Living Room Submerged in Floodwater

In the wake of a flood, many homeowners are left to deal with the specter of carpeting and rugs that have been underwater for hours or even days. At first glance, it might seem that all is lost but is that actually the case? Or can carpeting be rescued by professional carpet cleaning from what seems like a watery grave? The answer is… it depends. It’s not like carpets are made from paper after all. Many are fashioned from robust natural and synthetic fibers that are not necessarily affected by being submerged in water. The primary consideration when judging whether or not rugs and carpeting can be saved after a flood is the nature of the flood water itself.

Can Professional Carpet Cleaning Save Your Flood Damaged Rugs?

Rescuing a rug or carpeting that has spent time submerged in floodwaters isn’t as easy as searching for “carpet cleaning near me” and paying someone to come by with a wet vac to remove the water. There are a number of things to consider, with the foremost determining factor being what type of water the carpet or rug was submerged in. Flood restoration pros put flood water into 3 categories. They are:

  1. Rainwater that has not mixed with contaminants (as in rainwater that fell cleanly through a hole in the roof) or uncontaminated water that came from a broken water pipe. If the carpet has been submerged in this type of uncontaminated water, it may be possible to save it. The odds of saving it increase if it was wet for less than 48 hours before the cleaning started. The pros at Steve's Carpet Care may be able to save both the carpet and the padding in such situations.
  2. The second category is called "grey water." This is water that comes from washing machines, dishwashers, failed sump pumps, aquariums, and other sources and is mildly contaminated. In many cases involving this type of water, the professional carpet cleaning company can salvage the carpet or rug. But any padding will likely have to be disposed of. Be mindful though that if the carpet or rug has been wet from this type of water for more than two days, it is probably lost.
  3. The third and final type of floodwater is called blackwater. Blackwater is described as water that is highly contaminated from pathogens, harmful chemicals, bacteria, and other dangerous pollutants. This type of water is typically associated with flooding from rivers and streams, flash floods, intruding seawater, and water associated with extreme weather events. If your rug or carpet has been thoroughly saturated with this type of water, even if only for a short time, it is likely a total loss.

Keep in mind that because each situation is slightly different, the above guidelines are not necessarily etched in stone. If your carpeting or expensive rug has fallen victim to flood water, you can try the "carpet cleaning near me” approach or just call the pros from Steve’s Carpet Care.

Can Anyone Salvage a Flooded Carpet?

Just as often as people wonder whether they will be able to salvage their water-damaged carpeting, they wonder if they can do it themselves. The answer is: not if you want to actually use the carpet once it’s dry. Here’s why:

  • First off to the untrained eye a carpet may look like it’s salvageable when actually it’s not. This will result in a lot of wasted time and money. It could also lead to your loved ones getting seriously ill from microbes that took root in the carpet when it was submerged.
  • Second, the professional carpet cleaning company will understand that there is no time to lose. While the homeowner might spend a couple of days shopping around for the right equipment and price, the professional will be hard at work, removing the water before it can cause permanent damage.
  • Third, the services of a professional carpet cleaning company may well be covered by homeowner’s insurance. Whereas if you do the job yourself, you're financially on your own.

Basic Rules for Dealing with Flood Damaged Carpet

Let's summarize the basic rules for dealing with flood-damaged carpeting and rugs. Keep in mind these rules are general guidelines, and your specific situation may call for a modified approach.

  1. Rule 1: Don’t ever leave waterlogged carpeting in place in the hope it will dry itself out. What you’ll wind up with is a bacterial stew unsafe for man or beast.
  2. Rule 2: If your wall to wall or area rug has been soaked by or submerged in clean rainwater or water directly from a pipe it can likely be saved as long as action is taken within 48 hours.
  3. Rule 3: If the carpeting, area rug and foam padding (if any) were flooded by heavily contaminated water as defined above, you will likely need to discard both the carpeting and the pad. Not even a professional carpet cleaning company will be able to guarantee the cleaned carpeting is safe.
  4. Rule 4: Attempting to salvage a water logged carpet yourself is not a wise idea. You could end up missing dangerous bacteria lurking in the fibers that could make your loved ones seriously ill.
  5. Rule 5: You should check with your insurance company to see if they will cover the cost of recovering the rug or carpeting. Some will, some won’t.

Call the pros at Steve’s Carpet Care if your carpeting has fallen victim to any type of flooding.

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