Water-Damaged Carpet: Best To Replace Or Can It Be Dried?

11 November 2015
 Categories: , Blog


If you've ever had a pipe burst, a washing machine or dishwasher leak or a toilet back up, you know that even a little water can do a lot of damage. Especially when water is left standing for even a short period of time on a carpeted area, you may believe that you'll never get the floor dried out or back to normal again.

It's true that carpet is a tough surface to dry out. The porous nature of the rug itself, as well as the carpet pad beneath, may stay damp for ages. And moisture that's not removed from these surfaces can linger and provide a great environment for mold to grow. 

But with about 51 percent of homes boasting some type of carpeted area, and water damage cited as the second most common reason why homeowners file claims with their insurance companies, water-damaged carpets are no small problem. And you may find yourself in this scenario, faced with the decision of whether to try and dry out the carpeting or whether to rip it up and replace it. Here's when to try drying first:

1. When you can start right away. 

If you've had extensive water damage, you'll probably be working with a company that specializes in fixing and restoring your home. Water damage restoration experts have high-capacity fans that are great for drying carpeting, but they can take a while to work. 

Unfortunately, mold can begin to grow as quickly as 48 hours after excess moisture first hits your carpet. So if you do decide to try drying out your carpeting, act fast. 

2. When the water was clean.

There's a big difference between a carpet soaked with clean water, such as from a washing machine hose breaking, and a carpet soaked with water from a backed up sewer pipe. If your carpeting is soaked with sanitary water, it may be possible to dry it out and retain it.

3. When your carpet can be removed.

In many cases, your carpet will have to be removed to be dried thoroughly. In some installations that is simple, but in other cases, the carpet may be damaged more during removal. It all depends on how it was adhered to the subfloor.

You will almost certainly need to replace the carpet pad beneath, as it is made of foam and will absorb a great deal of water.

Also remember that when carpet is removed and dried, it will almost always need to be restretched before it can be installed again. Your damage restoration professional can advise you on whether that's cost efficient.

In most cases, when you sustain water damage to your home, you should call a water damage restoration professional to assess and repair the issues. This will keep you and your family healthy -- which is more important than saving the carpeting or other furnishings.

For more information, contact Accutech Restoration or a similar company.