Indoor Air Quality/Moldy carpet


I have cleaned my carpet wrong and over-wetted the pad underneath. Two days later the carpet started stinking. I waited one week, but now I have ripped the carpet and the pads out and would like to replace them, as I expected them to be moldy. How can I clean my concrete floor? Which detergent should I use? The room is only small. Do you think I can kill and remove the mold myself or do I have to call a professional? There is no visible mold.


You can certainly clean the concrete yourself.  Mix up a solution of water (1 gal), dish detergent (2 tbsp) and household bleach (1/2 cup).  Wash, rinse, and thoroughly dry the concrete floor.  If possible, have the windows open for ventilation and to speed drying.  Place fans in the windows with the airflow pointing outdoors.  

You most likely spread mold spores into the air and throughout your residence by ripping up the carpet and pad.  Mold spores are common in indoor (and outdoor) air, but you probably increased their concentration from the carpet removal.  

It would help to wipe down all dust from all surfaces in the vicinity of the room, including furniture, shelves, counters, knick-knacks, etc.  Keeping the fans on exhaust, use a damp cloth or damp paper towels and throw away into a plastic bag as you work.  A mold professional would follow this with a thorough vacuuming using a true HEPA vacuum.  Regular vacuuming will do very little to capture spores, as they pas through the filter or filter bag.  If you can get, borrow, or rent a clean true HEPA vacuum, then use it.  Be sure that is was not used for asbestos abatement.

Your goal is not to remove all mold spores (impossible) but instead to reduce their presence in the air and on surfaces, using the above techniques.  

A good resource is here:

Best of luck and let me know if you have any other questions.

Steve Major

Indoor Air Quality

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Stephen Major (Principal--Lakeland Environmental)


I can answer questions on indoor mold, indoor air quality, asbestos, and indoor moisture problems. This includes mold testing and mold remediation. PLEASE indicate your state or region, so I can provide the best possible answer.


I have extensive experience in the investigation, testing, and remediation of indoor fungal (mold) infestations, including the design and oversight of remediation projects, hands-on cleaning and removal, and safe work practices. I developed a successful mold remediator training and certification program, and have trained many mold workers and remediation supervisors in proper techniques. I have a strong knowledge of the ways in which moisture and airlow patterns in buildings can affect fungal growth and air quality.

BS Cornell University. IAQA Certified Mold Remediator. 40-hour HAZWOPER certification. NYS Department of Health Certified Training Director.

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