Carpet water damage has to be treated seriously. Not only are you faced with a potentially ruined carpet but you may also inadvertently create a health hazard for your family, if you don’t act quickly enough after an incident of flooding.
Of course, there are number of ways you can be flooded and more or less damage can occur to your carpets and other flooring as a result. A leak from a burst pipe will usually result in relatively clean water soaking your carpet, whereas flood damage from burst rivers or sewers, a leaking toilet or dishwater can mean your carpet is soaked in dirty, unsanitary water.
Whether your carpet is soaked in sanitary or dirty water, however, you may still get problems with bacterial growth which can affect your health. That is because mold and mildew can easily grow in wet carpet.
Here are the steps you must follow as quickly as possible to deal with a water damaged carpet
1. Stop Further Flooding
Carpet repair and restoration is pointless without stopping the source of the flooding. If the flooding is weather related, do what you can to prevent further water entering your home, without endangering yourself. In some cases, you will just have to wait for the weather to change and the flood water to subside. If the flood is caused by an internal leak, burst pipe etc call in a plumber to repair the source of the leak.
2. Contact Your Insurance Company
You may carry out this step before or after step one, whatever makes most sense based on the emergency you have and the terms of your policy. If water is raining down on your head from a burst pipe, it is no good spending time looking for your policy, get the plumber first! If your policy includes emergency plumbing services however, the insurance company may be your first port of call.
3. Call in a Professional Carpet Repair Company
You may be tempted to dry out the carpet yourself. Don’t do this unless there is minimal damage with clean water to a small area of carpet. If carpets dry out slowly, this can allow mold and mildew to form and bacterial growth to take over and this can seriously affect the health of you and your family. Professional carpet water damage restoration services will take steps to dry and treat the carpet to prevent bacterial and fungal growth. A carpet repairer will use powerful vacuums to suck out the excess water, disinfectant agents to destroy bacteria and remove toxins, dehumidifiers and fans to dry the carpet quickly. They will also know if carpet cleaning is feasible and whether the carpet should be destroyed and replaced instead. If your carpet has been under water for a lengthy period of time and has been subjected to water from sewers or dirty rivers, chances are that that water damage to carpet in this instance is beyond repair.
DIY Carpet Cleaning After Water Damage
If you prefer to try and repair the carpets yourself after a less serious incident where clean water has soaked some of your carpet, be aware that you are taking some risks. You need to dry the carpet as quickly as possible to prevent mildew and bacterial growth. Also be sure to remove all the furniture from the room as carpet which is still damp under the legs of heavy cabinets and chairs etc can become moldy. Hire equipment such as vacuums, dehumidifiers and fans if necessary to dry out your carpet within 12 hours from the incident for best results.
Carpet Warranty and Replacement
In most cases any warranty you have on your carpet will be no longer be valid after a flood. Excess water can cause fibers to shrink, dyes to fade and bonding agents to loosen. If you are at all in doubt about the validity of repairing your carpet over the cost of replacing it, get advice from a professional carpet repairer. In some cases, your insurance company will decide that replacement is more cost effective than repair, but if you are not insured, then you need to weight up new carpet prices against the cost and risk of repairing an existing damaged carpet. Sometimes, only a portion of the carpet may be damaged and in that case if you have any large carpet remnants left over from the original installation, you may be able to get a carpet repair service to do an invisible repair, replacing a section of the carpet.
Carpet cleaning after water damage is not easy but you do have options. Be sure to act quickly however whatever you decide to do, to keep damage and repair costs to a minimum.