Carpet will always be one of the first items to become soaked and submerged in floodwater. Once carpet has become water soaked, you will want to act fast and immediately remove the carpet from the floor to begin the process of carpet cleaning and restoration. These steps should only be followed for carpet that has NOT come in contact with sewage water for health and safety reasons. If the floodwater contains sewage water then you have no choice but to discard the carpet as it can contain harmful bacteria and will be hazardous to the health of you and your family. If you are only dealing with rainwater, then cleaning the carpet is a likely choice. Before you start to clean however, you will first have to take different approaches to getting the carpet removed from the home depending on how the carpet is installed.
The easiest type of install to deal with in a flood situation is one where the carpet has been simply been laid on the floor and has not been attached using any glues or tacks. All you have to do in this instance is roll up the carpet and take it outside to begin cleaning. If the carpet has been installed using glue or tacks, then the process becomes a bit trickier and timelier but it is still doable. Water damaged carpet that is tacked down needs to have the tacks carefully removed before handling. Tacks are very sharp and can easily be harmful if not handled properly. Once you have the tacks removed, you can roll it up and take it outside as instructed above. Glued carpet that has become water damaged will have to be cleaned inside of the home which means that any flood water will need to be completely removed from the house before carpet cleaning begins.
Once outside, remove the padding from the carpet and discard it to speed up drying times. Padding is also inexpensive and can be easily replaced. You want to focus your time and energy on cleaning and drying the actual carpet only. A carpet steam machine is highly recommended to use to help clean the carpet and these can either be bought for personal use or rented from local stores. If you do not have access to a steam cleaner, use a scrubbing brush along with carpet shampoo or a cleanser such as Pine Sol and rinse with a garden hose. Make sure to clean both sides of the carpet.
It may take two or three cleanings to really see a difference, as well as get rid of any lingering smell or stains. You can leave the carpet out in the sun to dry but to help speed up drying times, purchase a wet-dry vac to extract excess water from the carpet. Removing water from carpet won’t happen overnight but as long as the proper techniques are used, you are sure to get your carpet back in shape in a timely fashion.
Because of the abnormalities in our weather conditions, it is not so surprising to suddenly have severe drought or severe flooding in places which enjoyed predictable weather before. Flooding has caused millions of dollars worth of damage. But flooding is not necessarily caused by natural forces. Sometimes flooding is caused by a leaking pipe, leaking toilet, blocked sink or bathtub or other problems in the home. A lot of people go through the problem of having to do floor and carpet cleaning after flood comes into different areas of the home.
If the flooding was caused by problems in your home, you have to find the cause and fix it right away otherwise the flooding will not stop. If it was caused by natural causes, the first thing you need to do is remove as much water as possible. If the water that flooded your carpet is clean, you can just remove the carpet after vacuuming off as much water as possible. Hang it out in a drying area to dry using heavy duty fans or in direct sunlight, making sure the back side is the one exposed to sunlight otherwise the carpet will fade. Otherwise you can just fold it on itself and turn on your fans to make them dry faster.
The carpet should not be left wet past two days because then it becomes a breeding ground for molds. If it is not possible to dry out the carpet within two days and see some molds growing, immediately remove the molds with a mold and mildew killer or a homemade cleaning solution. The place where your carpet is being dried should be well ventilated and free from moisture as molds thrive on moisture.
If the flood water is dirty and might contain contaminants that will be dangerous to your health, it is best to call in a professional to assess the damage and suggest some remediation measures. Some may advise professional carpet cleaning and carpet restoration. If the damage is really bad and the carpet becomes a health hazard, the professional might suggest just disposing of the carpet altogether and replacing it with a new one. The whole floor has to be thoroughly disinfected and sanitized though before a new carpet is installed.
Carpet cleaning after flood waters submerge your carpet should be handled immediately otherwise you may not only lose your carpet, you may possibly endanger your family and your health.
Water is something we cannot do without in this world but water damage is something we can do without. In the event of water damage, carpet condition will have to be assessed first before you can decide on what would be the best thing to do. The extent of damage from water would depend on how long it was submerged and what effect it had on the carpet. If it was submerged for a long time, there is a possibility that its fibers have already detached from its backing. However, some carpets are durable enough not to be easily disintegrated when submerged in water.
Carpet Water Damage
To start off, first find out what kind of water has flooded your carpet. Clean water from pipe leak or break, sink or tub overflow and rainwater will not cause too much damage to your carpet and will only require cleaning if there are no signs of damage. Water coming from toilet overflow, leaks from the hot water heater or other leaks that can possibly carry small contaminants can also be vacuumed off if the water volume is not too much but would require a truck mounted extractor if the volume is more than your vacuum cleaner can handle. Carpets flooded with unsanitary water coming from raw sewage with major contaminants should be disposed of since the bacteria will pose a big danger to your health.
If, in your assessment, the damage is minimal and you can do this job yourself, you can start off by remediating the source of the water. If it is a leaking pipe, fix the leak or replace the pipe. Remove all the furniture in the room and remove the carpet and under padding. Remove as much of the water as you can in the earliest possible time. Hang out the carpet to dry using large fans or put them in an area with direct sunlight.
If there was a considerable amount of flooding, it would be a good idea to call in a professional to assess the size and scope of the damage. Homeowner’s insurance should cover the cost of replacing your carpet if there is severe damage from water. It might be cheaper in the long run to replace than to do remedial measures in trying to salvage your carpet. Unless it is a very rare or unique one, you might as well get rid of the carpet as it will always pose a risk that the water has not been fully extracted or dried and can even damage the floor underneath.
Whatever you do, make sure that no damp or wet carpet is left in your house which can breed molds that will be detrimental to your health.