Cleaning up after water damage

Water damage is one of the worst things that can happen to a carpet. We’re not talking about hurricane flooding, but when a pipe bursts in your home for instance. Don’t worry, not all is lost. In fact most soaked carpets can be saved if you address the problem in time.

There is unfortunately no one best way to deal with a soaked carpet. There are a number of factors that come into play, how long the carpet has been wet for example. Another factor is whether your carpet has been soaked by clean or contaminated water. Clean water is simply tap water, and is the easier to dry, but contaminated water would typically be a backed up toilet. For clean water flooding you will need a professional, and here are a few steps you can take to make the operation go more smoothly:

  1. Stop the source of the flooding, naturally. If it’s a burst pipe you will need to find the shut off valve until a plumber arrives. If you have a leak in your roof that is running down the inside of the wall, that is not so simple to address. In that case  you will have to wait until it stops raining.
  2. You must not walk on a flooded carpet unless absolutely necessary. Treading on it will cause the backing to come loose. This includes furniture that weighs heavily on the carpet
  3. Pull the carpet back from the tack strip to expose it to the air and retard mold growth.
  4. In most cases you will need to call a professional carpet cleaner to properly dry the carpet. It is imperative that the carpet be dry within 24 hours of flooding, so you will have to act fast. He or she will probably pull the carpet up and apply industrial carpet drying fans.

Unfortunately there is no effective treatment for carpet that has been flooded by contaminated water. In almost all cases the carpet will have to be discarded.

Written by, Derek Beyer.

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