Options for Water Damage to Carpet

Q: With the recent rains, our basement leaked and therefore our carpet got wet. What are our options?


A: When water mixes with carpets or other flooring, there can always be damage. Water damage can be severe and sudden. One moment everything at home is apparently fine, and then in the very next moment, you have an enormous water problem on your hands. Water damage can occur because of broken pipes, flooding, or even heavy storms.


Properly disposing of carpet, vinyl, or hardwood can sometimes be a hassle. Household items that have been damaged by water and left untreated for a long time can pose serious health hazards, creating unsanitary health conditions. Mold and mildew damage caused by water problems can result in serious contamination and sanitation concerns. In all water related situations, water extraction is the first step in the process of drying and sanitizing your home. Focusing on drying your home and disinfecting it can help save your carpet or other flooring, and keep the damage caused by water under control.


If wall to wall carpeting has been wet it probably should be removed and disposed of. However in some cases it can be removed and cleaned and then reinstalled. If wet carpet is removed and cleaned within the first 24-48 hours you might have a chance of saving the carpet.


When a carpet stays wet for a long time it is usually ruined, but if you get to it quickly, you can save the carpet.  The first thing to do is take the carpet up. Change the padding and tack strips in any area affected by water. Tack strips should be cleaned and dried. Carpets in basements should be cleaned and dried and make sure there is no mold or bacteria in the house. If it is a concrete slab or basement area, dry the area as soon as possible to prevent CO2 poisoning or mold in the home. Making sure the substrates are clean and dry is the best way to know that you are safe.