If you’ve suffered a flood in your basement then your carpet may still be salvageable, depending on where the water came from, but speed is of the essence. You’ll need to work fast before mould starts to grow, and this is what you need to know:
DIY or PRO
As a general rule of thumb if the source of the flood water was clean, i.e. from a washing machine or a foundation leak then you can probably save the carpet but not necessarily the pad. You’ll need to act quickly though since mould will start to grow if your carpet isn’t dry within 72 hours. If on the other hand the water was dirty, from a sewer pipe for example, then you’re going to need to call in the professionals.
First things first
Assuming the flood water was clean and the water has now been shut off, you need to turn off the power to your basement. Next before stepping onto the wet carpet remove any extension cords and unplug all electrical appliances. If you’ve called an electrician then ask him to power upstairs and to check whether or not it’s safe to turn the power back on in the basement.
Extracting the water
Don’t try and extract the water with a wet/dry shop vacuum as this is simply a waste of time as they’re not powerful enough. Instead rent an extractor or carpet cleaner, a couple of air mover fans, and a big commercial de-humidifier. Go for the largest de-humidifier that’s available since these can remove far more water than a domestic model.
Extraction works better than de-humidification but you will need to take your time and move the extractor slowly across the carpet to suck up as much water as possible. Once all the water is out, then peel back the carpet, taking care of any metal carpet tacks, and remove the wet pad. Cut it into smaller pieces so you can carry it and, if the weather is hot and sunny, you can always try drying this outside in your back yard and if it works simply tape it back together again.
Lay the carpet back in place
Lay the carpet back on the floor and turn on the air mover fans and the dehumidifier. Keep the temperature at around 75 degrees – no hotter, or the heat will cause bacteria to grow.
While your carpet is drying out check on your wall insulation. If it’s wet it’s going to have to be removed and replaced. If you have no insulation and you dry out your basement quickly, you shouldn’t have to replace the drywall.
Call the HVAC experts
If your appliances were under water then be sure to call out the HVAC experts before plugging anything in and switching it on.
Save your belongings
Get all of your valuable items out of the basement as quickly as you can. The longer they sit in place the more moisture they’ll soak up. If you can’t move heavy furniture then place aluminium under the legs. If any valuable books have got wet try placing them in the freezer until all the water is removed from the pages.
Take emergency action
If dirty water caused your flood or you don’t want to deal with the flood yourself, then call in SRS. We have years of experience dealing with flood water and all of the equipment necessary to deal with your carpet as quickly and effectively as possible. Call us right away!