Carpets are a great way to give your home a warm and inviting feel all year round. They are soft on your feet, sit comfortably and absorb noise and echoes superbly.
Despite all of its cozy properties, there is one disadvantage: they are quite difficult to keep clean, especially when compared to wooden or laminate floors. Spillage on a wooden floor is quickly removed, and spillage on a carpet may require days of carpet treatment to remove stubborn stains.
But what if a sudden flood of water has flooded the carpet? Is it possible to save it from ruin or is it best to throw it in the trash and find a new one?
The truth is that it largely depends on what type of flood you are dealing with. If it is clean water from a broken pipe or rainwater that has not mixed with contaminants, you have a good chance of saving it.
However, if your carpet is flooded with gray or black water from places like toilets, washing machines, sewage, or even sea water, the only chance to save it is through professional help.
With that in mind, let’s look at some of the key tips you can follow to save your flooded carpet.
Get rid of the water – ASAP
First things first: you need to remove the water as soon as possible. The longer the carpet remains flooded, the less chance there is of saving it.
If you want to go the DIY way, open all the windows and doors in your house to let the carpet dry out. Air filters are great for trapping unwanted airborne particles that accumulate around dirty water.
However, if you are dealing with a major flood, it is strongly recommended that you contact flood recovery experts as soon as possible. Yes, this can cost more than alone, but you have a much higher chance of saving your carpet and you don’t have to do all the legwork yourself.
Accelerate the drying process with fans
You must let the air circulate around your house as quickly as possible so that the carpet can dry out sufficiently. Any type of fan you can get your hands on will help. However, if you have an HVAC system with air filters, you’re in luck. This speeds up the drying process considerably and filters the impurities out of the air.
Dry the room with a dehumidifier
As the name suggests, dehumidifiers are an excellent weapon in the fight against moisture and humidity. If you can get your hands on one, place it as close as possible to your flooded carpet. Also let it run at full capacity for at least 24 hours. If you don’t have a special dehumidifier, your air conditioner will also work.
Steam cleaning carpet and flooring
Once your carpet appears to be dry, it’s time to clean it thoroughly. First, start with the vacuum cleaner to pick up all the dirt, dust, and debris left over from the flood. Depending on the type of flood you’re dealing with, you may have a lot more cleaning work to do than others.
In any case, make sure that you absorb as much dirt and bacteria as possible. The reason most carpets have to be thrown away after a flood is because of the mold and mildew that grows on them.
To minimize the risk of mold, you should steam clean your carpet. This is a more thorough method of eliminating the underlying bacteria that cause mold growth.
Disinfect the room
Your carpet is not the only one that can absorb mold and mildew after a flood. Take the time to clean the baseboards and walls around the flooded area. You can buy certain cleaning products; However, simple household cleaners such as bleach, soap or even vinegar are sufficient.
Bonus tip: Check your furniture too
If a room becomes flooded, you can easily turn your attention to the carpet while neglecting nearby furniture. Affected tables, sofas or chairs must be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. If it has been wet for too long, it will likely attract mold and mildew, making it smell pretty bad in a short amount of time.
To experience a flood in your house is, to say the least, an excruciating experience. In order to minimize the damage to your property and the costs incurred, it is important that you act quickly. Dry your flooded carpet as soon as possible. If possible, use an air filter or your HVAC home system.
In extreme cases where the flooding is significant, it is better to turn to professionals to give you the best chance of protecting your carpet.
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Author: Claire Zimmerman
Claire Zimmerman is a content marketing specialist at the Allstate Service Group. Claire has almost 9 years of do-it-yourself experience and would like to share her knowledge of house design and renovation, especially with questions about HVAC, air filtration and water damage. Claire’s articles are informative and entertaining and written for both homeowners and experienced contractors.