Not much else compares to the devastation that a flood can bring. Of course, even when the flood doesn't completely destroy your home or neighborhood, it can cause damage to parts of your home, such as the flooring. If you have carpeted floors that become exposed to flood water, you may not be sure what to do, so check out these three facts you should know about flood-damaged carpet.
Carpet Contaminated With Sewage Should Be Replaced
Depending on the type of flood, the safest bet might be to toss your carpet and completely replace it and the underpadding. Typically, this is the case if the water contains sewage. Usually, flash floods and floods from overflowing rivers, sewers, drains, etc. contain some sewage. While some materials can be properly cleaned, carpet is porous, which means even with professional cleaning, some bacteria stays hidden in the pores.
Some types of floods don't pose the same health hazard as sewage contaminated water. If the water came from your home from a clean water supply (not the toilet or septic tank), such as a burst pipe or a broken dishwasher, you can assume it is clean. The safest and cleanest option is still to replace the carpet, but because it has not been exposed to sewage, it can be saved with proper cleaning.
Mold and Mildew Start to Grow Quickly After Exposure to Moisture
If you believe the carpet was exposed to sewage or you simply decide to replace it to be safe, do it quickly. Mold and mildew start to grow quickly, and while you may not care if the carpet gets destroyed, you don't want those spores to enter your breathing space. If you decide you are going to keep the carpet, start the drying process immediately to prevent mold and mildew.
Begin the process by using a wet/dry vacuum, a good carpet cleaner or something similar to pull up as much excess water as you can. As long as the carpet is soaking wet, it won't dry fast. Get the carpet as dry as you can, but it will stay damp because of the pores. At this point, you simply need to be patient and let the carpet dry naturally. Of course, it's best to speed the process with drying fans, so mold has less time to grow.
Any Carpet You Don't Replace Should Be Professionally Cleaned
Even if your carpet wasn't exposed to anything dangerous, it's a good idea to have it professionally cleaned. In some cases, you may want to hire someone immediately, who can handle the drying and cleaning process for you. Either way, get someone in to professionally clean the carpet once it's completely dry. With steam cleaning, the carpet gets sanitized and deodorized. The underpadding will likely need to still be replaced because it is difficult to clean and dry.
If you don't feel you need professionals because the water damage is minimal, you still want to start the cleaning process as soon as the carpet is dry. Use your own carpet shampooer or rent one from a local provider. If the musty odor sticks around after the carpet is dry and clean, try using carpet cleaning powders to absorb the scent. Even regular baking soda can pull those odors from your carpet. Simply sprinkle the powder, let it sit overnight and vacuum in the morning.
You don't always have to get rid of your carpet when it is exposed to flood water, but if you believe the water contained sewage, it's best to contract professional cleaners who can safely remove your carpet. For more information about carpet cleaning after a flood, contact a carpet cleaning professional in your area today. You can also visit websites like http://www.crsidaho.com.