Drying a Carpet After Flood
Water damage to carpets is a very commonly seen problem, and one that causes a whole lot or grief. There’s unfortunately no standardized procedure for dealing with this pesky situation. However, there are steps you can take to minimize the damage. The key step of course is to reach out to a professional restoration company. Before we go that far, however, we first want to look at some other steps.
To Replace Or Not To Replace
It’s tempting to just give up and replace carpet. However, this isn’t always necessary. Carpet can often be salvaged, but you need to make sure you do the following:
- First and foremost, turn off the water supply in your home. The last thing you want is for another leak to sprout. Keep it off until professionals arrive and thoroughly inspect your home.
- Avoid walking on the carpet. In fact, any and all traffic should be limited until the carpet is fully dry. The reason for this is because the materials that keep carpet together become weak and thus prone to permanent damage when wet.
- Remove any and all furniture and/or furnishings that might damage the carpet. In case a particular item is too heavy, at least try to put aluminum foil under its legs. This will at least reduce the likelihood of it damaging the carpet.
- Begin the process of water extraction and removal as soon as possible. Professionals usually need two to three hours to get out to your home. There is plenty you can do in the meantime to get the process rolling.
- Ideally, you should separate the carpet from the attached tack strip. Afterward, discard the padding, raise the carpet and use fans and/or any other methods to expedite the drying process.
Keep in mind that these solutions only apply to “clean” water damage from an overflowing sink or whatnot. If your toilet overflows and the water seeps into your carpet, then it might very well be better to just replace it! However, the final decision should be delayed until you speak with a professional.
Useful Drying Techniques
So you decided to keep your carpet? Great! Now you need to start drying it ASAP! Waiting only gives mold and mildew more time to grow. However, before you can dry the carpet, you must extract all buildups of water.
Ideally, you’ll want to use a wet/dry vacuum to remove the bulk of the water. An even better tool would be a dehumidifier. Unfortunately, most people do not own dehumidifiers. If you do not possess either a vac or dehumidifier, then just please do contact a professional ASAP!
After doing basic extraction, you’ll want to then open up as many windows as possible. You also need to point as many fans toward the carpet as possible. This will expedite the drying process, and speed is very, very important for full recovery.
Other things you can do are listed below:
- Dab dry towels on the carpet to help soak up more moisture.
- Take it outside if it’s not glued down. This is especially useful it’s summer.
- Consider using a garden hose to first spray pesticides off the carpet.
- Always remove the carpet padding. It’s cheap to replace.
The last one is really important. Carpet padding soaks up moisture like a sponge. It must be discarded, no matter what!
Post Cleanup Steps
Drying is by far the hardest part of post-flood restoration. However, the irony is that the carpet must then get wet again. Ideally, you should have your carpet professionally shampooed after you dry it. This if course something a professional could do for you.
Before you even get this far, however, you first must ensure that the carpet is actually dry. This can only be done via professional moisture tests. If even just a smidgen of water is present, then mold could wind up growing right underneath your nose.
So to recap, you need to completely dry the carpet, confirm that it’s dry and then clean it with shampoo and/or some other type of deodorizer.
It is possible to cleanup after a flood without professional help. It of course depends on the extent of the damage. We recommend contacting a professional and getting a free inspection regardless. Even if you don’t opt for restoration services, at least you’ll get a full and accurate assessment of your situation.