If your home gets flooded for any reason, your first priority should be drying it out.
Acting quickly is one of the best ways to mitigate the damage as much as you can. The key is to remove water before more damage occurs.
The initial water will be bad enough but if it is allowed to settle, it can cause deep deterioration. This is especially true with carpet and other absorbent materials like furniture.
Drying a Flooded Carpet: Basic Idea
Drying your carpet as soon as you can is the key to saving it. The crucial steps in this process are:
- Remove the water
- Absorb moisture
- Air dry
- Dehumidify the room
If you follow these steps in a timely manner, you should be able to save your carpeting after a flood.
Drying Flooded Carpet vs Replacing It
The first thing you need to determine when faced with a flood is whether to dry the carpet or replace it. Understanding how moisture works and gets down into a material will help you make this decision.
A good first step is to find out how long the water has been sitting on the carpet.
Carpet has a particle padding underneath it that is very sensitive to water. It is incredibly absorbent and will take on all of that moisture.
When that happens, it gets trapped in the padding and turns into mold. Mold spores can be very hazardous to your health and can cause all kinds of problems with breathing and allergies.
If your carpet has been wet for less than 48 hours, you can usually try to save it.
Extract the Water
The first thing you should do if your carpet is flooded is try to extract the water. Use a squeegee to push any standing water out of the room.
Then, you can use a wet/dry vacuum to extract as much of the water as you can. Many wet/dry vacuums have wide attachments that are perfect for this type of job.
Work in overlapping tracks to make sure you are getting every area of the carpet.
Use an Absorbent Towel
Once you are confident that you have extracted as much water as you can, you can then absorb it.
Use a highly absorbent towel to extract moisture from the very bottom of the carpet padding. Push down on the carpet with the towel to make sure it is pushing the water up.
Go through at least three rounds of this and use new towels every time.
Air Dry the Carpet
Once you have extracted all the water with the towels, you can air dry the carpet.
Set up multiple fans in a circle around the area with the carpet. If possible, have them angled down to cover as much surface as you can.
This will help dry the fibers of the carpet and much of the padding underneath.
After you have dried the carpet, you will need to pull the moisture out of the room.
In the days and weeks after a flood, the air will be incredibly humid in the surrounding area. If you do not pull this moisture out of the air, it will settle back down into the carpet.
Once you have completely removed all the moisture, you should be able to walk on your carpet. Keep checking the air and the carpet itself for moisture to ensure it is not growing mold underneath.
- How long does it take for mold to grow in wet carpet?
Mold can begin to grow in under 72 hours. This is why it is so important to move quickly after a flood.
Depending on the humidity of the room, it can grow quicker. Try to start drying as soon as you possibly can.
- Is it bad to sleep in a room with wet carpet?
You should never sleep in a room with wet carpet.
Mold can grow with very little moisture and can be very hazardous to your health. Always make sure to clean up any spills as soon as possible.
- How can I make my carpet smell better naturally?
You can mix ½ cup of baking soda with a few drops of essential oil. Sprinkle this mixture onto your carpet and let it sit for 24 hours.
After that 24 hours, vacuum up the baking soda mixture and repeat if necessary.
A flood is a stressful thing to happen no matter what the circumstances are. If you add the possibility of replacing carpet on top of that, it is so much worse.
If you move quickly, you can save your carpet and save yourself quite a bit of money in the process.