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ACOUSTICAL SEALANT CHOICES
AGE of a BUILDING - how to determine
AIR BYPASS LEAKS
AIR CLEANER PURIFIER TYPES
AIR FILTERS for HVAC SYSTEMS
AIR LEAK DETECTION TOOLS
AIR LEAK MINIMIZATION
AIR LEAK SEALING PROCEDURE
AIR TEST FOR MOLD: ACCURACY
AIR TEST SAMPLING CASSETTE STUDY
ALLERGEN TESTS for buildings
ALLERGENS in BUILDINGS, RECOGNIZING
ANIMAL ALLERGENS / PET DANDER
ANIMAL ODORS IN buildings
ARCHITECTURE & BUILDING COMPONENT ID
ASBESTOS IDENTIFICATION IN buildings
BEST CONSTRUCTION PRACTICES GUIDE
BLOWER DOORS & AIR INFILTRATION
BOOKSTORE - INTERIORS
BUILDING NOISE DIAGNOSIS & CURE
BUILDING SAFETY HAZARDS GUIDE
CAR MOLD CONTAMINATION
CARPETING, SELECTION & INSTALLATION
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CEILINGS, PLASTER TYPES
CEILING TILES - Asbestos-Containing
CHINESE DRYWALL HAZARDS
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CONDENSATION on WINDOWS & SKYLIGHTS
DEW POINT CALCULATION for WALLS
DRYWALL HAZARDS, CHINESE
DRYWALL INSTALLATION Best Practices
EFFLORESCENCE, Salts & White / Brown Deposits
ELDERLY & VETERANS HOME SAFETY
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FLOODS IN buildings-mold
FLOOR DAMAGE DIAGNOSIS
FUNGICIDAL SPRAY & SEALANT USE GUIDE
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HEAT LOSS in BUILDINGS
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HEATING COST SAVINGS METHODS
HOUSE DOCTOR, how-to be
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HUMIDITY LEVEL TARGET
INDOOR AIR QUALITY & HOUSE TIGHTNESS
INDOOR AIR QUALITY IMPROVEMENT GUIDE
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METAL LATH, PLASTER & STUCCO
MOBILE HOME INSPECTIONS
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MOLD: A COMPLETE GUIDE TO MOLD
MVOCs & MOLDY MUSTY ODORS
NOISE / SOUND DIAGNOSIS & CURE
ODORS GASES SMELLS, DIAGNOSIS & CURE
OZONE for MOLD OR ODORS
PAINTS & COATINGS ODORS IN BUILDINGS
PARTICLE SIZES & IAQ
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PLASTIC ODORS-SCREENS, SIDING
PVC - VINYL BUILDING PRODUCTS
SAFETY HAZARDS GUIDE
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STAINS on & in BUILDINGS, CAUSES & CURES
STAIN DIAGNOSIS on BUILDING EXTERIORS
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STAINS & FINISHES, INTERIOR
SWEATING (CONDENSATION) on PIPES, TANKS
THERMAL IMAGING, THERMOGRAPHY
THERMAL IMAGING MOLD SCANS
THERMAL TRACKING & THERMAL BRIDGING
VAPOR BARRIERS & CONDENSATION in BUILDINGS
VENTILATION in BUILDINGS
VINYL CHLORIDE HEALTH INFO
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Volatile Organic Compounds VOCs
WALL FINISHES INTERIOR
WATER ENTRY in buildings
WOOD FLOOR DAMAGE
Inspection & test procedures for moldy or smelly indoor carpeting & rugs. This article describes how we inspect, test, and cure moldy carpeting or rugs. We discuss the risk of hidden mold under carpeting and in carpet padding.
Green links show where you are. © Copyright 2013 InspectAPedia.com, All Rights Reserved. Author Daniel Friedman.
While you may see mold on carpeting in unusually severe cases, carpet, especially wall-to-wall carpeting can be a reservoir for hidden mold, mite fecal, pet dander, rodent dander, fecals, and dust, bacteria, and other allergens, pathogens, and irritants even though you cannot see anything suspicious on the carpet. Here are some warning signs that carpeting may be an IAQ problem source in a building:
How to Look for Hidden mold in or underneath wall to wall carpeting and carpet padding
Advice for Testing Indoor Carpeting for Mold Contamination
If carpeting has been wet and was not dried within about 24 hours after that event, it is likely to be moldy. if carpeting smells or looks moldy it also will almost certainly need to be replaced. But what if we don't know a carpet's history, we don't see mold on the carpet nor on it's underside, but we need to test the carpeting for mold?
Details of our advice on testing carpeting for mold or other contaminants can be read at CARPET TEST PROCEDURE.
In addition to taking a careful case history of the leak exposure to which carpeting has been exposed, and in addition to making a thorough olfactory (subjective smell test) and visual (by eye) inspection, we on occasion test carpeting using a vacuum method, combining a vacuum pump with a sampling cassette.
Selection of the area of carpet to be tested is important: choose the most-suspect area of carpeting such as where leaks or water are likely to have been present or where there may have been cross-contamination from mold remediation in other areas of the building.
We advise against use of tape samples of a carpet upper surface to screen carpeting for mold since there is a significant risk that such methods will fail to detect problem mold that is in the carpet but not on its uppermost surface. This condition occurs, for example, when moldy carpeting has been HEPA vacuumed or cleaned.
However, if there is mold already visible on a carpet (such as is shown in the next section of this article) it may be appropriate to collect a surface sample using tape in order to identify the type of mold present when that data is needed for medical or post-remediation clearance test purposes.
How to Recognize Mold Visible on Exposed Carpeting Surfaces
Should I Test my Moldy Wall to Wall Carpeting?
Question: is a tape sample of my mold-suspect carpeting surface useful?
I took a clear tape sample of some mold on the carpet in my baby's bedroom, but I don't see any visible mold on the sample, even though I pressed fairly hard. Is that ok to send to you, or must I see the mold on the tape? I just don't want to waste anyone's time by sending an insufficient sample. S.P.
Reply: Testing a Moldy Carpet is Usually Not Needed
Thanks for asking. Our suggestions below, basically recommending that you do not have this carpet mold sample processed, are opinions based on ethics (don't peform unnecessary lab tests), and common sense, not out of a reluctance to be of service:
Some exceptions to this no-carpet-test advice / opinion
See STAIN DIAGNOSIS on BUILDING INTERIORS and STAINS on & in BUILDINGS, CAUSES & CURES and STAINS on INDOOR SURFACES: PHOTO GUIDE as well as STAINS & Thermal Tracking. See Black stains from animals for details about pet stains on building floors (urine) and walls (various) and see Pet Stains on Walls for diagnosing stains such as the black marks left by pets on walls. Readers should also see STAINS on Indoor Surfaces: PHOTO GUIDE and for outdoor stains, see STAIN DIAGNOSIS on BUILDING EXTERIORS
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Technical Reviewers & References
Related Topics, found near the top of this page suggest articles closely related to this one.
Mold Contamination Testing, Cleanup, Prevention: references & products
OTHER IAQ ISSUES: How To Find and Address Other Indoor Air or Indoor Environment Contaminants Besides Mold
Mold or allergens may not be the only or even the main indoor environmental contaminant. Don't let media attention to mold cause so much enviro-scare fear that other, possibly more urgent hazards go un-addressed.