If you have had a water leak that soaked your carpet, you have to dry it as soon as possible. Leaving the water to dry out naturally may become a haven for mildew and mold. If dried properly, your carpet can be re-laid or re-used if it has no further problems. However, the key is the speed required to dry out carpeting effectively and quickly.
A water leak may leave your carpet soggy for days. No matter what the cause, it is essential to dry your carpet after a leak to prevent damage to walls and sub-flooring. It will also help you limit the potential for mold. Depending on the damage’s extent, drying carpets after water damage is something you may do by yourself. If you wait longer to start cleanup, the risk of mold is greater and the chances to restore the carpet are lower.
What to Consider Before Drying Carpet After Leak
The sooner you can start drying and cleaning wet carpet after the leak, the greater chances you’ll be able to restore your carpet’s beauty.
But, before you dry out your carpet, you must consider some things and these include the following:
- The extent of Damage – While you may dry your carpet if there’s an inch or 2 of water, it’ll get hard to dry carpeting when there’s more water involved. If there are some inches of water, it can be troublesome to salvage.
- Age of Your Carpet – If your carpeting is old or has been damaged in the past, it can hard to save. In the long run, the backing would deteriorate or pull away from the carpeting. Water damage will also weaken the backing too.
- Water Source – The kind of water involved basically impacts how simple it is to dry and clean water-damaged carpeting. If water is from the clean source, drying is typically straightforward. Flood water would contain contaminants and dirt that are hard to eliminate from carpets. Sewage backup may be hard to clean up.
Steps on How to Dry Carpet After Leak
If you’re attempting to dry your carpet, it is essential to move easily to limit the damage to sub-flooring and avoid mold from growing.
Step #1: Pump Out Any Standing Water
If you get rid of the excess water at the soonest date possible, the chances of salvaging the carpet are better. If standing water covers your carpet, you will have to pump out the water. Many rental companies have water pumps available and can recommend you the best pump to use.
Step #2: Suck Up the Excess Water with a Dry or Wet Vacuum
Use a dry or wet shop vacuum to eliminate excess water from saturated carpeting. You should work methodically and slowly to suck up as much water as possible. You should also empty your shop vac. The goal is leading the carpeting damp without water squishing around. You might have to vacuum the same carpet section a few times to do this.
Step #3: Separate Wet Carpeting from Flooring
Since most water is removed, you have to separate carpeting from your floor. Pull it away carefully from the tack strips from the wall to the entire room. Wet carpet is more fragile compared to dry carpeting to avoid the use of excessive force that could tear or damage your carpet.
Step #4: Dispose of Carpet Padding
The majority of carpet padding is made of urethane foam or also known as rebonding, but some older homes can have fiber pads or wool pads. While rebond is resistant to water damage than fiber and wool pads, water may take its tool to all of them.
Step #5: Dry Your Carpet and Your Sub-Flooring
After you have separated your wet carpet from your flooring and getting rid of the carpet padding, it is now the best time to dry it. You can use high powered blowers to do this. You may even use the usual household fans, but it would take longer to dry your carpet. You can run fans and blowers until the flooring and carpeting are dry. Whenever you are in doubt, you should operate them longer than necessary.
While you might think that heat would speed up the time for drying, it does not really have that effect. But, humidity plays a significant role when it comes to drying time so turn your dehumidifier on if you have this.
Step #6: Sanitize Sub-Flooring
No matter what the water source is, it is essential to use chemical sanitizers on subflooring to prevent mold and odors from developing. You should use a medical grade sanitizer since bleach isn’t good at killing mold. Wipe down the surfaces thoroughly that were wet and let them air dry.
Step #7: Install a New Padding for Your Carpet
Once you’re done sanitizing the sub-flooring, you can use the shop vac for sucking up any debris or dirt on the floor before you install carpet padding. The majority of carpet padding would come in rolls. However other products can be available in individual tiles or sheets. Cut padding so it will perfectly fit the space, which will cover the whole area between tack strips.
Step #8: Re-install Your Carpet
Once the padding is already installed, you may start to reinstall your carpet. Check if tack strips are in good condition and if necessary, replace them. Lay your carpet down on top with the use of a knee kicker tool to tack carpet down to tack strips.
Step #9: Shampoo Your Carpet
While your carpet is dry, it is likely contaminated or dirty with bacteria or mold. Shampooing your carpet will get rid of the stains and prevent bacteria and mold. You can use a regular vacuum to remove debris and dirt and use a stain remover to treat set in the stains. While consumer-grade carpet cleaning will work, commercial-grade carpet is more effective.
Depending on the type of carpets you have, drying them can be done easily only if you will follow those tips above. If you cannot handle drying your carpets, you can also ask for professional assistance.