When the unthinkable has happened and you’re dealing with water damage in your home or business, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. That’s why it’s important to know what you’re dealing with, have a plan to fix water damage, and know when to call in help.
As water damage repair experts, one of the most asked questions we get is how to fix water damaged carpeting. Is there something you can do to dry the wet carpet or is it just a lost cause?
Instead of hitting the panic button, read through this post to learn what your options are and how to deal with water damaged carpeting.
The Essential First Step: Assess the Situation
Before you even begin trying to dry the carpeting, you need to assess the situation. Has the source of the water been identified? Is it safe for you to try to fix the water damaged carpeting yourself, or are there hazardous materials involved? Has the water been stopped?
If you want to dry the carpet instead of throwing it out, the water that caused the water damage has to be from a clean source – called category 1 water. This is usually from broken pipes, supply lines, and rain or snow. With any other water, it’s usually not safe to keep the carpet.
Flood-damaged carpet can be especially toxic. Flood waters are category 3 by definition because it can contain the worst kinds of contaminants, including mold spores and life-threatening bacteria. Do not even attempt to salvage carpet that was damaged by flooding.
Once you know what you’re dealing with, you can begin to tackle the question of how to dry carpet. If you aren’t going to call a professional team to restore the wet carpet, you should wear protective gear such as a mask, gloves, and boots to protect yourself from anything that may be in or on the carpet.
Keep in mind that you’ll want to keep people off of the carpet as much as possible while it’s wet.
Begin Drying the Damaged Carpet As Soon As Possible
Water damaged carpeting can quickly grow mold and become an issue, so as soon as you’ve determined what you’re dealing with, you should proceed with speed. To give your carpeting the best chance for being saved, you want to have the carpet completely dry within 48 hours. You can pull water out of your carpet with a wet/dry vacuum or a rental carpet cleaning machine. Make sure you pick a tool that can cover enough service area with sufficient suction. Otherwise, this could be a very long process.
Removing water from carpet isn’t always always possible, however. You may not know about the water damage until long after it occurred, or you may have trouble trying to get it dry because there was a lot of carpeting or water involved. Whatever the case, move as quickly as you can and know when to call in professional help.
How Do You Dry Wet Carpet?
You can use a wet-vac to dry carpet after water damage. This is an inexpensive method, but it is time consuming. It’s important to know you should use the vacuum in one long stroke with many passes to dry the carpet. Simply moving back and forth, like you would dry vacuum, won’t remove the water from the carpeting, just push it around.
Blowers, fans, and dehumidifiers can aide in the drying process and get the carpet dry faster. You want to set them up so they circulate the air in your house and open any windows you can if weather permits. Note: do not open windows if it’s raining or humid outside.
These instructions apply if you have carpeting without a pad. If you have padding under your carpeting and experience water damage, there’s an extra step you should take.