Walking into a home that has undergone sudden flooding is an unpleasant surprise. Even more worrisome is when the brand-new custom carpet is submerged in several inches of water.
Under certain conditions, the water extraction process can potentially save the carpet.
What causes indoor flooding?
Indoor flooding, whether in a home or business, can result from any number of numerous scenarios. Natural causes are as common as manmade ones. Some types of flooding can be prevented with regular maintenance, while others are difficult to control.
Flooding due to adverse weather is hard to prevent. A coastal property owner should be prepared for the aftermath of hurricanes. Others should prepare for thunderstorms year-round and springtime snowmelt by ensuring the sump pump functions and the foundation is in good condition.
Manmade disasters, like burst pipes, can be circumvented with insulation. But a minor water leak can balloon into major flooding within minutes. Malfunctioning appliances, like a dishwasher, washing machine or water heater, can spew water all over the carpet, necessitating carpet cleaning services.
Clogged toilets, bathtubs and sinks can overflow as a result of poor drainage. A slow drain initially seems harmless; but when it worsens, the major flooding could cause serious water damage to the carpeting.
A property owner who fails to address poor drainage can expect costly water damage repairs.
Any type of indoor flooding can saturate the carpet. Homeowners know the high cost of installing new carpeting, which can run into the thousands. A carpet installed over a 500-square foot living area can average just over $1500. A homeowner is likely to want to salvage the pricey carpeting.
Several factors should be considered, however, when deciding whether or not it is possible to save the carpet after water damage. The carpet’s age and quality should be evaluated. Plus, the category of water that caused the water damage should be given weighty consideration.
What are the categories of floodwater?
A carpet may be salvaged if the floodwater comes from a safe, clean source. Floodwater is classified into three categories: Category 1 is clean water and the safest; category 2 is gray water and slightly hazardous; and, category 3 is black water—the most toxic.
Clean floodwater comes from harmless sources, such as rain or leaky water pipes. A carpet saturated with category 1 floodwater can be saved, especially if the property owner acts quickly. As time passes, the quality of the floodwater can deteriorate, making recovery of the carpet questionable.
A carpet that is damaged by category 2 water can be saved if the carpet pad is removed. Gray water comes from sources like dishwashers and washing machines, so slight contamination of the water is likely. However, the potential for illness is not as great as with black water.
Raw sewage teems in category 3 water. The waterborne bacteria and viruses can cause severe health problems in humans who make contact with it. This is the reason that carpets and cushions affected by black water should be immediately discarded.
What are the steps to extract floodwater from carpeting?
The first step in the water extraction process is to stop the floodwater source. If the pipes have sprung a leak, repair the pipe. Cleaning and disinfecting the wet carpeting are critical to eliminate bacteria. Cleaning is recommended if the carpet has been wet for less than 24 hours.
Carpeting that has remained waterlogged for over 24 hours should be replaced. The carpet padding underneath is almost impossible to fully clean; consequently, it should be discarded and replaced. Do not clean wet carpets indoors in summer, as moisture is already present in the damp vicinity.
Dry carpeting thoroughly and quickly, especially when it cannot be removed. Mold colonies can flourish within 24 hours in damp environments, making a speedy drying process important to deter mold growth. A wet/dry vacuum is handy to extract the moisture.
Circulate the air within the water damaged area by running the air conditioner and fans. If weather permits, open the windows to promote fresh air circulation. Increase ventilation and reduce moisture in the air by running the dehumidifier (keep the windows closed when using a dehumidifier).
As the carpet dries, minimize foot traffic in the area. When operating the fans, keep them running nonstop for 36 hours to accelerate the drying process. Turning the fans off at night is not recommended, as it will delay the carpet drying process and allow microbes to breed.
Once the moisture has been eliminated from the carpet, vacuum the area. A carpet shampoo is necessary to further clean the carpet fibers. After the shampoo, repeat the drying process, which includes vacuuming again. Sprinkle baking soda and later vacuum to remove musty carpet odors.
Professional Carpet Water Extraction
When water damage has drenched your beautiful carpets, homeowners may need professional help. Water damage spreads quickly and can cause further ruin, so it is important to consult a reputable water damage restoration company, like ServiceMaster by Replacements, as soon as possible.
Our experienced technicians arrive promptly after your call to assess the extent of water damage. We use advanced water extraction and drying equipment to eliminate excess moisture and thoroughly dry the affected areas. We remove and replace damaged materials, like carpets, drywall, and wood floors.
Highly skilled techs continually monitor the affected environment during the drying process. We utilize moisture meters to detect whether or not any moisture remains. After we deodorize the property, our specialists conduct a final inspection of the water damage restoration project.
ServiceMaster by Replacements also offers residential and commercial water extraction services in Union, NJ and the Neptune, NJ area. Our specialists utilize a proven hot water extraction method to deep clean the carpet fibers, revitalizing the entire carpet. The result is a noticeable improvement in the condition of the carpet.
Water damage is a painstaking event. But with reliable help from the water damage cleanup pros at ServiceMaster by Replacements, you will be able to return to your normal routine quickly. We respond to water damage emergencies in Cranford, NJ. Call us for immediate flood cleanup or carpet cleaning.