Does Water Damaged Carpeting Need To Be Replaced?

water damaged carpetWater damaged carpeting is almost a given whenever a large quantity of water from any source inundates a home. A carpet and the pad beneath act like highly efficient sponges that readily absorb and retain water. In addition, carpeting is ground zero for dormant mold spores that penetrate deep into the fibers, awaiting only contact with water to trigger into active growing mold. Given these facts, is it always possible to save water damaged carpeting.

Potential sources of water damage

A lot depends on the source of water that has soaked the carpet:

  • Clean water – Water directly from a ruptured supply pipe or water heater inside the home is the best-case scenario for successful carpet restoration. In some cases, rainfall leaking into the house may also be considered clean. If the issue is addressed in a timely manner and professional techniques are applied, most carpet affected by clean water can be saved. Today’s powerful water extractors can even pull water out of the carpet and the padding below without removal of either. Disinfectants can interrupt nascent mold growth before it becomes established.
  • Gray water – This originates from sources like an overflowing washing machine, dishwasher, or soapy bath or shower water from a broken drain. A carpet soaked with gray water is considered mildly contaminated, which is usually not a deal-breaker for restoration. However, the following caveat applies: if too much time elapses before professional treatment begins, growing bacteria and other toxins may convert carpeting into a more highly contaminated material. At that point, carpet affected by gray water may not be a good candidate for restoration. Evaluation by a qualified water damage professional is required.
  • Black water – This refers to raw sewage, outdoor floodwater, or any water contaminated by dangerous chemicals. Carpet soaked by black water is a health hazard and you don’t want it in your house. It should be stripped out (along with the pad beneath it) and properly disposed of. Additionally, the subfloor underneath will need to be disinfected and dried before installing new carpet.

Ask the professionals at Rytech for more answers about water damaged carpeting.


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