Have you noticed a musty, moldy odor coming from your carpets? That unpleasant smell is likely caused by mildew growth in the carpet fibers. Mildew is a type of mold that grows on fabric materials, including carpet, when moisture gets trapped. The mildew smell can make your home uncomfortable and even cause allergy symptoms in sensitive individuals.
Getting rid of mildew completely requires removing both the mildew spores and the musty odor they cause. With the right techniques and products, you can banish mildew and refresh your carpets. Here is a complete guide to removing mildew smell from carpets.
What Causes Mildew Smell in Carpets?
Mildew grows when the following conditions are present:
- Moisture – From spills, flooding, leaks, humidity, or damp basements
- Organic materials – Like carpet fibers and backing
- Warm temperatures – Ideally between 70-100°F
When these conditions exist, mildew spores land on damp carpeting and start to grow. As the mildew feeds on materials in the carpet, it produces waste products that cause the characteristic musty, moldy smell.
Any type of carpet can develop mildew if it gets wet. However, mildew thrives best on natural fiber carpets like wool. Synthetic carpets made from olefin or nylon resist mildew growth but can still suffer odor issues.
Health Risks of Mildew in Carpet
Inhaling airborne mildew spores and particles may cause allergy symptoms or respiratory problems in sensitive people. Symptoms include:
- Runny nose, congestion