When a house suffers from water damage, the flooring is typically one of the first things that gets wet. While tile is more resistant to water damage, porous materials like carpets are more susceptible to secondary issues. The fibers in the carpet can not only harbor moisture, but they can also be the perfect environment for bacteria, mold, and mildew to thrive. As a result, they end up with stains, odors, and other problems.
Instead of letting moisture permanently damage carpets or other types of flooring, homeowners should learn more about how they can prevent long-lasting damage. The following water damage cleanup tips are great for people who would like to avoid replacing wet carpets in their homes.
Check for the Source of the Water Damage
The very first thing that a homeowner should do when they are dealing with water-damaged carpets is to look for the source. In some situations, it might be obvious, but in other cases, the water damage might be more hidden and difficult to trace.
Homeowners should look for leaking pipes, appliances, or basement walls if they suspect hidden water damage. These sources will require additional steps to ensure that the leaking or flooding doesn’t occur again.
If the water damage was caused by a one-off event, it may be easier to diagnose and fix. However, it is still recommended that a professional be called in for any plumbing issues or project that is beyond a quick fix.
Take Steps to Dry Carpet Right Away
Many people underestimate how quickly mold can start to grow, but the truth is that it only takes 24 hours. For that reason, homeowners need to work urgently to get their carpet or flooring dried. In minor cases of water damage, it might be as simple as putting up a few fans or a dehumidifier.
When homeowners are dealing with more severe water damage, they may find themselves in need of better tools. Wet/dry vacuums are great for removing excess moisture quickly. However, homeowners should never use their regular vacuum as this can damage the machine. In worst cases, it can even create an electrocution risk.
If homeowners do not have the right tools to dry out their flooring, they may be able to rent them. It’s important to keep in mind that this may delay the drying process and leave the home susceptible to mold and mildew.
Thoroughly Clean the Flooring
After the carpet and flooring have been completely dried, homeowners need to start the cleaning process. It’s not enough to simply dry up the water—even if the water was clean. Since there can be other contaminants in the fibers, it’s recommended that the carpet be cleaned. A steam cleaning or carpet shampooing can be the perfect option for sanitizing the floors.
Once the carpets are cleaned, the homeowners may still have to remove them to replace the carpet padding. Often this material is too difficult to dry and clean, but the cleaned carpet can be reinstalled once that has been replaced.
Stay Off the Carpets Until They Are Dry
Even though there may be plenty of other work that needs to be done, homeowners need to stay off of the cleaned carpets until they are completely dry. Walking across it can cause irritation, and when combined with the moisture, it can lead to the detachment of the adhesive backing.
They also need to make sure that the carpet is completely clear of furniture or other household items. Nothing should come in contact with the damp floor because the dye from the furniture can transfer to the carpeting and leave stains. The water from the carpet can also cause damage to the items sitting on it.
Contact a Professional Water Damage Cleanup Crew
Finally, one of the best tips that a homeowner can implement is calling in a professional water damage cleanup crew. While there are small enough water damage projects for homeowners to DIY, the fact is that the average person typically doesn’t have the training and tools to dry carpet and flooring as quickly as it needs to.
Reach out to Prime Restoration for Carpet and Flooring Water Damage Cleanup
For help with carpet water damage cleanup, homeowners should contact Prime Restoration right away. These highly trained professionals offer full-service restorations, including carpet cleaning. Best of all, they offer emergency 24/7 services, so homeowners can combat mold growth before it even begins.