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If your carpet is damaged by water (because of a flood, for example) it’s probable that the small print in the manufacturer’s warranty will void any guarantees. Fortunately, your home insurance will usually cover the costs of restoration (go and check that now!).

Severe water damage to carpets is one of the most frustrating of home disasters. In previous articles we’ve looked at carpet cleaning techniques including stain removal, dealing with hair dye, and removing paint or candle wax. Carpet water damage is a whole different ball game.

In this article, you’ll learn about the two different types of flooding that damage your carpets, and the steps to take to ensure your carpet maintains its performance after water damage.

Sanitary vs. unsanitary flooding

After the gasps of horror and despair, you’ll need to work quickly. One of the first things you should do is contact your insurance provider. They’ll ask if the water damage is sanitary or unsanitary. If you can identify that the source of the water could be contaminated, the damage is unsanitary (for example, dishwasher or toilet overflows).

The worst type of unsanitary flooding is known as ‘black water flooding’ – this contains raw sewage, and could include seawater or other water that has been in contact with the ground. This type of flooding can seriously damage your health. You’ll need to evacuate the building and find somewhere else to live or work while your home or office is restored.

What to do when the water damage is caused by unsanitary flooding

If the water damage is caused by unsanitary flooding, the most likely course of action that your insurer will recommend is to replace the carpet. However, if you decide to restore rather than replace, you’ll need to ensure that public health is safeguarded.

When you’re cleaning up after unsanitary flooding, time will be one of your primary concerns; unsanitary flooding can change to black water flooding within just a few hours.

If you have cuts or grazed skin, stay away from the cleanup. Anyone coming into contact with the water damage should wear protective clothing that includes:

  • Rubber gloves
  • Boots
  • Goggles
  • Masks
  • Specialist clothing

What to do after sanitary flooding

Whatever type of flooding your carpet suffers, it’s impossible to exaggerate the need for speed in dealing with the problem. You should dry out the carpet inside of 48 hours. Start by using a water extraction vacuum, and reduce the humidity by using dehumidifiers. Fans will speed up the drying process.

While the carpet may need to be replaced, this isn’t always the case. The following steps will make sure that your carpet can be returned to its pre-flood condition:

  • Keep off the carpet! In reality this might be impossible, but you should keep carpet traffic to a minimum.
  • Find the source of the flood and put a stop to it. If you don’t stop the flooding at source, you’ll simply have a recurring problem.

(See our tips for:

How to repair a water damaged wall in the bathroom

How to repair ceiling water damage without breaking your back

The common mistakes to avoid when you repair a water damaged ceiling

Common mistakes that people make when repairing water damaged drywall)

  • Remove other furnishings from the room
  • Contact a professional with water damage restoration experience

When we’re called to the scene of a flood, we’ll quickly assess the extent and type of flooding. We’ll be able to give a quote quickly, allowing you to make a more informed decision as to what course of action is best. Remember that the longer you leave a wet carpet, the more likely it is that the carpet will suffer irreversible degradation. You’ll risk a build-up of harmful bacteria, and mold spores will quickly grow and multiply.

By acting quickly, and using disinfectants during the cleaning and restoration process, we’ll aim to have your carpet back to its pre-flood condition and perfectly dry within 12 to 24 hours of starting the work on it. We’ll use fans and dehumidifiers to aid this process as necessary.

The faster you act, the less lasting damage will be done to your carpet. You’ll be able to keep the carpet you love, and minimize the disruption to your family home. We’re available 24/7: contact Porter’s today and we’ll be pleased to give advice and a free quote for any water damage suffered by your carpet.

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(973) 835-4150