Have you or someone you know ever experienced a flood in a home or business? Whether it be due to a broken pipe or a surge of spring rain, flooding is a common occurrence in many neighbourhoods. As you may know from experience, a flood is an unpleasant and urgent issue that should be remedied right away – but this urgency is even more critical when there is water damaged carpet involved.
When you discover water damaged carpet in your home or business, it is important to figure out what level of damage you are dealing with, what your plan of action will be, and when you need to call in professional help. This will help make sure that when disaster strikes, you can remain calm, cool, and collected.
If your home or business is left with water-damaged carpet due to flooding, will you know what steps to take? Read below to find out how you can be prepared for unexpected water damage and avoid expensive carpet replacement costs.
Step 1: Find out where the water is coming from
Before you can begin to dry and clean your carpet, you have to figure out the source of the water. After all, there is no point in trying to dry your carpet when water is still coming in! Some key questions that you need to answer are:
- Has the water stopped, or can it be stopped?
- Is this a one-time occurrence (like a flash flood), or will water continue to be a problem (like a leaky pipe)?
- Is the water clean or dirty?
If you want to save your water damaged carpet rather than throwing it out, this can only be done if the water is clean – for example if it came from a broken pipe, supply line, rain, or snow. It can be unsafe to keep carpeting that has been contaminated with dirty water as it could carry toxic bacteria or mold spores.
If you aren’t able to determine the source or stop the flow of water at the source, you should call in a professional plumber for assistance.
Step 2: Dry your carpet ASAP
Once you have stopped the incoming water and determined if your carpet can be saved, it is time to dry out the carpet as quickly as possible. Water-damaged carpet creates the perfect conditions for mold and mildew growth, and this can happen in as little as 24-48 hours. For this reason, it is important to get the situation under control quickly.
There are plenty of tools available to help you dry out a wet carpet, including: a wet/dry vacuum, rental carpet cleaning machines, dehumidifiers, fans, and blow dryers. Always be sure to make sure that no electrical circuits were touched by water before operating any electrical devices. If it is warm and dry enough outside, you can also open windows to aid the drying process.
It’s important to remember that nothing should come into contact with your carpet while you dry and clean it. All furniture should be removed to avoid further damage, and you should avoid walking across the carpet as much as possible. This will help the adhesive backing on the carpet fibres to remain intact, and can also reduce the chance of stirring up any mold spores and bacteria before the carpet has been fully sanitized.
Step 3: Clean your carpet
Now that your carpet is fully dry within a reasonable timeframe, you will need to give it a good clean. Properly cleaning a water damaged carpet is essential for safety, so you will need to use a high quality shampoo or steam cleaner that will properly sanitize the carpet and remove any germs and contaminants from your home or business. If you want to be absolutely sure that no mildew will grow, you can apply an antimicrobial cleaning solution at the end of the carpet cleaning process. Be sure to avoid using bleach as it could damage both your carpeting and the floor. Don’t forget to wipe down any walls or baseboards that were touched by water also!
If you decide to keep your carpet, it is best to get rid of your carpet padding after a flood due to the thicker material and longer drying time. Luckily, padding is much less expensive and tedious to replace! If at any time you aren’t sure what is salvageable, a professional Victoria carpet cleaning team should be called to inspect the area.
As carpet cleaning experts, we get a lot of questions on how to fix the water-damaged carpet. Not every water-damaged carpet is the same though! Our best advice is: always act as quickly as possible, and always make the health and safety of your family your top priority. No carpet is worth sacrificing the wellbeing of your household!
If you aren’t confident in your carpet drying or cleaning skills, a professional carpet cleaner can bring you peace of mind. Not only will they make sure that your carpet is salvageable and completely dried, they will also sanitize and deodorize the carpet to remove dangerous bacteria, mold, mildew, and unpleasant odors. While most carpets can be restored to their previous state, some carpets cannot be saved from water damage. When this happens, your professional carpet cleaners can help dispose of your damaged carpet in a safe manner.
Follow the steps above for the best chance of success, and don’t hesitate to reach out to our team if you are ever in need of a professional opinion.