The first way the situation can be handled is by cleaning the flooded carpet yourself. Make sure to use a carpet cleaning solution that is anti-microbial, and offers odor protection. A carpet will probably need several cleanings before it's safe to walk on barefoot. |
Carpets can be one of the most challenging parts of a flooded home to clean. Carpeting material can act like a sponge during a flood, holding liquids and dissolved solids for weeks. This can create a health hazard, so it's important to use safe practices during cleaning.
Flood waters can carry many toxic materials, some of which can't be removed by cleaning. Homes in urban settings will probably have residual waste from local sewage plants, chemicals and other toxic debris.
If the carpet is older, has been submerged in water for more than 24 hours or was exposed to sewer water, most homeowners would be better off replacing it rather than trying to save it.
Place circulating fans around the home, which will allow for rapid drying. As the carpet is drying, clean the carpet using a professional strength carpet steam cleaner. This will help destroy any microbes in the carpet from floodwater, and will help eliminate odors.
After cleaning a flood-damaged carpet, it's essential to check for mildew and mold periodically. It's a good idea to leave a dehumidifier running for several months after a flood, to help keep residual moisture in a home low.
Flood water can seep into many unseen parts of a home, where it can be challenging to remove water or moisture. By keeping air-humidity low, it's possible to speed up the evaporation of hidden or unexposed moisture in a home.
Remember that only the carpet can be cleaned and dried, but if the padding is soaked or wet then it needs to be replaced. Padding can't be salvaged usually after it becomes wet. It is a good rule of thumb to remove the carpet in order to clean it, but in cases where carpet cannot be removed, all hope is not lost.
Part of the flooded carpet cleaning process involves getting the carpet dry as quickly as possible. In order to solve the problem yourself you can use a specialised wet/dry vacuum (not just a normal vacuum cleaner) to suck up as much water as possible and eliminate the spread of mould. Use fans or dehumidifiers to keep air circulating and reduce the chance of mould growing. Once the carpet is completely dry, sprinkle baking soda on the surface and vacuum again to reduce odour.Â The best way to clean water damaged carpet yourself, however, is to remove the carpet by rolling it up and taking it outside to a flat or sloped surface and unrolling it.
After unrolling the carpet, spray both sides with a garden hose, and then douse it with ammonia or a pine based cleaning solution and let it penetrate for several minutes. Next, spray the carpet down with a water hose again on both sides until all the suds vanish. The quickest way to dry the carpet, using this method, is to allow it to lay flat in the sun, flipping it over once in a while to ensure both sides are drying out equally. Once the carpet or rug is completely dry, it can then be returned indoors.
Deciding whether to discard, clean, or call a professional when carpet becomes flooded depends on several factors. The type of water the carpet is flooded with is one of the main determinants. Rain water that has flooded the carpet usually isn't a health risk, as long as carpets are properly cleaned and dried before any mould or mildew has a chance to form. Sewage water that has flooded a carpeted area, on the other hand, is a serious health risk and carpeting should be discarded. Carpet that has been flooded with sewage contaminants should never be a "do-it-yourself" project, and if you are dead set on keeping the carpet then a professional should be called in to handle the problem.
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