3 Steps to Caring for Your Carpet After Flood Damage
Low elevation cities are especially prone to flooding from the overflow of tidal waters, as in the case of coastal areas, or the rapid accumulation of surface waters in other places. While there is little that can be done at the moment a flood occurs, homeowners can be prepared to restore their properties in a timely and cost-effective way. Below is a list of tips to getting your home’s carpets and flooring back to their original condition as quickly as possible.
1. Extract it.
Failure to quickly remove the moisture from your carpet and flooring after a flood can lead to costly renovations and cleaning costs in the future. By extracting the water from your carpet, you will avoid these high costs. First, it is important to quickly remove any furniture from the affected areas. Failure to do so can damage both the carpet and furniture. Experts agree that professional extraction is best.
Carpet cleaning companies will usually use a hot water extraction unit and perform what is commonly referred to as steam cleaning. These industrial vacuums are mounted on a truck or in a van thus increasing the power of the vacuum and resulting in faster drying times. Surf the web and read carpet cleaning reviews on sites such as Angie’s List and the Better Business Bureau to find an expert near you.
2. Dry it.
Unfortunately, it is very difficult to quickly and adequately dry carpet and cushioning material. To top it off, your wet flooring can mold easily and could lead to health problems for your family and visitors. The presence of mold can cause irritation of the nose, eyes, throat or lungs. In some, it even may trigger hay fever, asthma, or allergies.
To ensure timely drying times, it is best to begin by using professional quality drying fans, ideally within 24 hours. Then, even when you think your floors are dry, experts suggest continuing to use the fans 24-hours a day for at least one more week. Finally, the sub-floor may also need attention because they are likely to swell, cup, and buckle. Once the sub-floor has buckled, its costly replacement will be your only option for restoration.
3. Dispose of it.
Mold is not the only health hazard associated with flooding. Flooding can cause the disruption of water purification and sewage disposal systems causing contaminants to enter your home. Contaminants after a flood often include intestinal bacteria such as E. coli, Salmonella, and Shigella. Hepatitits A, typhoid, paratyphoid and tetanus may also be present.
If there is any possibility that your flooring may be contaminated, it is best to dispose of both the carpet and pad. This is mainly because contaminated materials need to be washed in 130 degrees for at least 10 minutes in order to disinfect them properly. Carpet and cushioning materials are highly absorbent materials and cannot be washed in these conditions. Be sure to dispose of contaminated flooring materials responsibly.
A flooded home does not mean certain doom for the carpeting in your home. With a little knowledge, fast action, and professional help, your carpets can easily be restored to their former glory after flooding occurs.