Restoring Water Damaged Carpets
When damaged carpets lay submerged in water over any length of time woven fibers detach from polyurethane backing leaving no other alternative except replacement. But not all water damaged carpet is so severe. Many instances only small amounts of clean water spill so cleaning, drying and sanitizing are the only requirements for carpet restoration. Knowing a few basic cleaning principles will help any homeowner make confident choices when confronted with wet carpet issues.
The problem with repairing water damage is that there are so many other issues you have to consider before your repair is actually complete. Water damage comes in many forms from simple seepage through cracks or weaknesses in your foundation to leaky pipes or full blown flooding from broken pipes, water related devices like your water heater or sump pump or even external water related damage from flooded rivers, lakes or backed up drains.
The steps to repairing water damage depends extensively on how extensive the water infiltration was and which areas of the house are affected. Another factor affecting the method of repair is what kind of water caused the damage in the first place, was it water from an internal plumbing source (pipe, water heater, water softener, or sump pump) or water from a ground water source (ground water through the foundation), lake or river or from a sewer or septic source?
The first thing to decide is what type of water has come in contact with carpeting. There are three types of water classifications.
- Category 1 clean water caused from a pipe break, appliance leak or sink overflow and has the least impact of damage to flooded carpets.
- Category 2 water can be caused by a toilet overflow with urine present, hot water heater leak, or any other spill where water carries minor contaminants.
- Category 3 is water containing raw sewage or feces from a drain back up or water that has originated from outside touching the ground first before entering a house and soiling carpets.
Knowing these category types are helpful for determining the initial steps to take after soaked carpet is discovered and who to contact for immediate water damage clean up.
Carpets damaged by Category 1 and 2 water types can be cleaned and restored without replacement if no signs of delamination are present. Removing all standing water with portable or truck mounted extraction equipment while placing dehumidifiers and high-speed air movers in wet carpeted areas quickens the drying process and eliminates the growth of mold and mildew. Your local water damage restoration company can furnish the equipment and experience from start to finish.
Category 3 water carries with it bacteria and pathogens that pose real threats to the health and safety of occupants. Carpets affected by this type of water damage must be removed and disposed of by a trained professional along with the application of an antimicrobial agent to all sub-floor surfaces. No short cuts should be taken and strict adherence to industry guidelines should be followed. The IICRC S 500 lists the standards and guidelines for water damage and carpet restoration.
Water damage can be devastating and drying of carpet and floors from water should be done as soon as possible by experienced certified professionals.
The following procedures may require the assistance of a professional water damage restoration company, if available, which has trained technicians, specialized cleaners, biocides, extraction, drying and dehumidifying equipment, and moisture measuring and monitoring instruments.
An informed homeowner will not be overwhelmed when confronted with water damaged carpet cleaning and what to do next. Choosing a certified firm that follows industry guidelines will ensure proper steps are taken to recover from any disaster and restore a safe environment to home or place of business.