Regular carpets, area rugs, wall-to-wall carpeting and wall-to-wall carpeting, add aesthetic appeal to any space. They can be used to tie together different décor elements and transform a space into a home.
However, because they are on the floor, water damage carpet can occur due to flooding, faulty plumbing or other unforeseeable problems. Water-damaged carpet is more than an inconvenience. It can also breed harmful bacteria and mould, which could pose a health risk to your family.
Carpet cleaning should be done after water damage. This will help to avoid mould and mildew and eventually costly carpet replacement. Learn how to do it.
How can a carpet get water damage?
Most carpets are water damaged for the following reasons:
- Water damage can be caused by rainwater flooding, malfunctioning appliances, or even accidental spillages.
- Greywater damage – A drain pipe may cause this water in a dishwasher or a toilet overflow.
- Blackwater damage – A carpet that has been damaged by blackwater is extremely contaminated, as blackwater is usually a result of sewer backups.
You may notice that your carpet is dampened or wet from a hidden leak under the surface. You may not notice that your carpet is damp in these cases. If the leak persists, you will notice a musty, foul-smelling smell.
How do you clean a water-damaged carpet?
Cleaning a carpet with clean water is different from cleaning it with sewage water (blackwater). These are the steps to follow for each.
How to extract water from the carpet after flooding with clean water?
Can a flooded floor be saved? You can save a flooded carpet if you take the necessary steps immediately after noticing the problem. In all cases of water damage, it is important to act quickly. Carpet Tech, a carpet and restoration company, can respond 24 hours daily to any flood emergency. These are the steps to clean wet carpets following flooding:
- Remove water from carpet: After taking out all furniture, evaluate the situation and determine the best course of action. You will need to immediately remove water from carpet if it is saturated. A bucket or pump can help you get the process started. However, it is best to call professional flood restoration.
- Dry the carpet: After removing all water from the carpet, open your windows and turn on the overhead fans to increase air circulation and speed up the drying process. You can rent dehumidifiers or your flood restoration company will place them strategically. This will ensure that the area is dry evenly and correctly. As this will slow down mold growth, it is a good idea to remove carpet from the floor.
- Replacing the padding: While your carpet may still be salvageable, water damage can cause serious damage to your carpet padding. Sometimes drying your carpet may not be possible. In these cases, you can replace the padding with a new one.
- Take your time: Drying can take up to three working days. It is important to be patient.
Carpet Cleaning after a Sewage Overflow
Also known as sewer backups or sewage overflows, sewer water can seep through your carpet when you least expect it. This puts your family at risk for gastrointestinal problems and other health issues. In 24 hours, your carpet will start to develop mould. It is important to get it cleaned immediately. These are the steps:
- Prioritize protection: Water from sewage overflows is contaminated and potentially dangerous. To prevent direct contact with sewer water, wear rubber gloves, boots, a mask, and protective eyewear.
- Assess the damage: You may need to replace your carpet or hire professional carpet cleaners with Biohazard Training. You may be able to restore your carpet if there is a small amount of sewage that has affected only a portion.
- Cleaning: It is key to avoiding mould growth in wet carpets. To remove as much sewage water from the carpet as possible, use a vacuum with the right filtration system. You can use old towels if you don’t own one. Dry both sides of your carpet if possible.
- Disinfect – After you know that all the sewer water has been dried out, spray your carpet with a disinfectant. Then scrub it thoroughly to get rid of dirt and bacteria.
- Drying: After cleaning all affected areas thoroughly, open your windows and turn on your industrial dehumidifiers or fans to circulate air. You can also dry it outdoors.
It is risky and difficult to clean carpets after water damage from a sewer backup. The Centre for Disease Control advises against cleaning bodily fluids without adequate protection. It is always better to have professionals do the job.
Additional Tips for Carpet Cleaning and Drying After Water Damage
These are just a few more ways to speed up cleaning and drying:
- Take out all furniture and other items from the area.
- Take your small carpet outside if it is too big.
- You can use a heater or dehumidifier to dry it if it is cold.