Carpets are a great way to give your home that warm and inviting feeling all year round. They are soft on your feet, they’re comfortable to sit on, and they do a great job of absorbing sounds and echoes, too.
However, even amongst all their cozy qualities, there is one drawback — they’re pretty tough to keep clean, especially when compared to wooden or laminate flooring. A spillage on a wooden floor is cleaned up in a jiffy, where a spillage on a carpet may need days of carpet treatment to lift out stubborn stains.
But what about when a sudden flood of water has submerged 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 floodwater you’re dealing with. If it’s clean water from a broken pipe or rainwater that hasn’t mixed with contaminants, you’ve got a good chance of saving it.
However, if your carpet is flooded with grey or blackwater from places like the toilet, washing machines, sewage, or even seawater, the only chance you’d have at salvaging it would be through professional help.
With that being said, let’s take a look at some top tips you can follow to save your flooded carpet.
Get Rid of the Water – ASAP
First things first, you need to get rid of the water as quickly as possible. The longer the carpet remains flooded, the less chance you have of saving it.
If you want to go the DIY route, open up all the windows and doors in your home to help the carpet dry out. Air filters are great for trapping unwanted particles in the air that show up around dirty water.
However, if you’re dealing with a more substantial flood, it’s highly recommended that you seek the assistance of flood restoration experts as soon as possible. Yes, this may cost more than doing it alone, but you will have a much higher chance of saving your carpet, and you don’t have to do all the legwork yourself.
Speed up the drying process with fans
You need to circulate the air around your home as fast as possible, so the carpet has ample opportunity to dry out. Any sort of fan you can get your hands on will help, but if you have an HVAC system with air filters, then you’re in luck. This will speed up the drying process substantially and will filter out the contaminants from the air in the process.
Dry the room out with a dehumidifier
As the name suggests, dehumidifiers are an excellent weapon in battling moisture and humidity in the air. If you can get your hands on one, place it as close to your flooded carpet as possible. Also, keep it running at full capacity for at least 24 hours. If you don’t have a dedicated dehumidifier, your air conditioning unit will work, too.
Steam clean carpet and flooring
Once your carpet seems like it’s dry, it’s time to give it a deep clean. First, start with the vacuum cleaner to pick up all of the dirt, dust, and grime that’s leftover from the flooding. Depending on the type of floodwater you’re dealing with, you may have a lot more cleanup job than others.
Whatever the case, ensure that you pick up as much of the grime and bacteria as you possibly can. The reason why most carpets need to be thrown out after a flood is due to the mold and mildew that grows on it as a result.
To minimize the risk of mold growth, you should steam clean your carpet. This is a more thorough method of eliminating the underlying bacteria that causes mold growth.
Sanitize the room
Your carpet isn’t the only thing that’s susceptible to picking up mold and mildew after a flood. Take the time to clean the baseboards and walls surrounding the flooded area. You can buy specific cleaning products; however, simple household cleaning products such as bleach, soap, or even vinegar will do the trick.
Bonus tip: Check your furniture too
When a room gets flooded, it’s easy to focus your attention on the carpet while neglecting any nearby furniture. Any tables, sofas, or chairs that have been affected must be cleaned and sanitized thoroughly. If it’s been wet for too long, it will likely attract mold and mildew, which will cause it to smell pretty bad in a short time.
Experiencing a flood in your home is a distressing experience, to say the least. To minimize the damages to your property and the cost incurred, it’s important that you act fast. Dry your flooded carpet as soon as possible. Use an air filter or your home HVAC system, if possible.
In extreme cases where the flooding is substantial, it’s better to seek the help of professionals to give you the best chance of saving your carpet.
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Author: Claire Zimmerman
Claire Zimmerman is a content marketing specialist at Allstate Service Group. Having almost 9 years of experience in home improvement, Claire is keen on sharing her knowledge on home design and renovation with others, especially HVAC, air filtration, and water damage issues. Claire’s articles are informative and entertaining, written both for homeowners and experienced contractors.