Perhaps one of the most challenging things you will need to do after water damage in your home is salvaging your carpet. It is true that there is no single outlined strategy you should take to minimise damage, you still have to dry up the area as soon as possible.
The most imminent damage to a wet carpet is mould. It will start growing within the first 48 hours when the air turns humid. That is exactly the reason why you should dry up the carpet without any delay. If your carpet covers a rather large area, it is worth to recognise how you can deal with mould on a wet carpet. Here are a few tips in that regard:
Soak up excess water with towels – if you lack better gear, you can use simple towels to soak up the excess water from the carpet. Lay them in sections of the carpet that are still wet and press them down with your hands. Once they begin to saturate with water, wring them out and place them anew.
Use a vacuum cleaner – some models can be used to remove excess moisture from the carpet. Remember to move the attachment several times over the moist surface. Keep an eye on the canister and empty it when it gets full.
Open up the windows – to improve air circulation and create a light breeze in the room, keep all of the windows open. Do that only if the air outside is not humid, as you don’t want the fabric absorbing even more moisture.
Use fans or a dehumidifier – if possible, plug in a fan or two near the door and on a dry area of the carpet. A dehumidifier also helps a great deal in drying the area. Stay on top of emptying the canister often enough, as it will fill up more quickly than usual.
Use baking soda – baking soda has great absorption qualities that you can take advantage of. Sprinkle a generous amount on the carpet that is still wet and let it sit for a while. Vacuum it up afterwards, once it has had enough time to absorb moisture from the carpet.
Remember that if you don’t manage to counter mould growth, you may have to dispose of the carpet. Mould spores pose a health risk and therefore require drastic measures to deal with.
To minimise the risk for your carpet:
Acquire insurance – some companies cover such risks as flood and will compensate you in case of damage done to your carpet.
Limit traffic on a wet carpet – the backing of the carpet is held together through a latex layer, which weakens with traffic. It will regain its strength, but only after it has dried properly.
Keep the right products at home – being prepared for such a situation is perhaps the best way to ensure that your carpet is salvaged.
Dealing with such extreme cases of carpet cleaning may be difficult for you to undertake alone.