are you a MOLD VICTIM because you are:
1. Working in a moldy workplace?
2. Renting a moldy rental house, apartment, condo, office, or commercial building?
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 commercial building?
7. Being unable to pay for needed mold remediation because your insurance company has wrongfully denied your water or mold damage insurance claim?
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 conditioning company?
10. Attending school or teaching or working in a school that is mold-infested?

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

For mold inspection, mold remediation, and mold prevention for your real estate property anywhere in the world, please contact mold consultants Phillip Fry and Divine Montero by email or by phone toll-free 1-866-300-1616 or Phillip's cell phone 1-480-310-7970.
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For mold inspection, mold remediation, and mold prevention for your real estate property anywhere in the world, please contact
mold consultants Phillip Fry and Divine Fry  email or call Phillip Toll-Free 1-866-300-1616 or cell phone 1-480-310-7970