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What To Do When Your Carpet Gets Water Damage

When carpet sustains water damage, quick action is needed. It seems like everything is attracted to moisture, including soils, pests, and various microbes. If the moisture isn’t dealt with right away, the flooring may take on permanent discoloration or odors. Even worse, it may become a haven for molds and other pathogens capable of affecting the family’s health. And while there are a couple things a homeowner can do to help slow the onset of these issues, it will take a professional firm to clean up everything properly, especially if an entire room or floor of the building is affected.

What should a homeowner do when their carpet takes on water damage?

First, it depends on what kind of moisture is present. If the disaster was caused by a clean supply line, like one running to a washing machine or sink, then the moisture can typically be handled without safety equipment, though after 24 hours, it may no longer be safe to deal with in this way. If, however, the moisture is the result of a flood or sewage backflow, then no one in the household should try to remove the moisture, or touch it in any way. Floods and sewage backflows are filled with all kinds of bacteria, viruses and fungi, including deadly diseases like cholera and hepatitis. Also, floods can wash in dangerous wildlife, like snakes and spiders, or hazardous debris like glass, metal, or wood splinters. These dangers are typically impossible to spot until they strike, so for the safety of everyone involved, it is best to just bring in professionals right away. If the moisture is safe to be around, opening up windows and setting up some fans can help start the drying process.

How do restoration professionals fix carpet that has sustained water damage?

In many cases, the flooring may not be salvageable, especially if the moisture is contaminated. It’s not worth the risk of cleaning it and keeping it around, as there may still be microbes lying in wait after the job is complete. Instead, restoration professionals may need to remove soaked flooring, casings, baseboards, and drywall, and will remove a portion of the unaffected drywall as well because it is an organic material that can accelerate bacterial and mold growth.

If the problem is confined to a smaller area and the moisture isn’t hazardous, a restoration firm will get started on the drying process right away. Specifically, they will set up dehumidifiers and air movers around the affected area, and pull moisture away at a rapid rate. Depending on the extent of the problem, the drying process can be completed in a matter of hours, or it may take several days. There’s no guesswork involved, though, as the professionals will have moisture meters on hand to measure the concentration of water in the flooring. Once it reaches safe levels, the fans and dehumidifiers can be removed from the property.

Disasters involving excess moisture can be expensive to deal with, which is why it is best to react quickly. This ensures the problem doesn’t get out of hand and end up costing the homeowner much more.

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