Mold Allergy | Moldy Furniture Problem | Allergy

Moldy Furniture Problem

by Allergy Guy

Furniture can grow mold for several reasons.

Flood damage or storage in a shed with a leaky roof is likely to cause big mold problems. In this case, dealing with a mold problem is a real health hazard. If you decide to tackle the problem yourself, I advise you to wear a respirator and gloves, and to do the work outside. Definitely do the work outside, or you will spread mold spores all over your work area.

Storage in a damp basement is likely to produce a more manageable mold problem, but still plenty enough to cause allergy symptoms. In this case, some people may not be able to smell the mold, but it can still set off allergies and cause health problems, besides being unpleasant for those who can smell the mold and mildew.

Eliminating the Mold

There are a number of approaches, of varying cost, hassle and effectiveness. If the easy ones don’t work, then make sure the frame is worth the trouble and expense of following through with the other mold removal methods.

Sun the Moldy Furniture

You may be able to solve minor mold problems by putting the furniture out in the sun for several days. Be sure to bring the furniture in at night or dew and dampness will undo anything that was accomplished during the day.

To be effective, you will need to remove the cushions and sun them separately for maximum drying and sun exposure. Flip the cushions every few hours. If you can, unzip them and pull out the stuffing for even more drying.

If you are lucky and the mold is slight, this just might work. But don’t count on it.

Ozone Treatment

An ozone generator can be very effective in mold removal. Ozone treatment will be covered in a separate section in a future post..

Wash and Sun the Moldy Furniture

This method is more trouble, but also the most effective.

Remove all the foam from the furniture. You will end up replacing it.

Wash the cushions several times in water with peroxide. You may need to replace the upholstery buttons.


If all else fails, or if the washing method is too much work (or impractical), take the furniture in to have it reupholstered.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Guest October 6, 2010 at 00:50

My grandmother gave me a nightstand for my bedroom, my bedroom is in the basement and it is carpeted. I did not know that this nightstand had mold on it until today, and I soon threw it away after my disturbing discovery. I decided to explore the rest of my room and when I lifted my box spring from the floor I realized that mold was on the carpet and had started to grow very largly on my box spring (no wonder my room had been so musty). I have scrubbed the floor and box spring with vinnegar and I have a fan blowing, though I’m not sure if I should pitch my box spring, or if there is still hope? this is a nasty problem :(. I also don’t know how deep in has penetrated through the carpet.

P.S. I’m a poor college student who probably can’t afford a cleaning service, haha.


2 Allergy Guy October 6, 2010 at 21:42

It sounds like the problem is the basement itself – no vapor barrier between floor and carpet. It is a common mistake.

You need to fix that problem, or all cleaning will be in vain. You’ll also want to keep the humidity down with a dehumidifier when the weather is warm. When cool, the heating should take care of it.

If the mold is not too deep into the box spring, you may be able to save it.

Good luck!


3 Guest April 3, 2010 at 00:51

A little rain, will it hurt my couch

I recently visited my local furniture store to purchase a large item, when i was loading it in my truck i noticed a set of couches laying by the garbage. after inspecting them i ask a worker why they were there, he informed me that because they have a couple of rips in them, they can not be resold, so the store puts it out by the garbage to either be thrown away or taken by someone for free. So i took the couches home with me, after removing the plastic from the couches i notice some rain had gotten on them and some places were wet. Now i have talked to some people and i keep getting different answers, I can fix the rips myself thats no problem, but people have told me that because the couches were out in the rain and are wet in some place’s they will grow mold. Is this true? And they couldn’t of been out in the rain that long because it only rained the morning of that day. So should i throw them away or will i be fine and i should keep them?


4 admin April 3, 2010 at 13:50

mold=dampness X Time

It isn’t that rain will automatically cause mold to grow on the couch.

The question is how far the water penetrated, and if you can dry it out quickly.

If the foam is wet and it takes a week to dry, you could get a mold problem.

If only the fabric is damp, and you dry it out in a couple of days, it should be fine.


5 Guest October 5, 2009 at 10:11

Mold on legs of furniture

We just recently noticed that there was mold on the legs of an oversized comfy chair we have in our basement and there was mold on the carpet where the legs sit. So we cleaned the legs and carpet with bleach water and even cut a small area of the carpet to see if there was damage/mold in the padding but there wasn’t. We were not aware that there was any water in our basement. FYI… Our basement is 90% finished. Did also notice some mold around the base of a desk chair in our kids play room. Can dampness in the air cause mold? Or does it come from water seeping in? We did have local flooding in our town this summer but we didn’t have any major damage. Some minor leaking in our laundry room area of the basement (only part that is NOT finished).


6 admin October 5, 2009 at 10:34

Mold worse in finished basesments

The problem with finished basements is that they hide the mold, and actually make it worse.

High humidity is a major mold promoter, as is a lack of air circulation. This is a particularly big problem in finished basements, behind the walls where you can’t see it.

What you can see is likely the tip of the iceberg.

A dehumidifier will solve part of the problem.


7 Michael September 1, 2007 at 10:16

Removing Moldy furnature

I have a big couch & wood Tables, that has a real huge mold problem, from a recent flood. How should I go about removing it from the basement? Should I call a professional to do it?


8 admin September 1, 2007 at 11:15

Basement Mold

I am sorry to hear about your flood – what a drag!

If you have moldy furniture in the basement, then you can assume that there is lots of other mold in the basement. So the problem isn’t so much moving the furniture, as it is being in the basement, or the house for that matter.

Start by ventilating the basement. Put a fan a basement window which sucks air out of the basement to the outside. Do not blow air into the basement or you will spread mold spores throughout the house.

It would be a good idea to have powerful extraction fan installed in the basement right away to prevent the mold toxins and spores from spreading throughout the house and to clear the air in the basement a little.

Wearing a respirator designed to remove small particles is an excellent idea – you’ll want a close-fitting one, rather than just a paper mask. You may also want to wear gloves if the mold is really bad.

Once you remove the moldy furniture, you will need to clean up the rest of the basement. If there is a major mold problem throughout the basement, then yes, get professional help.

If you need professional help for the rest of the basement, then might get them to remove the furniture too, but why wait? Unless they can come today, you want to get rid of as much mold from your basement as possible, as soon as possible.

Again, the main problem is the air quality in the basement not moving the furniture itself. The first thing to take care of is ventilating the basement (extract air from the basement).

I hope this helps and good luck with the mold clean-up and flood restoration.


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