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Clean, Dry, Repair and Disinfect Rugs and Carpets
By the RestorationSOS Educational Staff
When recovering from water damage, carpets and rugs should be the first to address as they can absorb a large amount of water and prevent the entire structure from drying properly. In addition, Carpet and padding that have been soaked with water contain high amounts of bacteria that present additional health hazards.
Hire a Professional
Hiring a professional restoration company significantly increases the chances of salvaging your carpets and rugs as well as improving indoors environmental conditions and providing optimal dry out conditions to your structure and content.
Drying rugs and carpets as soon as possible is very important to prevent mold from growing. Mold will start growing on carpets and rugs that have been submerged in water for more than 24-48 hours. In this case you will have to discard the damaged carpet.
Padding is almost impossible to clean and salvage therefore you will have to remove and replace it.
To prevent additional damage to the sub flooring and to allow carpets to dry better, pull up waterlogged rugs and carpets immediately and dry outdoors in sunlight.
If weather conditions do not allow it, dry indoors, providing air circulation by opening doors and windows. To speed up the process, use fans and dehumidifiers to allow better air circulation and to reduce indoors humidity levels.
Removing Dirt and Debris
There are two techniques for removing dirt and debris from a water damaged carpet:
After confirming that the carpet is completely dry, thoroughly vacuum or sweep it to remove dirt and debris. If you choose to use a vacuum cleaner, work slowly to pick up as much dirt as possible dirt.
Please Note: Do not try to vacuum or sweep carpets until they are thoroughly dry.
If you can treat your carpets outdoors, use a high pressure hose to rinse all dirt and debris away from the carpet. This technique can be utilized before drying the carpet and it is faster and more thorough as the high pressure water will remove all debris from the damaged carpet.
Use a commercial rug shampoo and using a sponge, rub it on a small area of carpet (about 2-3 feet) with a light circular motion. Use a stiff bristle brush if the carpet is deeply soiled.
Rinse several times with clear water, wringing most of the water from the sponge each time. Make sure you change the water as it becomes dirty. Use as little water as possible on the sponge since water will weaken carpet backing.
Repeat this action on the next area of the rug until the entire surface is clean. When moving to the next area of the carpet, overlap the first area as overlapping helps prevent streaking when the carpet dries.
Please Note: Be sure to read the manufacturer instructions as some carpets may shrink when shampooed.
After you finish the cleanup of your carpets, dry out the carpets as quickly as possible. To do so, lay out the carpets flat in a warm dry place. To speed up the process, use a fan. Be sure to thoroughly dry the carpets. Even though the surface may seem dry, you must confirm that the base of the fiber is completely dry.
How to Handle Water Damage in Floors
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