How To Fix Carpet Water Damage
When dealing with any type of water damage or mold problem, we firmly believe that it's time to call in the professionals. Carpet damaged by water often leads to mold and mildew problems. Mold is not something that you want to mess around with as it can cause serious health problems if allowed to remain in your carpet. Often times you won't even spot mold until it has saturated the padding and come up through the carpet itself.
Again, please call in the pros, but if you're determined to tackle this on your own then please read on.
So the toilet has overflowed, the washer decided to flood your guest room, or some other such tragedy has occurred. You have our sympathies. After having dealt with this myself, not once but twice, I can honestly relate to what you're going through.
If the area has been saturated with water, you need to immediately pull the carpet up and form it into a tent. Use furniture, patio chairs, ladders, whatever you've got. Just get it up and off the ground so it can air out. It may be wise to simply toss it out and purchase new carpet.
Place several fans in the area, as many as you've got. Direct air underneath the carpet if you're going to attempt to save it as well as over the sub-flooring. Pull the pad up as it will be soaked. I strongly recommend tossing the pad right into the garbage as they're cheap and easily contaminated with mold. If you've got expensive mold resistant padding the choice is yours, but personally I'd rather error on the side of caution.
Keep those fans running and the air circulating, keep the windows open. Air it out until everything is completely dry. It may take quite awhile, but be absolutely certain that the sub-flooring and carpet is 100% dry. You don't want to risk installing new padding and carpet only to seal the moisture underneath allowing mold to develop.
Mop up any pools of water on the sub-flooring using sponges or a wet-vac. Get it as dry as possible then spray the sub-flooring with Lysol disinfectant. Sprinkle baking soda liberally across the entire area. The Lysol should keep mildew and mold from developing while the baking soda will absorb any odors.
Once dry, give the carpet the smell test. Is the odor gone? Check it carefully for mold. Check the sub-flooring for mold and odors. If everything checks out, install the new padding, rein-install the carpet and cross your fingers. Be sure to keep an eye out over the next week or two for mold and mildew.