How to Dry Carpet

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Drying carpet after it's completely saturated is important to prevent mildew and mold growth. Mold and mildew can begin growing in less than 48 hours. To save wet carpet and avoid replacing it, you must begin to dry and clean the carpet quickly.

Things You'll Need

  • Wet/dry vacuum
  • Sawhorses
  • Gloves
  • Vacuum the carpet with a wet/dry vacuum. You need to get out as much as you can so that the carpet isn't too heavy to lift. You can use the vacuum on a carpet that's only wet in one place, too.

  • Pull the carpet up off the carpet tacks if you're drying the entire carpet. If you're only drying a small area, lift that area of the carpet and inspect the padding. If the padding isn't ruined, you can continue and use the indoor method of drying in Step 3.

  • Place the carpet outside on a patio or driveway in the sun to dry further. If you must dry the carpet inside, lift it up off the floor by propping it up on sawhorses, and run dehumidifiers, fans and air conditioners. Fans alone can't remove moisture; they only move air. Lay the carpet flat to dry when most of the moisture is removed.

  • Remove and dispose of the carpet padding. It's very heavy and falls apart easily when wet. If the padding is stuck to the floor with glue, use a floor scraper to scrape the padding up.

  • Inspect the carpet for dirt, mold and mildew. Clean it as needed, replace the carpet padding and put the dry carpet back in place.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you don't lay the carpet flat to finish drying, it won't lie flat when you put it back in place and it may be stretched out.
  • Always wear gloves, dust masks and other safety gear when handling contaminated water.

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