Steps to remove water damaged carpet
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.