There is just no good way around it: water damage to your home is a big project to tackle. Whether you’ve experienced a sewage overflow, a flood, a leaky roof, or a burst water pipe, you might be wondering what you can do to prevent permanent damage to your carpet. Fortunately, there are some tried and true methods for preventing the growth of mold and successfully salvaging your carpet.
Of course, to begin with, you will need to address the original source of the water problem. This will prevent it from happening again. After the problem has been dealt with, if you are concerned that you may have a serious mold problem, you may want to schedule a visit with a mold remediation professional, who can assess your home and offer advice for how to proceed.
In terms of preventing carpet mold, you can follow these six straightforward steps. Remember: the key to preventing mold and salvaging your carpet is to act fast.
Step 1: Move the Furniture
Don’t assume that the carpet is wet in only the places you can see. Water damage underneath furniture is notorious for being overlooked! The places underneath your furniture are where pesky mold is most likely to fester. Start by getting your furniture out of the way to the best of your ability.
Step 2: Remove the Water ASAP
Absorb as much water as possible, as quickly and as effectively as you can. You can begin doing this even while you are getting furniture out of the way. Towels are a good resource for this, but ideally you should use a wet/dry vacuum to pull water out of the carpet. If you do not own one of these, look for a place to rent one, or borrow one from a friend. Removing the water quickly is the first and most important step to preventing the growth of mold.
Step 3: Turn On Fans
If possible, open some windows in the space to help speed up the drying process. Then turn on several fans to circulate the air. You may be able to rent special high-powered fans from a local home improvement store to speed the process along. After the think the carpet is completely dry, keeps the fans running for another week full week (24 hours a day).
Step 4: Turn on a Dehumidifier
You are probably familiar with the concept of a humidifier. A dehumidifier works the same way but in reverse. Rather than contributing moisture to the air, a dehumidifier pulls moisture out. These machines are an excellent way to prevent mold from festering, while helping your carpet to dry. Look for a dehumidifier to rent, borrow, or buy to best prevent the growth of mold. It keeps the dehumidifier running, along with the fans, for about week. Remember to remove the water tray and dump it periodically.
Step 5: Steam Clean Your Carpet
Once you believe your carpet is absolutely 100% dry, it is time for a deep steam cleaning. Steam cleaning machines are widely available to rent, or you may even have one at home. However, after a serious water incident, you may want to turn to professionals to help get the stink — and the potential for mold — out of your lovely carpet. By turning to commercial carpet cleaning services, you will be better able to remove carpet mold.
Step 6: Clean Walls and Baseboards
Any place that came into contact with dirty water needs to be sanitized. This includes walls, hard floors, baseboards, furniture legs, and anything else in your home. Begin by washing these surfaces with hot, soapy water and a soft washcloth. Then create a solution from 1.5 cups of household bleach and 1 gallon of warm water. Wipe this solution over all of these surfaces to remove any traces of mold. It is important to wear disposable gloves while you are cleaning!
Cleaning up after significant damage is a big job. It can be frustrating, nerve-wracking, or even kind of scary. Here is a bit of good news: if you act quickly and follow the right steps there is a good chance for you to salvage your carpet. Although you may need to rent some equipment and possibly hire a commercial carpet cleaning professional, this will still save you the money and hassle of replacing your carpet altogether. So if you are faced with a water damage problem, try not to panic. Grab some towels, turn on a fan, and get to work.