One of the last things a homeowner wants to see is a flooded house. Whether it is a busted water pipe, overflowing sink or tub or weather related, a flooded house is a challenging experience for anyone. It happens and when it does, it can cause chaos, panic, and problems.
The Danger of a Flooded House
The main danger associated with a house flood is the risk of mold. Not only does mold smell, but it can cause health issues such as asthma and respiratory problems. It can also have adverse effects on those that have allergies. All of this is because the types of mold that can grow in a home that has flooded produce toxins. Everywhere you look today, there is some sort of mold all around us, almost seeming to be a part of the environment today. But when mold becomes moist and stays moist, it multiplies fast, creating more.
When carpet gets wet and is left wet, it can cause problems like delamination that happens when there is excessive moisture which weakens the glue. At this point, the two things the glue was holding together begin to separate and allows an area for mold to begin growing.
Fast Action is a Must
The Environmental Protection Agency advises us that it is necessary to act immediately when your carpet gets wet. Ideally, the carpet and the padding need to be completely dry within forty-eight hours to protect your home from mold growth. It takes time for the carpet to dry. So, the quicker you get started on this, the better.
What should you do?
For any type of carpet, the first step is to determine the cause and fix the problem that flooded the house. If you detect the odor of a strong mildew smell, call a professional immediately. They can clean the house and get it safe for occupancy. They can determine if the carpet can be saved or if it needs to be removed.
Carpet with no Pad
Carefully remove all the water you can with a wet-vac by slowly moving the nozzle over the whole area to remove the water. This will be quicker than using a back and forth motion. Set up blowers and fans around the house to circulate the air and open the windows, if you can. Set up a dehumidifier around the house to minimize the humidity.
Carpet with a Pad
If the carpeting was professionally installed, wear leather gloves and pull up the carpeting and padding from the tack strip along the edge. Once you have the pad pulled up, dispose of it immediately. Carpet padding is like a sponge and will absorb a lot of water, but it will not dry out. So, if you were to reuse the padding, it will be damp and begin to mildew, grow mold and smell under the carpeting.
Now, lay the carpeting back down flat so that it doesn’t dry bunched up. With a wet-vac, remove the water thoroughly, same as above with a slow motion over the area, not a back and forth motion. Use blowers and fans positioned to blow under the carpeting, so the air circulates. If possible, open all the windows if it is a dry sunny day, so the humidity is pulled out and use dehumidifiers, if available. If it has been raining or is humid outside then it is best to leave doors and windows closed and turn on your central fan system to keep the air circulating.
Clean & Sanitize the carpet
Use a home carpet cleaning system, rental, or call a professional to make sure your carpet has been cleaned thoroughly and there are no germs left in the carpet from the water contamination. You will also want to treat the carpet with an anti-microbial agent to eliminate any possibility of mold spores from growing.
After the carpet and the flooring under have completely dried, replace the padding and then reinstall the carpeting. It can be hard reinstalling dried carpet because it becomes stiff as it dries. You may want to consider hiring a professional who has experience with this, they will have access to tools of the trade that you may not readily have on hand.
Below is a video on the steps for drying a carpet and removing the carpet padding.
Carpet Renovations, Inc. | Water Damage Service | 11672 E. 51st Street Tulsa, Oklahoma 74146 | (918) 437-1956 | Website: www.carpetrenovations.com