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Written By: Robert E. Sheriff, MS, CIH, CSP, President
April 23, 2020
The Case of the Flooded Carpet – Aggressive Action to Prevent Mold
The Flooded Carpet
One of the worst sensations a homeowner can experience is the “squishy” sound and feel of walking on a flooded carpet. In most cases, a water-soaked carpet is a goner. This is especially so if the water came from a flooded stream or a massive storm. These waters carry silt and possibly sewage from flooded septic systems or overflowing sewage treatment plants. Water that has flowed across pastureland will be similarly contaminated. t is also important to remove it as quickly as possible to keep from damaging sub-floor or just to expose the sub-flooring just to get it dried out.
What To Do! What to Do!
If the soaking came from a broken drinking water pipe, an overflowing sink or clothes washer (but not from a backed-up toilet), there MAY be hope. The key element is time: how long was the carpet wet? The longer a carpet is wet, the more time molds have to grow. So if the water source is clean or nearly so, and you want to try saving that wall-to-wall shag, here are some suggestions:
First, stop the flow of water. Second, remove as much water as you possibly can. Use squeegees, mops, towels; anything at all that can get water out of the carpet. Third, use a heavy-duty dryer/dehumidifier to quickly and thoroughly dry out the rug. A hand-held hair dryer isn’t going to cut it! If it’s that small, pick it up and put it in the clothes drier!
Dry Out Fast
If you can get the carpet completely dry in a matter of a few hours even a couple of days, you have a good chance of saving it. There will certainly be more mold in the carpeting after the flood than there was before it. Prompt, aggressive action may keep the increase within bounds so that you won’t detect any “musty odors” or see visible mold. It may, but don’t count on it! Incidentally the “musty odors” are from actively growing molds or dead mold.
Carpet must be clean, as well as dry. Dirt is food for mold. Cleaning AND Drying is critical!
Contact Atlantic Environmental and let the experts help and provide you with the important mold control information that is needed for your individual circumstance.
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