Flood damaged carpets often have to be replaced. But you can still salvage wet carpets for as long as:
- The water that soaked your carpet is clean. (It should not have been contaminated with street water, toxins, or substances that could make people sick.);
- The carpet was wet for less than 48 hours; and
- The carpet can be effectively cleaned and disinfected.
Here’s what to do…
Remove water as soon as possible
The sooner you start cleaning up, the sooner you halt mold growth. Begin with safety in mind. Switch off power supply and ensure that you are in no danger from animals and sharp objects. Don safety gear (gloves, safety boots, and masks). Then remove as much water as you can with wet/dry vacuums.
Use electric fans and dehumidifiers
Mold loves to grow in dark, humid places with no ventilation. So get the air circulating by switching on several electric fans. It may take at least three days to a week (non-stop) for fans to dry a water-damaged area completely. You may rent high-power dryers from home improvement stores or mold remediation companies.
Dehumidifiers, on the other hand, remove excess moisture. These machines cool the air and aids in limiting mold and mildew growth.
Steam clean your carpet
Steam cleaning deodorizes and sanitizes rugs and carpets. Unfortunately, water-damaged carpet padding must be replaced.
Fortunately, however, replacing the padding alone is less costly than having to re-carpet your area.
Sanitize your walls and baseboards
Anything that has been immersed in water should be sanitized. Pay attention to walls, and other household floors and surfaces. You have to clean these with soap and water. To sanitize further, vigorously apply all affected surfaces with a bleach solution (one gallon of water + 1-1/2 cups chlorine bleach). If mold has begun to grow, use a sponge or scrub brush to scrape the surface clean. Get rid of caked-on debris as this can encourage even more mold to grow.
Note that commercial bleach can emit potent fumes. Put on a proper breathing mask, protective eyewear as well as gloves. Take breaks outdoors to avoid lightheadedness.
Preventing carpets from mold growth after a flood is possible. But you would need to do a lot of scrubbing and cleaning on the affected areas. A small amount of water from a broken pipe or flooding is enough for harmful mold and mildew to grow on carpets and walls.
For complete and worry-free mold prevention, contact a professional water restoration company or engage the services of a professional mold remediation company.