Water Damaged Carpet, Wet Or Flooded. Things to Consider and What to Do. Do it Yourself Or Not?

Water damaged carpet? Questions to ask yourself : Where did the water come from? How old is the carpet? How long has the carpet been wet. What is the material, composition of the carpet, including the face fiber and backing? What is the sub-flooring made of: wood or concrete or? What is the $ value of the carpet or rug? What type of installation is it, stretch in or glued down and to what type of sub-floor. What type of padding is under the carpet, age condition, composition. When water damage occurred was the carpet previously clean and well maintained or dirty? Were there pet urine issues prior to the water damage? Is the carpet the type that will shrink when exposed to excess moisture? These are the questions that every professional water damage contractor asks him or herself when developing a game plan remove or dry and restore water damaged carpet.

IMPORTANT. If the source of the water was a back flow from ANY drain line, whether it be from a TOILET, a sink or shower back flow, or a floor drain, regardless of the color or clarity of the water, DO NOT try the do it yourself approach. The water from these sources will probably contain disease causing organisms and should be handled by a professsional. Remember, your health and safety are far more important than a

It is possible as a homeowner to dry a small area of the carpet your self if your are somewhat handy. You may only want to try the do it your self approach under the following circumstances. The affected area was water damaged by freshwater (say a bathroom sink overflow or a leaky supply line under a toilet). The incident happened the same day or previous evening. The area is less than 10 square feet and on the ground floor on top of a cement slab (do it your self dry out is never recommended on the second floor or above or on a home with a wooden sub-floor, call a professional water damage drying contractor for these issues). Nor is it recommended you try do it yourself carpet dry out if the water has come in contact with other porous building materials, such as drywall or baseboards made of multi-density fiber board. If wet carpet and pad have remained in contact or near these items for more than a few minutes, call a water damage professional. Should all these restrictive conditions be met, you may be able to dry the carpet yourself. First move all furniture and personal belongings away from the area. If the furniture legs are wet, place tin foil or plastic under them so they will not stain the area you have placed them. Next you will need a wet shop vacuum to extract the water in liquid form. Go over the area slowly, extracting as much water as possible. Volume wise, water in its liquid state is the easiest to remove from the carpet or floor. Gently and slowly pull the carpet away from the tack strip, starting in a corner closest to the water damaged area. Ask your local tool rental supply company what tools to use to disengage carpet properly from its tack strip. If you have a glue down to slab installation, you would skip this step. Once you have gently pulled the carpet back, you may want use the wet shop vacuum to extract more water from the padding and cement sub floor. Spray mist a neutral PH disinfectant / sanitizer over the entire wet area. Allow the carpet to remain loose and place a fan down close to the wet carpet, padding and sub floor. You can either rent a fan from your local tool rental shop or you may have a large enough axial fan that will do the trick. Keep the area warm, either with a small space heater or your homes central heater. A more advance method would to be to rent a small dehumidifier from your local tool rental shop and place it near the fan(s) you have used. Rotate the fan around the area daily. Since porous building materials often feel "dry" before they are "actually dry" it is best to leave you drying equipment in place for at least two days past what feels dry to the touch. It is best to leave your drying equipment on steady in the area for 4-5 days. This will leave you with a dry carpet, pad and cement sub-floor. At this point you are ready to re-attach the carpeting to the tack strip. water damaged carpet.
Article by: Roger Christensen

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