Cold Water Extraction: Is It Effective On Carpets? (Part 3)

The EPA advises that carpets be dried within 48 hours to prevent mold and mildew. However, LEED recommends 24 hours. What are your thoughts? How fast should carpet be dried before mold and mildew become a problem?
As you point out, there has been much debate on this topic. In fact, the Low Moisture Carpet Cleaning Association takes this even further, suggesting carpets should dry within two hours to help prevent mold and mildew from developing.

We believe carpets should dry as quickly as possible and suggest they dry in 24 hours or less.

A moisture-controlled carpet extractor can help ensure carpets dry in 24 hours or less, but cleaning professionals should know that many new wands have been developed using new “atomizing” technologies. These technologies apply and remove moisture so effectively that they can prove as effective — if not more effective — as using a low-moisture extractor.

— Jolynn Kennedy, marketing director, Tornado Industries, West Chicago, Ill.

I suspect that the EPA number is based on the science of how long it takes for mold or mildew to grow. Any good carpet extractor should be effective enough to allow a carpet to completely dry within 24 hours. However, in the event that high humidity and/or insufficient air movement in a room is prevent the carpet from drying rapidly, an air mover fan should be employed to reduce dry time.

— Scott Keller, vertical market manager–commercial buildings, Bob Abrams, product manager, Brian Simmons, product manager, Clarke, Plymouth, Minn.

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