How To Restore Carpet After Water Damage

Roof leaks can damage more than just your walls and ceilings.  If water was leaking onto your carpet, you have to properly dry and clean the area affected.  If you ignore a wet carpet, you could be setting yourself up for more than just ruined carpet.  The carpet can become a hiding place for mold and mildew and cause health problems without you even knowing it.  Also, leftover moisture can damage the drywall or sub-flooring underneath.  Here's how to dry and restore your carpet to its original condition after water damage.

Water Damage To A Small Section Of The Carpet

  1. To remove the water from the carpet, use a wet/dry vacuum.  If you don't own a vacuum that's meant to extract water, you can rent one from the hardware store.  Just don't use your regular household vacuum. 
  2. Scrub the carpet with a chlorine and water mixture.
  3. Use whatever you have on hand to get the area dry as soon as possible before any mold or bacteria starts to grow.  Open the windows and turn on the ceiling fan.  An effective idea is to aim a couple of boxed fans toward the affected area.  Just make sure that the carpet doesn't come in contact with the electrical appliance you are using.

Water Damage To A Large Section Of The Carpet

  1. Use a set of pliers to lift off the carpet and expose the padding underneath.  Avoid cutting the carpet as it will be harder to re-install it.  Use the chlorine and water mixture to sanitize the carpet.
  2. Examine the padding underneath.  If the padding is wet, you need to dispose of it, and buy and install new padding.  If the padding is only somewhat moist, you can salvage it. 
  3. Place a vacuum hose in between the padding and the carpet and attach it to the vacuum exhaust so that hot air can dry the carpet and padding at the same time.
  4. Aim fans at the carpet and leave them on till the carpet dries.  Don't turn them off at night as you want to dry the area as quickly as you can before mold sets in.
  5. Use a dehumidifier to aid in removing the moisture.
  6. If even the sub-flooring is damaged, you need to call a professional to judge the structural integrity of the floor and perform repair work.

Some Additional Tips

If there was flooding in the room, make sure that no sewage spilled on the carpet.  If the carpet did become contaminated, consider hiring a professional like Southwest Restoration Inc to perform the restoration work. Depending on the cause of the water damage, your homeowner's insurance might cover it.  Contact your provider to go over the details of your policy.