"What should I do about carpet water damage?" and "can I save my flooded carpet or not?" are common questions after a flood.
First, where did the flood water come from? Was it a sink overflow? A sewage back up? Sewage water (also known as category 3 or "black water") means your carpet must be removed and replaced, no questions asked. In category 1 (clean water) and category 2 ("gray" water) floods it is often possible to save, dry, and repair carpets. For more information about categories of flood water and flood sources, see our Sewage Mitigation page on our website.
Second, how wet is the carpet? Carpets that make a "squish" sound when you walk on them indicate a wet carpet pad. The carpet pad must be removed and replaced, it cannot be saved. Timing is very important. If the carpet can be dried in 24-36 hours it might be able to be saved. Property owners that wish to forego using a professional flood remediation company should remove as much water as possible (a heavy duty shop vac is usually the tool of choice) and set up fans and dehumidifiers to evaporate the remaining water as quickly as possible. If after 24-36 hours the carpet is still damp, it must be removed and replaced to avoid the risk of mold growth.
It's important to know whether water has not soaked through to the underlayement, baseboards, or walls (again, mold growth is a risk). In doubt, property owners should consult a professional flood remediation company for an inspection.
If carpets can be saved they will need to be sanitized and deodorized before using them again. Do-it-yourself property owners shoudld check with their local hardware store for products and tool rentals.
At Clean Earth Restorations we recommend professional handling of flood- and sewage- remediation and subsequent carpet water damage. In many instances insurance may cover the cost of the intervention. Professional treatment means your flood and damaged carpets will be returned to normal conditions in the most efficient way available and secondary issues such as foul odors, stains, and (very importantly) mold can be avoided completely.
Contact us today with any questions or doubts you have about your carpet water damage or request a free estimate to restore your property.