Carpets damaged by clean water are difficult to restore, but contamination by mud, silt, sewage, and mildew can compound the issue. Even clean water can bring its own set of problems.
Health is the biggest concern with wet carpets. A wet or damp carpet is bound to contain mold and other respiratory contaminants which can cause breathing difficulty for anyone in the building, especially young children. Carpets that remain wet may deteriorate faster.
Large-damage restorations are generally better left to professionals, but simple clean-water restoration can be successfully tackled by homeowners if the proper steps are taken.
Water-removal equipment, such as wet/dry vacuums, carpet extractors, sump pumps, and flood pumps may be needed to remove water from flooded areas. Once the water is removed, the carpet must be dried using air blowers and dehumidifiers. Finally, the carpet must be cleaned using a carpet cleaner such as a hot water extraction machine. Various chemicals such as spot and stain removers, deodorizers, defoamers, and shampoos should be used.
How to Use It
Before water can be removed, all furniture must be either lifted and placed onto aluminum foil or small pieces of plastic or styrofoam, or removed from the room to prevent permanent staining.
Next, remove as much water as possible to stop it from further migrating throughout the structure.
Apply a biocide to stop the growth of mold and mildew. An EPA-approved solution not only cleans the carpet but also sanitizes it, killing microorganisms that cause mold and mildew.
Once the water is removed, the carpet and pad must be dried. This can be accomplished either with the carpet and pad in place, or by floating the carpet. The best method is to remove all the padding in the affected area by disengaging the carpet with the assistance of a knee kicker and carpet awl. Disengage the carpet around the perimeter, roll the carpet back, and remove the pad.
Once the pad is removed extract any standing water remaining. Apply a biocide to the subfloor and the carpet backing. Place an air dryer below the carpet in one corner and staple the carpet around the unit to keep the carpet from flopping. At the opposite end of the room leave a small portion of the carpet unattached so excess air can escape. Don’t forget to attach the carpet around the perimeter of the room.
At this point, the air mover will trigger evaporation releasing moisture into the air. A dehumidifier is required to remove the moisture.
Once the carpet is dry, reinstall new padding and replace the dried carpet, and then clean thoroughly with a carpet cleaner.
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