Mold Remediation

What Does Mold on Carpet Look Like?


How to Recognize When Your Carpet is Affected by Mold

The cozy ambiance of our homes is often linked to warmth, relaxation, and a sense of security. However, within the routine of our daily lives, a silent intruder exists that can compromise not only the aesthetics of our living spaces but also pose potential health risks – mold. While mold can manifest in various places within our homes, one of its favored hiding spots is often right beneath our feet: the carpet.

Are you worried about the possibility of having a moldy carpet? Well, there are various potential reasons that might indicate your carpet is affected by mold. Knowing these signals is essential for maintaining a healthy home. But before we explore that, let’s understand what mold is and how it appears.

What is Mold and What Does it Look Like?

Mold look on carpet

Mold is a type of fungus that can appear in various colors, such as black, white, or green. It often shows up as fuzzy patches or spots and may have a musty, moldy odor. If you see discoloration on surfaces, especially under carpets, it could be a sign of mold growth.

Why Mold Grows on The Carpet?

Mold and mildew, both belonging to the fungi family, thrive in environments with excess moisture and inadequate ventilation. When porous materials, like carpet pads, become saturated with water and are not promptly dried or ventilated within 48 to 72 hours, it creates an optimal breeding ground for mold and mildew. The porous nature of materials such as carpet pads provides an ideal surface for these fungi to attach and penetrate.

Moreover, the presence of organic matter within the carpet, such as dust or debris, can serve as a nutrient source for the proliferation of mold and mildew. While carpet mold is typically visible, in cases where it goes unnoticed, certain indicators may serve as warnings.

How to Tell If Your Carpets Have Been Affected By Mold? 

How to Tell If Your Carpets Have Been Affected By Mold? 

Here are key indicators that mold may be present in your carpet, signaling the need for effective mold remediation.

  • Damp and Wet Carpet: If you’ve recently faced water damage or spilled something on your carpet, mold may have found its way in – that’s a 100% possibility. Moreover, even in the absence of direct water damage, if your living space is consistently damp and humid, your carpet is still at a high risk of hosting and encouraging mold growth. Whether it’s an immediate spill or the ongoing environmental conditions, both situations pose a serious threat to the well-being of your carpet.
  • Allergy Symptoms: If you or others nearby unexpectedly develop allergies or health problems, it could be a sign of mold in the carpet. Mold might affect breathing, leading to symptoms like coughing or difficulty breathing. It can also trigger allergic reactions, including a stuffy nose, throat irritation, or skin rashes.
  • Foul odor: When there is mold on the carpet, you will notice an unpleasant smell whenever you’re around it or in the room where the carpet is laid. This foul odor, often described as musty or damp, is a primary indicator of mold presence.
  • Green, Brown, and Black Spots: When you notice discoloration on your carpet, especially in the form of green, brown, or black fuzzy spots, it serves as a significant warning sign, indicating the need for further investigation. In such cases, it becomes essential to promptly address the potential for mold growth.

There are mold testing kits available that can aid in identifying mold in the carpet. These kits come in different types, including Petri dishes, tapes, and color-changing pens. They are effective in revealing the presence of mold growth. Alternatively, hiring a professional mold removal company can provide testing and identification services to comprehensively address the issue.

What kills Mold in Carpets?

Use baking soda to kill mold on carpet

To effectively kill mold on carpet, you can use a combination of cleaning and disinfecting methods. Here’s what you can try:

  • Vinegar and Water: Create a solution by mixing equal parts white vinegar and water. White vinegar possesses natural antifungal properties, making it effective in killing mold. Pour the solution into a spray bottle for easy application. Once sprayed, allow the solution to sit for at least 10-15 minutes, providing ample time for the vinegar to penetrate and eliminate the mold.
  • Scrubbing: Gently clean the moldy area with a brush or sponge, using a mild detergent or a solution of water and white vinegar (equal parts). The natural antifungal properties of vinegar make it effective for this purpose. After allowing the cleaning solution to sit for the recommended time, delicately scrub the carpet with a brush or sponge to loosen and eliminate the mold from the fibers. Take care to avoid any damage, particularly if the carpet has a delicate or sensitive texture.
  • Vinegar and Baking Soda: Another alternative is to mix vinegar and baking soda. Combine equal parts of both, apply the mixture to the mold on your carpet, let it sit, and gently scrub to eliminate the mold. This natural solution provides an effective way to keep your carpet free from mold.

How to Get Rid of Mold Smell Off the Carpet?

If you’ve already removed the mold but are still dealing with lingering musty odors in your carpet, consider the following steps to eliminate the smell:

  • Provide Adequate Ventilation: Make sure to regularly ventilate the affected area by opening doors and windows. This promotes better air circulation and helps dissipate any remaining odors. Using fans can further enhance the ventilation process and expedite the removal of lingering musty smells.
  • Use an Air Purifier: Invest in an air purifier equipped with a HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filter. These devices are effective in capturing and neutralizing mold spores and odorous particles. Place the air purifier in the room with the treated carpet and let it operate consistently to improve overall air quality and eliminate any persistent mold odors.
  • Use Air Fresheners: Opt for natural or chemical-free air fresheners designed to neutralize odors rather than simply masking them. Consider using essential oil diffusers with antimicrobial properties, such as tea tree oil or eucalyptus, to introduce a pleasant fragrance to the air while combating any residual musty odors.
  • Sunlight: Consider taking the carpet outside on a sunny day if you can. Sunlight works like a natural disinfectant, and it’s great for getting rid of lingering mold smells. Just let the carpet breathe in the fresh air and sunlight for a few hours. Make sure to flip it over to expose both sides, allowing the sunlight to reach all areas.
  • Activated Charcoal: Try putting bowls of activated charcoal around the carpet. Activated charcoal is fantastic at soaking up and getting rid of odors. Just leave the bowls in the room for a while, and if you notice the smell lingering, swap out the charcoal. It’s a simple trick that can do wonders in neutralizing any unwanted scents from your carpet.

Seek Professional Help for Mold Remediation

Mold Remediation - HydroForce Cleaning & Restoration

When grappling with mold troubles, it’s wise to bring in the experts. For those in the Chicago, IL area, Hydroforce Cleaning and Restoration is the name you can trust for exceptional mold removal. Our expert team is well-versed in the intricacies of efficient mold mitigation. It’s time to say goodbye to lingering concerns as we deliver a comprehensive solution, ensuring your living space remains fresh and healthy.

For mold remediation in Chicago, IL, and surrounding areas, give us a call at 630-835-0862.

Mold Remediation

How to Test for Mold in My Apartment


Mold at your apartment can be noticed via a musty smell or spots and patches around windows and other areas. There are various ways to test for mold which can be costly, however you can also use a home kit as a cheaper alternative.

How to Figure Out if You Have Mold in Your Apartment

The best way to test for mold in your apartment is to use a home test. Also, if you have obvious brown, black, or even gray spots on various surfaces in your home, you may have mold. The most dangerous type of mold is black mold. It usually appears on wood, paper, fabric, and even insulation. It does not always look black as it can also be blue or gray. However, mold sometimes hides in different areas such as between cupboards and the wall, corners of walls, or any area that may have little air ventilation. You should also be sure to check areas that have plumbing pipes as they can leak and create a moist area that may allow mold to grow. Leaving mold unattended can cause various health issues so it is always best to deal with it right away to avoid further problems.

How to Test for Mold in Your Apartment

You can have your home either tested by professionals or you can use a home kit and test for mold yourself. No matter what type of test you use, if you do find that you have mold present at your property, you should make sure it is remediated right away before it spreads further and causes damage to your property.

Professional Mold Testing:

If you have a professional mold inspector test your home, they will take a sample from three different areas including the air, surface, and the surrounding dust. The sample will then be sent to a third-party lab which will figure out the concentration and the type of mold you have in the affected areas.

mold growing on the apartment ceiling

Mold Testing:

You can use a store-bought mold testing kit to figure out if you have mold present at your apartment. The mold you will usually see indoors includes Cladosporium, Alternaria, Penicillium, and Aspergillus or even black mold or Stachybotrys.

Here are a few common mold testing kits you should know about if you decide to do mold testing yourself:

5-Minute Mold Test:

This test is quick and easy and uses one test swab and one test strip for Stachybotrys and Penicillium/Aspergillus. You can test multiple samples for the lab, and you get a pre-paid mailer. Basically, you will need to swab the area, wet it in the provided solution, and apply it to the test strip. If you have one line, your test is negative and if you have two, then you have the specified type of mold present at your property.

Mold Armor FG500 Do It Yourself Mold Test Kit:

In this mold testing kit, you will get a test swab, a petri dish, and a bottle of medium that grows mold. You can use the kit in three ways. This means you can test the air, test the air quality of your HVAC duct, or test the surface for mold. The process of testing is simple. You will need to pour the growth medium into the petri dish, replace the lid, and allow it to grow gel for one hour. Next, you have the option to stay open to the atmosphere to test the quality of air, you can tape it to your air duct for an HVAC test or use the swab to remove the sample and apply it to the growth medium so you can do a surface test. It will take 48-96 hours for mold to grow in your dish. You can also send it to the lab for analysis for $40. The test kit itself is under $10.

mold test kits

Do it Yourself Mold Test:

With this test kit you get three tapes to get samples from surfaces. You will then need to mail them back for analysis. All the instructions are included in the kit. The usual cost of the kit is around $45 which includes the lab fees to test for all mold types. You will simply need to apply the tape to wherever you see mold in your home, lift it off, and adhere to the sample card included with the kit. You will get a full lab analysis report in the mail.

Keep in mind that you should always wear protective gear if you plan on testing for mold. It is important to wear long sleeves and pants, proper shoes, gloves, and goggles without vent holes and an N95 respirator. If you do one of the home kits and get positive results, at that point you can decide whether to get the mold removed yourself or hire a professional to do so.

Common Areas for Mold to Appear

  • Area around the plumbing lines
  • Under the sink
  • Within walls or around windows that may be leaking
  • In closets
  • Under the carpet if you’ve had a flood
  • Behind the fridge
  • Between furniture, on the exterior of walls
  • Coils of HVAS or ductwork

Common Causes of Mold in Apartments

Water Leak Causing Mold in bathroom

Mold thrives in cool and damp spaces. There are various reasons why you may experience a mold infestation. Here are a few:

  • Water leak

When you have a mold infestation, it may be caused by a leak. Even if you fix the leak,

mold can linger inside walls and floors; the mold spores grow quickly and cause it to spread.

  • Water that enters from the outside:

If you have badly fitting windows or cracks in your walls or doors, you may end up with some moisture inside your home.

  • Water from condensation

Condensation is caused by the water we exhale and from showering and cooking. It condenses on cool surfaces such as on walls and can cause mold. Also, if you have indoor humidity that is higher than 60 percent or an indoor temperature of 60 F or lower, this can also be a cause of mold.

Preventing Mold

You can prevent mold by using dehumidifiers or air conditioners to get rid of extra moisture from air indoors, you can also run exhaust fans in your kitchen and bathroom and make sure to heat your home during cold weather.

Have you experienced mold at your apartment? If so, make sure to give HydroForce Cleaning and Restorations a call today. Our highly trained professionals will provide you with all the needed mold testing and remediation services right away to ensure your space is safe for you to inhabit. For more information about our mold removal services you can call us today at 630-835-0862.

Mold Remediation

Steps to Remove Mold from Plywood in the Attic


Steps to Remove Mold from Plywood in the Attic

The attic is a part of the home that often gets neglected. However, you should not ignore your attic as it is a prime spot for water damage and mold growth. It is important to regularly check the walls, floors, sides, and corners of the attic to make sure there is no mold forming anywhere. If you do notice mold, it is crucial to address it right away as it can cause significant damage and have an effect on your health.

Why does plywood get moldy?

Mold can appear on treated or untreated plywood. The causes of mold on plywood include temperature, humidity, extra moisture, and the presence of mold spores. Mold on plywood is typically black in color, and it spreads quickly if it has the right conditions, especially if it is wet and humid. Mold and algae affect only the surface and do not get into the plywood structure itself. However, when there is decay in the plywood, the mold can penetrate the surface.

Removing Mold in the Attic

What does mold on plywood look like?

Mold on plywood is typically black or green in color. It can appear on untreated plywood and on H3.1 LOSP and H3.2 treated plywood. This is most likely to happen if the plywood becomes wet or the attic has the proper conditions for mold to form. Sometimes weather conditions involving heat or humidity can create the right conditions for mold to form.

Here are some things you should look out for if you think you have mold on the plywood in the attic:

  • If there is moisture present, you may already have mold.
  • The wood looks damaged and discolored.
  • If you see spores on the surface of the wood packaging, you may have mold.

Identifying mold on your plywood can be tricky as you may mistake it for simple iron stains, mineral discoloration, or sun exposure. Make sure to consult a professional to determine if you have mold and start the remediation process right away. Also, speak to them about future preventative measures you can take to avoid mold.

Preventing Mold

Mold in your attic happens due to excess moisture from a leak in your roof, or an issue with the structure that is causing the extra moisture. The mold spores in the attic will spread to the rest of the home quickly and exposure to mold can trigger allergic reactions. It is important to prevent mold in your attic to avoid property damage and the possible health effects.

Here are some steps to follow so you can be sure to prevent mold in your attic.

  • Keep a minimal difference in exterior and interior temperature:

Make sure that you keep the temperature inside similar to the temperature outside so that you do not create condensation on the underside of roof sheathing.

  • Work with a professional to identify air leaks:

A professional will be able to identify any air leaks in the interior of your attic.

  • Get any points of entry air sealed:

You should make sure to air seal any points of entry such as bathroom fans and hoses, recessed lighting etc. Also, if you have any holes or gaps where there is wiring, plumbing, vents, pipes, or ducts, make sure to get those sealed.

  • Check for ventilation that is damaged or blocked:

Check all the rafter ventilation and make sure it is not blocked or damaged.

  • Repair the baffles:

If your rafter ventilation is broken or improperly installed, make sure to repair it.

  • Allow for proper ventilation:

You can decide on the proper amount of ventilation in your attic by figuring out the amount of roof ventilation that is needed for your attic space.

  • Fix the roof if needed:

If you have leaks in the roof or any damage, make sure to get it repaired.

  • Decrease moisture:

If you have moisture coming in from a gap or a crack, make sure to get it fixed.

  • The appliance vents should be on the outside:

The vents for your appliances coming from the bathroom, kitchen, and the dryer should blow air to the outside.

  • Use insulation:

Make sure you are using the proper insulation like cellulose to prevent the formation of mold growth.

Removing Mold in the Attic

Even if you take all the abovementioned precautions, you may end up with mold in your attic. It is always easier to have it removed by professionals, however, if the surface area is not too large, you can attempt to remove it yourself. Here are the steps to follow:

Remove Mold in the Attic before and after

1.  Seal the area and use protective gear:

Cover the surrounding area with plastic sheeting so that mold spores don’t spread. Use protective gear such as googles, masks, and rubber gloves to protect yourself.

2. Vacuum the area:

If there is water present, make sure to use a wet vacuum to get rid of it. Then dry out the area with fans, dehumidifiers, and heaters. Next, dry vacuum to get rid of the mold spores.  Make sure to empty the vacuum outside and seal the bag you’ve used to dispose of it, so the spores do not spread.

3. Clean off the mold:

If the mold hasn’t gotten through very deep into the wood, it can probably be killed with dish soap and warm water. Take a teaspoon of soap and fill a spray bottle with water and shake it up. Next, spray the area and scrub it with a brush to get rid of the mold. Finally, dry the area with a towel. You can also use distilled white vinegar. Make sure to use equal parts vinegar and warm water in a spray bottle and spray it on the mold. Next, let the solution dry for an hour and then wipe it with a wet cloth and then a dry one.

The final option is using borax, which is a more natural and safer way to clean than bleach. Use a tablespoon of borax with a cup of water, then put this solution on the molded area with a brush. Make sure to scrub the mold away which will leave the borax solution in the wood. Do not sponge up the extra liquid. You want to make sure leave as much solution as possible so that future mold growth can be prevented.  Finally, use a humidifier or a fan so that the wood can dry quickly.

4. Sand the wood:

The mentioned cleaning solutions should get rid of the mold issue, however, if you are unable to get rid of it, the final solution is sanding. Make sure to use 100-grit sandpaper on the affected area while making sure to not sand away too much of the surrounding area. Keep repeating this process until the mold spores have loosened.

Mold can happen at any time in your attic, especially if it is not maintained. If you’ve experienced mold at your home or business, we can help. Mold in your attic can cause costly damage. We provide complete mold remediation to ensure that the mold is fully removed, and that it does not come back. For all of your mold removal needs make sure to reach out to HydroForce Cleaning and Restoration at 630-835-0862.

water restoration

4 Hidden Places to Check For Mold


Over 30% of brand new homes constructed have some kind of mold in them. Though mold issues are quite common when it comes to residential properties, it’s a serious issue across the business sector, as well. Thankfully, there are professional commercial services that can perform mold inspection and consultation services, as well as help with mold cleanup and prevention.

Whether you’re taking care of your home or your business, you need to know where to look for mold. There are plenty of areas throughout a structure that can have mold growing but might be tough to actually see. Here are some hidden places to regularly check for mold around a building:

4 Hidden Places to Check For Mold

  • Air conditioners — This is especially true when you’re not using your AC units. The air that AC units bring in from outside contains pollen and dirt, which are perfect for mold growth. AC units that sit for long periods of time are likely to contain all kinds of mold spores. Preventing mold inside your AC can be done by simply running it every single day, even if it’s just for a few minutes.
  • Underneath the carpet — Mold can lie beneath the carpeting, inside the floor padding. Any liquids that have spilled onto the floor will lead to mold growth over time.
  • Storage boxes — If there are a lot of cardboard boxes on your property, it’s best to regularly inspect them for mold. Cardboard boxes and paper files can lead to mold if they are being stored in humid environments or a water spill or leak has recently occurred.
  • Window sills — Window sills are a great spot for mold to start and spread since they are consistently exposed to moisture from condensation. Make sure to wide down all your windows sills throughout your home or business and consult with mold commercial services right away if you identify a lot of mold (this goes for anywhere in the building).

If you want to learn more about mold prevention and want to work with professional commercial services, give Hydroforce Cleaning Systems a call today.

water restoration

Keep Mold Out Of Your Home And Bathroom With These 3 Tips



Mold can be a terrible nuisance for a homeowner. It can look terrible, decrease property value, and even cause some serious health concerns. Plus, according to the Mayo Clinic, 93% of chronic sinus infections have been attributed to mold.

If a home has a serious mold problem, immediate action is required and you should contact local plumbers and mold cleanup specialists. However, if mold only resides in small areas of your bathroom, there are a few things that you can do prior to reaching out for professional help. But it’s important to keep in mind that in order to completely rid your home of this problem, you need to hire mold removal professionals, even if it’s for the smallest mold issue.

For quick mold cleanup jobs inside your home’s bathrooms, consider these following tips:

Keep Mold Out Of Your Home And Bathroom With These 3 Tips

  • Use hot water, baking soda, and bleach — For a quick and affordable way to clean up mold inside your bathroom, get some baking soda and bleach. All you need is a single teaspoon of liquid soap, a cup of baking soda, a few drops of an essential oil, and water. Then, mix that solution with some bleach and transfer it into a spray bottle. Spray the affected area, like a bath tile or your bathroom ceiling with the solution and allow it to dry. Once it has dried, scrub it with a brush and rinse until the mold is gone.
  • Use vinegar — Another inexpensive method for addressing bathroom mold is to put vinegar in a spray bottle. Since vinegar is only mildly acidic, it can clear out a moldy part of your bathroom without cause for health concerns. Make sure you don’t dilute the vinegar with water when placing it into the spray bottle, however, because you’ll need it to be at full-strength and not watered down. After you spray the mold, let it rest for about an hour and then wipe it clean with hot water before drying it off with a clean towel.
  • Keep your bathroom clean — Keeping your bathroom clean is an essential responsibility for all homeowners. After you’ve had local plumbers and mold cleanup professionals address any mold and mildew inside your bathroom and throughout your home, keeping it clean will prevent future mold from growing.

If you’re in need of local plumbers in order to address mold and other plumbing emergencies inside your home, give Hydroforce Cleaning Systems a call right away.

disaster recovery

4 FAQs: The Importance of Mold Cleanup and Prevention



If you’re living in a brand new home, you’re probably enjoying every second of it, which is great, but you should know that you could be living alongside some serious dangers. Over 30% of brand new homes constructed currently have some sort of mold inside of them.

Living in a home with even a little bit of mold can cause some major health concerns for you and your family, as well as damage your home over time and even hinder its overall value. Understanding how to identify mold and knowing when to consult residential services can help solve all your household mold-related issues.

Here are some important frequently asked questions pertaining to residential mold:

4 FAQs The Importance of Mold Cleanup and Prevention

  • So… what is mold? — Mold is a fungus that can be found both outdoors and indoors. There are tens of thousands of mold from can these spores can thrive in warm, damp, and humid conditions. So if there are any signs of water damage inside your home — mold is likely an issue, as well.
  • Can mold survive in harsh environments? — Unfortunately, yes. Mold spores can survive extremely harsh conditions and even dry environments, which would otherwise not support mold growth. That’s why it’s imperative to address any household molding issues right away.
  • How can I address mold problems? — As soon as you notice any mold inside your home, you have to act quickly to limit damage and prevent further issues. Your best bet is to consult with water damage cleanup residential services that specialize in mold cleanup. These professionals can quickly identify all the locations of your home with mold and get rid of the mold in a quick and efficient manner.
  • What are some of the health effects that mold causes? — The effects of mold exposure to individuals inside a home can range from minor irritations to serious health issues. Here are some of the most common health effects of mold: sneezing, eye irritation, nasal congestion, coughing, skin rash, and difficulty breathing.

Make sure you and your family are safe from the dangers of mold at all times. If you want to learn more about mold cleanup and water damage residential services, give Hydroforce Cleaning Systems a call right away.