Post-Flood Care: How to Dry Wet Carpet
June through November, aka hurricane season. Every year, upon its arrival, we’re confronted with heavy rain, powerful winds, and the possibility of flooding… and wet carpet.
It’s gut-wrenching when you step onto your fluffy carpet and find that it’s completely soaked. Nothing takes the cozy out of a carpet like water seeping into its fibers and creating the perfect home for mold, so it’s important to act fast. No need to panic though, we’ll walk you through the drying process so you can successfully restore the fluff.
First, determine the kind of water that has soaked your carpet. The 3 water categories are separated by the origin and purity of water, the measures taken to remove it, and the possible dangers involved.
Category 1 – clear water originating from a sanitary source. This water doesn’t present a significant risk, you can remove it on your own without worry.
- Broken pipes
- Overflowing sinks or tubs
- Rainwater that enters through windows
Category 2 – gray water containing some form of a pollutant. This water poses an increase of microbial activity, which can cause physical discomfort or illness.
- Dirty flooring
- Overflowing washing machines
- Broken aquariums
Category 3 – grossly contaminated, black water. This water can cause major illness or infection because it contains pathogenic, toxigenic, and other harmful agents.
- Flooding from ocean, river, or ground surface water
- Rain from hurricanes or tropical storms
- Broken sewer lines or toilet backflows
If your carpet is wet from category 2 or 3 water, avoid the risks by having professionals take care of the damage ASAP.
If it’s safe to tackle the drying process on your own, here’s how:
–Use a wet-dry vacuum to extract as much water from your carpet as possible.
(If you don’t own one, you can rent one from a home improvement store.)
Soak Up Remaining Water
–Pat cloth towels over the damp area until they’re saturated.
–Replace wet towels with fresh ones and repeat.
Create Air Flow
–Set up fans and point them towards the damp area.
–Open windows or screen doors.
–Use a hairdryer to speed up dry time.
–Run a dehumidifier to draw out moisture from the air.
Prevent Mold Growth
–Pull back the carpet to determine if any moisture seeped through.
–Replace the carpet padding if it’s wet.
Pro tip: If you smell a musky odor, deodorize your carpet by sprinkling baking soda over the damp area. Let it rest overnight before vacuuming.
Be patient, this entire process can take a few days.
If you’re unsuccessful at drying your carpet, book an appointment with EcoClean.
We’ve got your back… and your floor.
Onto your next prized possession: your set of wheels.
If you accidentally leave your windows down and rain drenches your car’s interior – take a deep breath, we’ll walk you through that clean-up process too. The following steps will help to prevent permanent damage.
- Remove Water
–Use a wet-dry vacuum to remove standing water from your floorboards. Don’t forget the small spaces between the seats and armrests.
–If your car has drain plugs in the floor, open them to release trapped water.
- Soak Up Remaining Water
–Use cloth towels or rags to absorb lingering water from your carpets or seats.
- Create Air Flow
–Set up fans in your garage and position them to blow air across your car’s seats and floor for at least a day.
–To remove wetness from the air, station a dehumidifier in your garage.
–If you’re not home, blast your car’s heater to mimic a drying effect.
(Because it’s less efficient, this method should only be used as a quick fix until you can properly air out your car.)
- Prevent Mold Growth
–Use a hairdryer to target areas that still feel wet.
–Sprinkle baking soda behind the seats to decrease the chance of unpleasant odors.