It is said that mold is to the
carpet cleaner what infection
is to the surgeon
.             There are only two reasons why carpet cleaners are likely to be
associated with mold that develops after they leave the job that we know
of.  (Although we learn new stuff everyday)!

Reason #1 and just be alert so this doesn't happen...
Where moisture or mold is present before cleaning

.               Never, never, never clean carpets where a musty odor or
moisture preexists unless you are an expert at treating this original
preexisting moisture as well as the following problem that you might
create by bringing more moisture into the picture.  
UNLESS you are
confident that this can be stipulated on the work-order and signed.  We
have to remember though that the courts are unpredictable where the
customer shows up with a whinny excuse that it is really your fault

Reason #2 and the most common reason is that...
Your customer is stupid and/or irresponsible.

.               You can control their stupidity by telling them what they must do
to prevent problems.  They must circulate or ventilate with fresh air or
adequate air conditioning to dry the carpet within a few hours.  So many
times the customer thinks they can close up their home in hot, humid
weather and go away for days after cleaning.  Sometimes they even beat
the cleaner out of the driveway.  This is not logical because it is like
sealing water in a plastic bag.  Then mold isn't just possible, it is a near
certainty and guess who is going to get the blame.  

.               You can defense and hopefully prevent getting blamed for it by
putting something on the work-order for them to sign as well as telling
them verbally. (Although Small Claims court judges are very
unpredictable).  Here is the magic phrase.  Learn it and use it.

What conditions are friendly to mold?

.                Mold is a larger subject than we have the space or acumen to
address but we can give you a thumbnail of information to work with.  
When porous materials are wet such as damp carpet, upholstery,
concrete, plaster, wood, etc. and they are allowed to not dry for over a
day and when this is accompanied by an environment where the humidity
is above 70%, the temperature is over 72 degrees - that is when mold can
begin to form.  There is also an escalation curve in the process.  As the
damp time gets longer or if either the humidity or temperature are
elevated, the molding process is advanced more quickly as well.

.                Temperature and humidity are difficult to influence and are
usually out of the cleaners care and control.  Drying time is the factor that
can most easily be influenced by preaching to the customer to provide air
suitable for drying.  Drying a normally damp carpet is the customer's
responsibility.  The cleaner can not bring air suitable for drying in a little
paper sack and empty it into the room.  The mantra is 'get it dry, get it dry,
get it dry'.  
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