When your carpet gets flooded, the main danger is the growth of mold and mildew. These can cause health problems like allergic reactions, asthma, and respiratory infections. Some molds can even produce toxins.
Mold grows quickly in moist environments, so it's crucial to dry your carpet as soon as possible. Wet carpet can also cause other issues, such as delamination, where the glue holding the carpet layers together weakens and they separate.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends having the carpet and padding completely dry within 48 hours of flooding to prevent mold growth. The longer you delay, the less likely you'll be able to save the carpet.
Identify The Water Source First
First, identify and fix the cause of the flooding. If the flooding is due to sewage or other toxic waste, or if there's a strong mildew smell, stop and call a professional restoration service. They'll dispose of the carpet and clean the area so it's safe to reuse.
If there's standing water, use pumps to remove it. This is crucial as standing water can damage not just the carpet, but also wallboard and anything else it touches. If you're using a wet/dry vacuum, remember to remove the filter before vacuuming water.
If Your Carpet is Glued Down or Loose with No Pad
Use a wet vacuum to extract as much water as possible. Move the nozzle slowly over each area to remove more water. Use fans and blowers to circulate air over the carpet. If the weather allows, open windows to reduce humidity and speed up drying. Use dehumidifiers to further reduce humidity.
If Your Carpet is Loose with a Pad Under It
Remove and dispose of the pad. Pads act like a sponge and are hard to dry out within 48 hours. It's safer and healthier to get a new pad. Follow the same steps as above to dry the carpet.
If Your Carpet is Professionally Installed Over Pad
Protect your hands with gloves to avoid cuts from the steel nails on the tackstrip at the edge of the room. Carefully pull up the carpet using pliers, remove and dispose of the padding, then lay the carpet back down flat. Follow the same steps as above to dry the carpet.
Monitor the Drying Process
Keep an eye on the drying process to ensure your carpet dries quickly. You may need to reposition fans and blowers so the carpet dries evenly.
Once the Carpet is Dry
Once the carpet and floor are dry, you can replace the pads. If your carpet was installed, you can now reinstall it. We recommend hiring professional carpet installers for this work. A thorough carpet cleaning can help restore its appearance. Be sure to empty and clean the interior of the wet vacuum. Never leave standing water inside a wet vacuum.
Call a Carpet Cleaning Service
While the steps above can help you deal with a flooded carpet, it's a lot of work and can be overwhelming, especially if you're dealing with other aspects of a flood.
In such cases, it's highly recommended to call a professional carpet cleaning service. They have the expertise and equipment to handle the situation effectively and ensure your carpet is properly cleaned and dried, minimizing the risk of mold growth.