25 Nov 2015
wet carpet problems

For anything more than a small spill, professional water extraction and drying is your best assurance against needing to replace your wall-to-wall carpet. There’s three main reasons for this.

  1. Water quickly penetrates and saturates the carpet, pad, and even the wood or concrete floor below.
  2. Even “powerful” shop wet-vacs don’t remove nearly enough water. Padding and the sub-floor can remain damp for weeks.
  3. Nasty mold can get started in as little as a day. It only needs moisture – not light – to grow rapidly where you can’t even see it. Besides major health hazards mold, micro-organisms, and even water itself will progressively damage wood and many other building materials.

Time is of the essence, and all excess moisture must be removed!

Do It Yourself

Whether the wet area is large or small, the key is getting it as dry as possible as soon as possible. For large soaked areas that can be a lot of work.
You Should Immediately…
Your first instinct will be to turn off the water. But safety first! Make sure the electricity is turned off before entering any wet area. Next protect furniture legs by setting them on folded aluminum foil. For significant flooding remove valuables and moisture-sensitive items (including electronics) to dry area. But all along avoid walking on wet carpet as it compresses the fibers and spreads microbes around.

Drying Out Carpet

If the water source is anything other than a broken pipe or faucet, special health precautions and sanitization are called for. We won’t go into that here, as the hazards should only be handled by properly trained personnel.
Your goal is to get the carpet completely dry within 12 hours. Here are the basic steps for dealing with a flooded room.

  1. Rent a water extractor or carpet cleaner, and work slowly to pull out as much water as possible.
  2. Pull back the carpet and pad to expose the “sub-floor.” This helps the carpet and underlying floor dry much more quickly. It’s usually best to discard the old padding. For small areas you may be able to get away with skipping this step, but be sure to continue Step 3 for at least 24 hours after the carpet itself feels completely dry to wick-out moisture hidden below.
  3. Rent strong fans and dehumidifiers to further speed the drying process. You might be tempted to crank up the heating, but don’t. Most molds, bacteria, fungi, and viruses grow faster at temperatures above 75 degrees.
  4. While drying is proceeding, check if water has wicked up walls. You may also have to deal with drying out (and even replacing) drywall and insulation.
  5. After a few days when everything is completely dry, install new padding and reinstall the carpet.
  6. Steam-clean or otherwise sanitize the carpet.

Quite a few of our clients call us in after they’ve tried to take care of everything themselves, only to discover that there’s already been significant water damage. You should call in a professional if the carpet is still damp after 1 or 2 days, and immediately if you notice odors.

Professional Services

Even with professional equipment it can take 3 days to fully dry out a floor. At Joe Kielbasis Flood Service we have the training, experience, and specialized equipment to get the job done right and as quickly as possible for the absolute minimum of additional water damage. Besides super-powerful water extraction equipment and refrigerant dehumidifiers, our electronic test gear helps us assure that drying is going on as fast as possible and lets us know when it’s truly completed. Our expertise also means that in a few cases we can complete drying without removing the carpet or trashing the padding.
We’re centrally located in Staten Island and can be at your home or business property within an hour, 24/7. We’re the local flood damage experts, with extensive carpet experience since 1986.