Coping With Wet Carpet Action which should be taken if a carpet or rug
becomes wet as in flooding, leakage or fighting fires, will depend upon many circumstances: the amount and source of water, the type and size of the carpet or rug, the location, the kind of flooring, the type of underlayment, method of installation, the length of time the water has been in the carpet or rug, and the equipment and services available.
The longer water is allowed to remain, the greater
the possibility of damage, so fast removal is important. Soaking of the face yarns may produce swelling of the fibers which, in turn, will allow the dye to bleed. Some dyes are only slightly soluble but the prolonged soaking can result in an appreciable amount of the dye being removed.
As long as the carpet remains wet, the transfer of
dye from one colored yarn to another is very small.
However, as evaporation start to take place, dye transfer may become a problem. The dye may wick to undyed fibers or fibers of a lighter color. The dye may also wick and become concentrated where the evaporation is taking place. This usually produces a circular ring. Once the dye transfers, it is almost impossible to remove it satisfactorily.
Soil from the carpet may either dissolve in the
water or be picked up by it and wicked in a similar
manner as the dye. During this action the size of the
soil will be decreased and the manner of bonding it to the fiber will change. The result makes it much more difficult to remove.
Thorough wetting of cellulosic backing fibers may
produce shrinkage. If the carpet is fastened securely
around the perimeter, this may be sufficient to prevent the shrinkage. On those carpets with a weak backing, the force can be sufficient to tear the carpet. If the strips are not anchored firmly to the floor, the force of the shrinkage may pull the strips from the floor.
As long as the cellulosic fibers are wet, mildew will
not be a problem. However, as drying starts to occur,
mildew may grow. If the fibers remain damp, not only will the musty odor become apparent but great loss in fiber or yarn strength will take place. Under ideal mildew conditions as much as 95% loss of the fiber strength may occur in two weeks. Mildew may grow on jute, hair and hair-jute pad which have not been treated. Prolonged soaking of the rubber in the back may result in dissolving of some water soluble materials, which, in turn will weaken the back.
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