How to clean water damaged carpets
When carpets get water damaged, there’s a very fine line between being able to save them and having to wave them goodbye. Unfortunately in Australia many home owners have had to deal with water damage from flooding, and it’s often simply not possible to save carpets that have been damaged by groundwater or floodwater – there’s too much risk of the water containing sewage and/or other toxic chemicals to consider keeping them. If however, the water damage has been caused by something else, say a small leak from plumbing, or rainwater getting in, then it’s perfectly possible to save the carpet.
“But don’t be tempted to just leave the carpet as it is.” explains Elite Logan/Brisbane Southside franchisee Steve Armour. “It’s imperative not only to stop the cause of the water damage, but also to treat the carpet after it has been damaged. This is because leaving the carpet damp can result in the growth of mould, and once this has set in, it can very difficult indeed to remove (see our previous article on mould – ‘Why you need to worry about mould‘). What’s more, your carpet can also be affected by carpet rot, and then it will definitely need replacing.”
Here’s the Elite guide to what to do if your carpet is damaged by water:
- Safety first – make sure that all electrical devices are unplugged and out of the way of the water
- Move any items of furniture away from the water and damage affected areas
- Try to remove as much of the water from the carpet as you possibly can – if your power is switched off or unsafe, buckets, mops and towels are as good as anything else
- Lift carpets off the floor and you may need to remove any underlay
- Walls affected by water damage may also need to be treated, as they can also harbour mould if they are damp
- To finish off the water removal process, use fans and open windows (as long as it’s not raining outside) or a dehumidifier
- Once you are sure all of the water has been removed, use a professional-grade disinfectant and deodorising treatment to remove any lingering smells and to make sure your carpet is clear of microbes and other nasties (normal household products available in shops may not do the job)
- Consider then treating affected areas with a professional-grade anti-mould product
- While going through this process, make sure foot traffic over the affected carpet is kept to a minimum, until the carpet is dry again. This is likely to take at least 48 hours, with fan or dehumidifier assistance.
- Whilst it is critical to begin removing water quickly, it’s also a good idea to call professional cleaners in as soon as possible – they can advise you better and should have industrial equipment that can perform a more thorough job and dry your carpet out more thoroughly and more quickly.