You put on your bathrobe and head downstairs to put on your pot of coffee. Once on the first floor however, your feet have an entirely different experience. Your toes sink into a spongy and squishy carpet completely saturated with water. Uggh.
While this feels like a nightmare, it is unfortunately, a miserable reality. Most importantly, you must remember safety first. Turn off the breaker servicing the water damaged area and try to find the source of the water and turn it off if you can.
Let us consider a best case scenario, where the damage has been caused by clean water (consider sources such as a sink overflow, malfunction of appliances using water supply lines or non- contaminated rainwater) and is confined to just one carpeted room.
There are immediate steps that a homeowner can take to minimize damage. Removal of anything in contact with the wet carpet will help prevent staining of the carpet. This includes placing tinfoil under the legs of furniture and relocating items such as potted plants. After this, try not to walk on the carpet as this may spread the damage to unaffected areas.
If you must walk on the wet carpet, certainly do not spread out something such as newspaper to walk on, as the ink will likely transfer to the carpet fibers and can cause staining. Yes! Think about the future of this carpet because it can probably be saved! If you get down to the business of quick water extraction coupled with the use of adequate drying equipment, you can restore your carpet.
Now let us consider a similar scenario, however this time, the water contains a certain degree of contamination. This might be a situation in which the water damage is from something such as a broken fish tank or an overflowing toilet containing urine. In this instance, if the damage is attended to quickly, with water extraction taking place within 48 hours, and adequate drying is used, this carpet can be restored as well.
Due to the difference in the water source however, this carpet must be thoroughly cleaned after drying. Additionally, the pad must be removed and replaced.
We began with a consideration of a best case scenario. We will now explore quite the opposite. If the water damage is the result of unsanitary water, coming from sources such as sewage or the sea, the carpet must be removed. In this scenario, the carpet could be dried and cleaned, but it could never achieve sanitary restoration.
Studies have been conducted to determine the integrity of post water damaged carpet. It has been discovered that with longer drying times, it is possible for the adhesive on the carpet to become stronger than it was originally. Other conclusions involve the handling of the carpet while wet.
Delamination of the carpet backings can occur if the wet carpet is folded, rolled or bent. If the specific situation calls for pad removal, the carpet should be completely dried before manipulating it to get to the pad.
While it is coffee, and not water damage cleanup that you are thinking about as you make your way down the stairs, take solace in the fact that water damage restoration is full of possibilities. In a short time your toes will be back in their soft and welcoming environment.