If your home flooded recently, the wall-to-wall carpet is probably sopping wet. Replacing the carpet isn’t cheap, so you may be hoping to fix the water-damaged carpet. You have the highest chance of saving your carpet if you act quickly. Here’s what to do.
- Consider the cause: Was this a one-time incident, or could the flooding happen again? Whether a broken pipe, leaking roof, or poorly sealed window well is to blame, fix the problem to prevent a recurrence.
- Clear the room: You can’t dry the carpet thoroughly while furniture is sitting on it. Remove everything from the room so you have no obstructions to work around.
- Dry the carpet immediately: Mold can set in within just 24 to 48 hours, so your best defense is to dry the carpet as quickly as possible. Soak up as much water as you can with old towels or remove standing water with a submersible wet/dry shop vacuum. Then, open the windows, turn on fans, and run a dehumidifier.
- Don’t forget the padding: If the water damage is extensive, pull up the carpet and check the padding underneath. Use the above drying methods on the padding, and you may be able to save it. Even if you can salvage the carpet, it’s best to replace the padding for health and safety reasons if mold has already set in.
- Deodorize: Before the carpet dries completely, apply a live-enzyme cleaner to deodorize the fibers. For a DIY carpet deodorizer, mix a solution of equal parts water and 3% hydrogen peroxide. Dab the carpet with a sponge soaked in this solution, let it sit for 30 minutes, and repeat. If any odor lingers, blot the carpet with white vinegar, a natural odor absorber.
- Sanitize the water-damaged carpet: Steam cleaning is an effective method to sanitize water-damaged carpet. You can do this with a portable machine or hire professional carpet cleaners. Depending on the extent of the flood, you may need to sanitize the baseboards and walls as well.
- Stay off the carpet: To prevent tracking in dirt and staining wet carpet fibers, limit all foot traffic, and wait to put your furniture back until the carpet is completely dry.
- Call in the experts: Keep in mind that cleaning water-damaged carpet is only safe to attempt yourself if the floodwater was clean. Wastewater damage and sewage floods can pose health risks, so it’s important to leave the cleanup to a professional. You should also call an expert for help if the carpet smells moldy.
Pacific Flood Restoration is a leading water damage restoration company in San Diego. We can clean your flood-damaged home from top to bottom, including structural drying, personal content restoration, deodorizing, mold removal, and final cleanup. We’ll work with your insurance company to get your home back to normal as quickly as possible. The next time you discover water-damaged carpet, give us a call 24/7 at (760) 815-3033 or contact us online.