Do you have a wet carpet in your basement after it rains? Water can ruin carpeting and padding in just a few hours and lead to mold in as little as a day. Although frustrating, you can usually save wet basement carpeting if you act fast.
No matter the cause, we explain what to do if you have a flooded basement carpet. Plus we look at how to dry wet carpet in your basement.
How To Dry Flooded Carpet in Your Basement
Before you dry flooded basement carpet, make sure it’s safe. If water is close to electrical outlets, shut off the electricity before going downstairs. Also, make sure you wear protective equipment, even if the water is clean. This includes pants, long sleeves, waterproof boots, rubber gloves, and safety glasses. If the water came in from outside or contains sewage, you should also wear a ventilator and a face shield.
Approximate Time: 2 days
Estimated Cost: $ 800
Steps To Drying Wet Carpet in the Basement
1. Get Rid of the Water
First, you need to get rid of as much water as possible, even if the water level is still rising. A pump is the best tool for dealing with flooded basement carpet. If you don’t have one, you can get a pump at most equipment rental companies.
The best alternative to a pump is a shop-style vacuum. However, you will need to empty it often. You may also need to go over it several times to remove all of the water.
2. Empty Out the Room
Next, you need to empty out the room. Remove anything on top of the carpeting, starting with your furniture and heavier items. Wipe them down with a rag to remove excess water, then put them on a tarp to dry.
Wet carpet is more likely to separate from the backing material, so it could actually fall apart. For this reason, try to walk on it as little as possible. Plus, walking on it will break down the padding as well.
3. Dry Flooded Carpet
Use fans and dehumidifiers to dry wet carpeting in the basement. While household fans will work, they aren’t designed for drying and may overheat or short out. Instead, rent high-volume fans and structural drying dehumidifiers.
For the best results, lift it up off of the floor and use boxes or crates to hold it up. This improves air movement and will help dry it out faster.
4. Replace the Carpet Padding
In most cases, you will need to remove and replace the padding. Most pads are a pressed foam material that falls apart very easily once it’s wet. Plus, it only costs between 30¢ and 60¢ per square foot to replace. If you plan to dry your carpet padding, do not lift it up first because it is more likely to crumble.
5. Clean and Disinfect
After drying your basement carpeting, you need to clean and disinfect it. This will prevent or remove odors as well as remove dirt and bacteria from the floodwaters.
Start by disinfecting the sub-floor with a cup of bleach in a gallon of water. Let it air dry before installing the new padding. Then lay down the carpeting and have it steam cleaned or shampooed.
How Long Does It Take To Dry Flooded Carpet?
You can usually dry wet carpet in your basement in 12 to 24 hours with the right equipment. However, it may take longer after a major flood or in very large spaces. It will also take three to five times longer if you use regular house fans or don’t lift it up. Since mold can grow in as little as a day, it’s important to act fast.