If your home or business premises get flooded, one item that gets affected is the carpeting on the floor. The main issue with a soaked carpet is mildew and mould growth.
Mould has a terrible smell and releases toxins that can cause severe health problems like respiratory infections, asthma, and allergic reactions. The excess moisture in wet carpeting creates a suitable environment for mould to multiply.
Wet carpets also experience delamination as the glue that holds the primary and secondary backing together weakens due to excess moisture. This situation causes permanent damage to the carpeting.
But this doesn’t have to happen. If you experience flooding in your home, here’s what you can do to save your carpeting:
1. Assess The Cause Of Flooding
The first thing you should do to save your carpeting after a flood is to assess the cause of the flooding. The source of flood water may be clean, grey, or blackwater. Clean water refers to water from busted piping or rain.
Flooding may also result from grey and blackwater. Grey water often contains cleaning chemicals used in washing machines and dishwashers. Blackwater is typical in urban areas. It comes from toilet backflows, sewer systems, and other water sources close by following a severe storm or a hurricane.
If your carpeting gets flooded by grey or blackwater, consider replacing it instead of saving it. The contaminants in the water make it difficult to salvage the carpet, as these get absorbed in the rugs.
2. Extract The Excess Water
If your carpeting gets flooded by clean water, you must extract excess water as quickly as possible. Remove the water from glued-down carpeting or unpadded carpeting with loose padding using a wet-dry vacuum. Move the nozzle slowly over each spot for fast extraction.
Pull the edges of tack-stripped carpets and roll them off. However, you can lower the risk of mildew or mould growth by hiring a water damage specialist to steam-extract the rug. This approach would cost you more, but it’s advisable if you plan on retaining the carpet.
3. Dry The Carpeting Fast
The next thing you need to do to save carpeting after a flood is to dry it fast. Generally, the longer your carpeting soaks in water, the higher the chances of causing irreversible damage, mildew, and mould growth.
Combining wet and dry vacuuming is an effective way to remove floodwater and dry the carpet. Using a dry towel, apply pressure on hard-to-reach areas like corners to remove floodwater. Once the dampness is reduced or the carpet dries up, open the windows nearby and turn on the fans.
4. Remove Carpet Padding
If you have padding installed beneath the carpeting, remove it after controlling the flooding. Cleaning and drying your carpeting would be useless if you don’t extract the padding, as mould would still grow and damage the carpeting further.
The spongy design of your padding creates an ideal situation for mould and mildew growth. Removing the padding prevents this effectively. After that, clean and dry your floor well, then install new padding before placing the dry carpeting.
5. Sanitize The Carpeting After Drying
After drying your carpeting, you need to disinfect it to keep contaminants like mildew and mould at bay. Carpet solutions like antibacterial or pine-based cleaners are excellent options for sanitizing carpeting.
Although some bleach solutions offer the best protection against germs, use them with caution, as they can change the colour of your carpet.
6. Keep The Dehumidifier On
After drying the carpeting, you need to reinstall it in your home. Although it’s possible to reinstall the carpeting, getting a professional installer may be a better option. Previously flooded carpeting can be stiff and difficult to stretch. This texture makes it challenging to reinstall without help from a professional.
Once you reinstall your carpet, keep the dehumidifier on to remove moisture from the air, improve air quality, and prevent mould from growing. Check out for signs of mould in the coming days. If there are musty smells, sprinkle baking soda on the carpeting and leave it overnight before vacuuming it out.
Alternatively, hire a remediation specialist to help you solve the problem.
Flooding from black and grey water sources can damage your carpeting permanently. However, you can save your carpeting if the flooding comes from a clean water source like pipes and rain.
Speed is of the essence to prevent permanent damage to your carpet. When left unattended, soaked carpeting grows mould and mildew within a day or two. Apply the six tips discussed above to save your carpeting after a flood.
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