Can Your Wet Carpet Be Saved?

One day your beautiful new custom-colored carpet is complementing your living room. One torrential flood later, your pricy home investment is a soaked, soggy mess lying under six inches of water.

As you race to find a Shop-Vac and the phone number of your restoration professional, you wonder nervously, “Can my carpet be saved?” 

As we all know, carpet can be costly investment. Homewyse.com pegs the average low end cost of installing carpet over 500 square feet of living space at $1,672.65. The good news is wet carpet can often be saved, depending on mitigating factors like the age and quality of the carpet, and by following correct procedures during the restoration process.

The first order of business is get to work fast. The best way to determine if your wet carpet can be salvaged is examining the factors involved:

Determine The Source and The Type of Water

Quickly determining where the flood or leak came from identifies your carpet’s level of recovery.

Restoration professionals use three categories to classify water based on the level of contamination:

Category 1: Clean Water

This water originates from sources that are not health hazards, like rain or a broken water supply line like a pipe or sink.

Category 2: Gray Water

Category 2 water, a more serious problem than Category 1, contains contaminates that can potentially cause illness. Gray water sources include sump-pump failures and back flow from dishwashers and washing machines. Carpet exposed to gray water can often be saved after removing the affected pad.

Category 3: Black Water

The most severe of flood contaminations, black water like raw sewage contains bacteria and viruses and is serious health threat to humans. Industry guidelines recommend the removal and safe disposal of whole carpet and cushions submerged in black water.

Determine How Long The Carpet Was Exposed to Water

Again, fast action is essential for saving wet carpet. As time passes, the condition of the water in the carpet can deteriorate, as can the carpet. Category 2 water-impacted carpet can usually be restored if it has been wet for less than 48 hours.

But if not treated properly and quickly, contamination levels in Category 2 water can rise and downgrade the water to Category 3 water. Other factors like stale air and room temperature can worsen the water and carpet’s condition. Remember, the longer carpet in contaminated water stays wet, the faster mold grows in carpet.

What is the age and pre-flood condition of carpet?

Replacing aging and worn carpet that has been affected by flooding may be the most practical choice. A Service Master restoration professional will inspect your carpet and help determine its value using defined industry standards.

Do-It-Yourself Restoring and Saving Wet Carpet.

Wet carpet can often be saved by adhering to industry standards recommended by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification.

Step 1: Stop the Leak

This will prevent the carpet from taking on more water and damage.

Step 2: Clean the Carpet

It is very important to make sure the carpet is cleaned and disinfected thoroughly to make sure all bacteria that may be present is removed. Make sure your carpet is ventilated while you clean to avoid foul orders.  If you do not think you can accomplish this step completely, you may want to call a professional for assistance.

Step 3: Remove the Carpet Pad

Using a box cutter, tear around the base of the wet or infected carpet. Lift the carpet and remove and discard the affected carpet padding.

Step 4: Dry the Carpet

  • Position industrial-sized electric fans (keeping the cables off wet areas) to blow straight toward the affected areas of the carpet.
  • Operate the fans on high continuously for 36 hours.
  • Keep foot traffic on the carpet to a minimum during the drying process.
  • Utilizing a dehumidifier can accelerate the drying process.
  • Be sure to keep the fans working without disruption. Turning the fans off at night will only extend the drying process and enable microbes to breed and stay in the carpet.
  • A specialized carpet cleaning service is the best resource to ensure a completely dry and restored carpet.

Step 5: Report your Flooding

Remember, the faster you report your flooding to your home insurance company the lower the costs will be.

Call in the Professionals

Since every water damage situation is unique, the best way to determine if your wet carpet can be saved is to have a professional restoration company inspect and evaluate the situation.  If you live in Cedar Rapids, WaterlooDes Moines or surrounding area, you can count on ServiceMaster 380 to provide trusted, reliable and efficient restoration services if the need should arise.

Contact Springer here, where our team of experienced experts are on hand to answer your questions.

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