How to Restore Carpet After Water Damage. If you have been the victim of a flood or a water leak, your carpet may have sustained some water damage and will require immediate restoration. Depending on the source of the incoming water, your carpet can be returned to its original condition without compromising your health and safety. Read on to learn how to restore carpet after water damage.
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Identify the source of the flood or leak, which will determine whether your carpet is salvageable. "Sanitary" water comes from pipes or rain, while "unsanitary" water comes from overflowed toilets and other sources that may be slightly contaminated. A carpet that has come into contact with "black" water, such as raw sewage or groundwater, should be discarded as soon as possible.
Stop the water flow to prevent any further damage. If you have any difficulty, consult a plumber or engineer who can help you to isolate the source.
Disinfect the wet area by scrubbing it with a cleaning solution made up of a few tablespoons bleach dissolved in a gallon of water. Remember to ventilate the room that you are cleaning-some of these fumes may be toxic.
Tear around the wet spots using a box-cutter and lift up the carpet. Discard the padding underneath and keep the carpet elevated. If you have furniture in the room, either remove it altogether or hoist it up on blocks so that the floor area is open.
Set up industrial-sized fans that directly blow onto the soiled area. Run them on high for at least 36 hours following the incident, being careful to keep electric cords away from the wet spots. It is also helpful to set up a dehumidifier to speed up the drying process. A professional cleaning service can help you with this task.
Keep foot traffic to a minimum on the drying carpet. This will help maximize the airflow to the wet spots and prevent weakening of the laminate seal underneath.
Check your carpet's progress after 12 hours. If the fans have not helped, you should consider replacing the whole thing-12 hours is sufficient time for mold to develop and if the carpet has not dried up noticeably by then, you may be at risk for hazardous allergens.
Contact your insurance agent to discuss the situation, particularly if you reside in a condominium. Depending on how the leak or flood occurred, you may not be responsible for the restoration expenses.