Water can severely damage your carpets. Whether it is due to a flood or a water leak, a waterlogged carpet will not be able to serve you fruitfully unless you immediately address the water-damage. If you wait too long, you may be dealing with a carpet that is beginning to develop warping, ruined or faded colors, ruined backing, or the development and growth of molds and mildew.
Sometimes a water-damaged carpet may be beyond redemption, and the only option left to you is to get rid of it and get a new one. But you may want to hold off on that just yet. There may just be hope.
Consulting with a professional carpet cleaning company will give you a better idea of the chances that your carpet has for a second life. Are you wondering what could be done to salvage your water-damaged carpet? If the professionals give their assessment that all is not lost, here is a rundown of the cleaning process they might take:
Drying out the Carpet
This goes without saying. Be aware though, that if your carpet has been submerged in water for some 24-48 hours, the carpet may be damaged beyond repair. Even if your carpet is salvageable, however, it is quite possible that the padding may have gotten severely damaged, and would need to be replaced.
If your place does get flooded, for instance, or leaking water drops onto the carpets, pull up the carpet immediately to prevent it from getting wetter than it already is. If weather permits, put the carpet out to dry in the sunlight. Otherwise, the carpet should at least be in a place with good air circulation to encourage the evaporation of water and moisture from the carpet fibers.
Vacuuming or Sweeping the Carpet
Once the carpet is thoroughly dry, the cleaning process continues. As with most carpet cleaning processes, before a more thorough cleaning, you always start out with removing as much of the loose dirt and debris as much as possible, and you can do this by vacuuming or sweeping the carpet as thoroughly as possible.
Shampoo the Carpet
Now the carpet cleaning process begins in earnest. Using a carpet shampooer, shampoo the carpet as thoroughly as possible. This is akin to giving yourself a bath, and depending on how dirty the carpet is, you may want to give several passes over the carpet just to make sure that you get deep into any dirt or grime that may have gotten stuck deep in the fibers.
You can tell if your efforts still aren’t enough when you see the water you suction out to be black or dirty. Take heart! Give it a go a few more times, and you might surprise yourself by how clear the water becomes later on. That would certainly be a cause for celebration!
Finish it all up with a water rinse to get all the cleaning residue out of the carpet.
Don’t forget to dry it thoroughly
Finish the job as thoroughly as you started it by making sure the carpet dries thoroughly. The last thing you need is to have to go through all that, only to rush through the last steps and reinstall your carpet when it still has a few damp spots. This is a mistake. Always remember that dampness underneath the carpet will always have an adverse effect because moisture is a fertile breeding ground for mold, mildew, fungi, and all other sorts of bacteria.
You might want to encourage a faster drying process by, again, drying the carpet out in the sun or using fans, opening windows, or maybe even using a dehumidifier.