By far, the greatest threat to carpeting after a flood is the potential for mold. However, if your carpet can be dried quickly enough you may be able to save it for future use. In general, water damage restoration of this type should be handled by a professional restoration crew. However, if the flooded area is small enough, you may be able to save the carpeting yourself. Follow these steps to dry the carpeting.
Step 1: Open the Windows
Open all the windows and doors in the home to release the humidity and speed the drying process. Turn on any ceiling fans or put box fans in the windows to get the air circulating throughout the home.
Step 2: Rent Extraction Equipment
Rent water extraction equipment from your local home improvement center or hardware store. While you're at it, pick up a few heavy-duty air blowers that can help keep the air flowing through your home.
Step 3: Use the Equipment to Dry The Carpet
Set up the air blowers in the room so that they're blowing fresh air over the carpet. Next, turn on the water extractor and slowly walk it up and down the carpeting in even rows. You may need to stop periodically to empty the water from the machine. Wear clean shoes for this step, to avoid muddying the carpet.
Step 4: Remove the Carpeting
If possible, pull up the carpeting from the tack strip and hang it outdoors. Underneath the carpet, there should be a pad. This carpet pad is probably ruined. Luckily, carpet padding is relatively inexpensive and can be replaced at a reasonable cost. Throw away the carpet pad and focus your attention on the carpet itself.
Step 5: Hang the Carpeting Outdoors
Hang the carpeting on a clothes line outside in a location where the carpet will be exposed to full sun. Check the carpeting throughout the day, and move or turn it as needed to ensure that all the wet sides get even exposure to sunlight.
After the flood, you'll have 72 hours to dry the carpeting and avoid mold growth. If you're not confident in your ability to dry the carpet in this time frame, contact a professional flood damage restoration company. If the carpet was damaged with contaminated water, do not attempt to dry the carpet yourself. Contact the professionals to treat your carpet and remove the bacteria that could be lurking in the fibers. One company that provides this service is Complete Restoration Services.