Coping with Wet Wall-to-Wall Carpet When dealing with a wet wall-to-wall carpet, the
problem is somewhat different due to the size. Most of the advice given concerning rugs can be used if the carpet is small enough and there is a place outside where it can be dried. If a rug cleaner can pick up the carpet, take it to his plant, give it a cleaning and dry it, in most situations this would be the best recommendations. Shrinkage may produce the problem of getting the carpet restretched into place. If the water did not appreciably damage the back, a power stretcher may be able to supply
sufficient force to restretch the carpet.
If it is felt the carpet cannot be removed, a
concerted effort should be made to remove as much of the water as possible. Vacuums capable of removing water from the carpet can be obtained in many cities from rental companies. Hot water extraction units (steam) can be rented in many different types of establishments and the
vacuum on these units can be used for water removal. Or a professional service can be hired. Even if a wet vacuum is used, care should be taken to prevent electrical shock. Home-type vacuums normally are not designed for this use and, if used on a wet carpet, could present a real danger.
If a wet vacuum can be obtained, the carpet should be vacuumed until no more water can be removed. A large portion of the water can be vacuumed out of the face of the carpet; however, if it has gotten under the carpet and into the pad it may not be possible to pull this water through the carpet. This water has wicked through the back or gotten under the carpet at the edges. Many times the amount of water in the back can be determined by walking on wet carpet. If there is a lot of water under the carpet, the carpet will make a sopping sound.
If there appears to be a lot of water under the
carpet, a portion of the carpet will have to raised.
This can be done by pulling the carpet off the
installation strips at one of the corners. After lifting
a corner of the carpet, if the pad is wet, the entire
carpet and pad will have to be removed. This is necessary so the flooring can be dried. Water on many types of flooring will result in buckling. Once the floor has dried the dry pad and carpet can be reinstalled.
Normally, the pad can be dried by allowing it to be
exposed to good drying conditions. Even it does become discolored or stained, it really will not make any difference since it will be covered by the carpet. If the musty mildew odor is present, either the mildew should be killed or a new pad obtained.
Smaller amounts of water in the pad can be removed by blowing air between the carpet and the pad. This can be done by lifting a corner of the carpet and using a fan to blow air under the carpet. Another method is to attach a vacuum hose to the exhaust of the vacuum and put it in the slit in a seam. This will float the carpet on air and aid in drying. Turning up the heat, opening the windows, and/or using fans will aid in the drying. A dehumidifier in a closed room will pull out water fast,
and can be rented from rental companies.
Dirty water on the carpet presents another problem in that it should be removed while it is still wet. On
location, about the only way this can be done is with the hot water extraction method. Many professional carpet cleaners are equipped to do this, or the equipment can be rented. If dirt is allowed to dry on the fibers, it will be very difficult to remove. The additional water added by the cleaning will be offset by the removal of greater amounts of water with the vacuum.
It is common for the seams to separate to some
extent. The amount of separation will be determined by the type of fibers used in the back of the carpet. In many cases the seams can be repaired by a carpet installer.
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