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Water Damaged Carpet Cleaning Tips


Water damaged carpet is a nightmare for homeowners. It’s a situation that needs to be remediated fast. The smallest bit of water damage can quickly lead to mold and mildew. The first step is to stop the source of the leak. Then comes the clean up.

Act quickly

As soon as an inquiry comes in be ready to get on site. Water damage acts as an attractor for soils, pests and microbes. If not remedied immediately, water damaged carpet will suffer from permanent discoloration and odor. There is also the susceptibility for mold growth, which can be dangerous to a homeowner’s health.

What can be salvaged?

If you arrive and begin to remediate immediately, it’s possible to save the carpet. You’ll probably need to replace the padding. Replacing padding as opposed to the entire carpet is more cost effective.

Restoration depends on the kind of moisture

Water damaged carpets can be the result of many different types of liquid. There are clean supply line leaks like those from a washing machine or sink. This type of leak, if remediated within 24 hours, typically won’t require safety equipment.

Water damage from a flood or sewage backflow is a different story. This leak isn’t just water; it’s also bacteria. This type of remediation will require safety equipment with professional cleaners needing to wear protective gear. With this type of water damage, you may be less likely to salvage any of the flooring as well as baseboards and other infected areas.

How severe is the damage?

There are four classes of water loss, calculated by the level of saturation:

  • Class 1: the least amount of water, absorption and evaporation, affecting part of a room or area
  • Class 2: a large amount of water, absorption and evaporation; typically affecting at least an entire room
  • Class 3: areas entirely saturated with the likely source of water overhead, affecting ceilings, walls, carpet, cushion and subfloors
  • Class 4 refers to specialty drying situations, with wet materials with very low permeance/porosity, such as hardwood, plaster and concrete, requiring longer drying times and special methods
  • Confined damage

    Sometimes by sheer luck the moisture is confined to a small area. The drying process is first. Using fans, air movers and dehumidifiers will reduce the moisture. Depending on the extent of the problem, it may take only a few hours to dry. Check your moisture meters to determine when drying is complete.

    Steam clean carpets to sanitize and deodorize

    After the moisture is removed and it’s determined the carpets can be salvaged, it’s time to clean. You’ll want to use carpet cleaning chemicals with the power to kill bacteria and organisms. These cleaning agents can restore non-physical damage to water damaged carpets.

    Rinse carpets effectively so that no residue remains. Residue can cause the fibers to be stiff. It may be a good idea to bring the drying equipment back in to speed up drying. The most important part of cleaning water damaged carpet is flushing out any bacteria and preventing mold and mildew. Baseboards should also be cleaned or replaced.

    Cleaning water damaged carpets can be an extreme challenge and only possible for certain circumstances. We provide cleaning supplies to help with this type of restoration. Browse our products to learn more.