Carpets are not intended to be, or to remain wet and most homeowners confronted with a sopping wet carpet such as from a flood will be looking for carpet drying information, quickly. |
Most carpets are composed of a fibrous material (the carpet) and an under pad that is designed to give the carpet its springy comfortable feel. While the carpet itself might be easy to dry (or not) the under pad must also be dried thoroughly in order to avoid damage, mold and mildew in a carpet suddenly soaked in water.
Assuming that the homeowner has located the source of the water, and shut it off, then there remains the task of drying the carpet. Some of the suggestions may not be applicable in all situations and it is up to the homeowner to select the information that best applies to their own situation.
1. Carpet drying starts with removing excess water. In the case of a minor flood where the carpet is wet but there is no standing water, then soaking up the excess water with towels might be possible. If the water is standing then a shop vacuum or carpet cleaning machine might be the best bet. If the homeowner doesn't have a shop vacuum or carpet cleaning machine to suck up the excess water it may well be worth the rental price to help save an expensive carpet.
2. Ventilation is important for carpet drying. Open doors and windows if possible and allow air to begin to flow freely. Damp humid conditions contribute to mold and can ruin a carpet very quickly. The sooner the room is exposed to fresh air the less chance there will be of damage.
3. Carpet Dryer Fans can get air moving along the floor level and help carpet drying to proceed faster. Make sure that air stays circulating in the room for at least 24 hours after the surface of the carpet feels dry. The under pad may well still be wet. A Carpet Dryer might be in order to help dry the under padding. This will speed up the process immensely, just lift an edge of the carpet from the wall and direct the dryer toward it; it will blow air in the space between the carpet and the pad.
4. Keep traffic to a minimum on the carpet that has been soaked. This will keep dirt from being ground in as well as preventing the water from being forced down into the pad while drying.
5. If worse comes to worse the carpet might be loosened from the wall and taken outdoors to dry. This is not practical with stretched carpet which would require reinstallation after removal in order to restore the springy feel.
It is important to remember these steps can help a carpet that has been soaked with clean water. If a carpet has been exposed to unsanitary water such as toilet overflows or sewage it may require professional cleaning and sanitizing or replacement. The pad at least should be replaced after being exposed to unsanitary floods and the other applicable steps suggested on this carpet drying page are implemented.
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