Normally carpets are strong and hardy items. They have to endure being walked on, getting mud and dirt stomped into them, and food or drinks spilled onto them pretty much all the time. This is almost a given for carpets and they require regular cleaning because of it.
That being said, one thing that is most problematic for even the hardiest of flooring is water. We are not talking about those little accidental spills every now and then. They are pretty much irrelevant. What is concerning is when a carpet gets a proper soaking and large parts of it are covered by water. That is when it can become a serious problem and the flooring can suffer great damage.
A wet carpet is no good for two major reasons which are mold and delamination. Let’s talk about both separately.
Mold can be a real problem. It is not something that you would want on your floor or even in your home because not only does it cause foundational damage to your house and flooring but it is also a serious health hazard. It comes with a lot of allergens and bacteria that can cause you breathing problems if you do not deal with it properly. And a wet carpet is where this mold likes to grow. It spreads really quickly too. If a wet carpet is left on the floor unattended even for 24 hours, then there is a real possibility of mold spores developing on it. And once that happens, your flooring is pretty much useless.
Think of your carpet as a very big sandwich comprising of one backing layer, one layer of glue, and then the fiber itself. When this material gets wet, the water reacts with the bonding glue holding together the backing layer and the carpet. When this happens, the fibers starts to slowly detach from the backing layer as the bonding glue turns into thin strings similar to the mozzarella cheese on a pizza. This coming apart of the fiber is known as lamination. When this delamination occurs, bits of carpet begin to wrinkle and bubble up. Once this happens then there is nothing much that can be done to fix the damage and the material becomes useless.
Of course, carpets need to be cleaned properly and it should be done by people who are skilled at it. Use too much water and you can say goodbye to your expensive and valuable flooring. Always Preferred Restoration is here for precisely this reason. We are seasoned industry players and we make use of an innovative hot water extraction technique to ensure that your carpet is fully dried out and spotlessly clean.
Restoring a Carpet Damaged by Water in Nine Easy Steps:
If you have ever had to endure a water-damaged carpet, you will know that its smell is incredibly foul and nauseous. It feels like an unwanted amalgamation of dank mildew and a wet dog which spreads to every part of the house. The problem is that by the time your flooring gets into this condition, it has already been damaged beyond repair.
So, does this mean that a floor that has suffered water damage is completely ruined? Well, not exactly.
Actually, you can save most carpets. It all depends on the amount and type of water that the material has dealt with and the time it has remained exposed to it. As long as you take timely action, there is always the possibility that you can prevent permanent damage to your flooring and prolong its life. Take a look at the steps mentioned below and follow them the next time your carpet has a wet encounter.
Pinpoint the source of excess water as this will help you determine if your carpet has a chance of survival. Is the water clean and coming from a leaky faucet or is it dirty coming from a sewerage backup or overflowing drain? If the flooring makes direct contact with this type of dirty water, then the better option is to get rid of it straight away. If, however, the water is clean then follow the next steps.
Fix the leakage. This can be something as simple as turning off a stop valve. Or, alternatively, you might need to bring in a plumber if the leakage is a bigger one and needs a professional to deal with it.
If needed, take out all extra furniture from that particular room or area of the house. After that, if it is safe (in case of clean water leakage), clear away all extra water from your damaged carpet using a dry towel(s).
Use a box cutter to take out any part of the carpet that has wet spots. This might seem a naive thing to do, but fibers can actually be stitched back together quite easily. More importantly, this action prevents the spreading of mildew. Take out the base padding from the cut out parts and get rid of it because it is likely to have been completely ruined. Next, remove the material from the floor and open all doors and windows to allow air to circulate the room.
For this step, you will need a few industrial size fans. These are actually easily available to rent (as well as purchase) from any good DIY store. Turn them on facing the affected part of the house. Set them on high speed for at least 24 hours and ideally for 36 hours. For larger sizes, the time it will take to dry out will be longer. Also, make sure that foot traffic in the area is at a minimum until the carpet is fully dry.
Thoroughly examine the carpet after 12 hours of drying. These initial 12 hours are critical because mold spores normally take hold in this period and it is important to make sure that the floors are completely dry. If it seems sufficiently dry, the fans should still be kept running to make sure of complete and permanent drying.
Get your insurance agent on the line. On grounds that you did not do this on purpose, get all the necessary paperwork ready and provide them all relevant details about your carpet damaged by water so they can initiate the process on their end.
When the carpet and nearby area are fully dry, get a portable dehumidifier to eliminate any underlying dampness in the room. It might be a good idea to keep this thing running for a few days.
When your carpet and the room are completely free of all dampness and moisture, get your floors stitched back together and bring back the furniture to where it was.
If all this seems a daunting task, then you can always call in the professionals. Over here at Always Preferred Restoration, we have taken care of water-damaged stuff quite a bit in the past and we know what it takes to fix your carpet. For more information, contact us here or give us a call.
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