Following a flood, you have to decide what items can be salvaged and saved, and what items need to simply be discarded. With some items, you don't have much choice. For example, drywall can't be saved if it is wet. Other items, such as structural beams, are costly to be replaced and can be easily dried out. However, when it comes to carpet, you have a difficult decision to make. Here are some of the questions you may have about your carpeting following a flood.
Can Carpet Be Saved After a Flood?
Carpet can be salvaged and reused after a flood as long as the flood water did not contain sewage. It is also important that the carpet be cleaned before mold sets in, as it can be extremely difficult to remove mold spores from your carpet and padding if you wait too long and it begins to grow. However, while you can salvage and reuse carpet after a flood, you have to decide if it is worth it. Salvaging carpeting after a flood can be costly. It has to be dried out properly to remove all of the water from the carpet, carpet padding and sub-floor under the carpet. Then, it needs to be cleaned and sanitized to remove germs and dirt. As such, if your carpet is older or in poor condition, you may simply wish to replace it, rather than invest any more money into it.
How Long Does it Take for Mold to Set In?
There are many factors that affect how long it takes for mold to set in and begin to grow. This includes the amount of moisture present and the current temperatures inside of your home. Mold grows faster in damp, warm conditions. It can take mold as little as 48 to 72 hours to begin to set in and thrive. As such, you need to call in a flood damage restoration company to begin cleaning up your home within this time frame. If water has been sitting on your carpets for longer than this, and no action has been taken, there is a good chance mold has already begun to set in, and your carpet should probably be tossed.
How is the Carpet Salvaged and Cleaned?
If your carpets are fairly new and in great condition, you may have decide to salvage them. If you have decided to keep them, you may wonder how they are salvaged and cleaned. The very first step that is done is removing excess moisture from the carpet. A water extraction machine is brought in that sucks away excess moisture from the carpet and the carpet padding. If your carpets are extremely wet, they may be lifted out of place and laid somewhere else to dry. A dehumidifier is brought into the space where your carpet is and turned on. A dehumidifier removes moisture from the air, helping to remove moisture from the carpet, carpet padding and sub-floor. If a dehumidifier isn't available, or there is not a lot of moisture present, a large industrial fan may be used to dry the space out instead. Additionally, if it is warm outside, the windows may be left open to help further dry the room out.
Once the carpet, padding and sub-floor are completely dry, the carpet will need to be cleaned. If the carpet was removed, it will be reinstalled at this point. Once reinstalled, a professional carpet cleaning company will steam clean the carpets using normal carpet cleaning equipment. This helps to remove dirt, dust and kill any germs and bacteria in the carpet.
Deciding what to do about your carpet after a flood is a tough decision. Carpeting can be salvaged, but it can be costly to attempt to save it. Ultimately, you have to decide which makes the most sense based on the age and condition of your carpet. Getting answers to the questions you have about carpets and floods will help you make an informed decision as to whether you should keep or get rid of your carpets following a flood.