Restoring Water-Damaged Carpet March 8, 2018 – Posted in: Blog

Speed is of the utmost importance when you’re restoring water-damaged carpet. If you want to make the job as easy as possible, and if you want to get the best possible results, don’t let a minute go to waste.

But what are the right steps to take when restoring water-damaged carpet? The right steps and the right tools can make all the difference in a successful carpet drying and restoration.

Wet Carpet Restoration

There are acceptable moisture levels on the carpet. Like all materials, even undamaged carpet contains some level of moisture in it. Determining acceptable levels of moisture should be done by taking moisture readings from unaffected carpeted areas.

Basic Steps for Carpet Restoration

After determining whether or not the carpet is salvageable, start using drying equipment like dehumidifiers and air movers to increase airflow and dry the affected area. If there is a large amount of water, you may need an extractor. However, in cases with this much water you will likely find that the carpet has to be removed and replaced.

Depending on the severity of the damage, the drying process could take less than a day or more than a week.

Finally, once drying equipment has been used to remove moisture and once general cleaning is taken care of, it is time to put the space back together again. If the carpet is not salvageable, it will be time to make replacements.

Essential Tools to Use for Carpet Restoration

A water damage restoration professional is only as good as their equipment. You need experience and knowledge, but you also need the right products to deliver outstanding service and great results. Here are three of the most important tools you need:

  • Moisture Meter: A moisture meter gives you a snapshot look at the amount of moisture in a certain space and can also help you to map out the extent of the damage. There are several types of moisture meters available, and the right one for the job will depend on the materials affected. You can use a carpet moisture sensor to assess a client’s situation before work begins and again to gauge progress as you go and to determine when work is complete.
  • Air Movers: This is one of the first tools you will want to use when fighting moisture in the carpet. Air movers come in many shapes and sizes and are used in water damage restoration situations to begin drying out affected areas. You can often use many air movers together to speed up the drying process. Many water damage restoration professionals choose to buy in bulk to get a discount, and they daisy chain these air movers together for easy use.
  • Dehumidifier: An industrial dehumidifier is an invaluable tool that pulls moisture from the environment. You can often leave a dehumidifier running for hours at a time or even overnight, allowing it to continue working while you are not onsite. Different projects will require different types of dehumidifiers. Conventional dehumidifiers work well for many jobs, but you will likely need an LGR dehumidifier for extreme water damage situations as these can extract more moisture from the air.

When to Replace vs. Restore Water Damaged Carpet

A water damage restoration professional can typically provide a fast recommendation on whether to replace or restore soaked carpet. But for a non-professional, you’ll want to ask a series of questions before making a decision:

  • How long was the carpet wet? Any carpet that has been wet for more than 72 hours is almost impossible to salvage.
  • What kind of water damaged the carpet? It is far more likely you will be able to replace carpet that has been damaged by fresh water than carpet that has been damaged by sewage water.

There is a hybrid option to consider, too. Sometimes you need to replace a carpet, while the carpet pad is still salvageable. If this is your situation, hanging onto a carpet pad while replacing the actual carpet can help save a little bit of money while still restoring your carpet back to normal.

If your property has suffered water damage, no matter the source, your best bet is always to call a water damage restoration professional to assess and repair the damage. They can ensure that there will be no long-term issues such as structural damage or mold growth.

Tips for Water-Damaged Carpet Restoration

A few tips for restoring water-damaged carpet:

  • Always check the carpet pad — not just the carpet surface. You will also want to make sure the sub-floor and sill plates are in good condition.
  • Never push the limits on carpet replacement vs. restoration. The last thing you want is the presence of microbes in a property. It is always better to simply replace carpet rather than risking the development of mold over time.

Looking for more information on water damage restoration? Check out our guide here.