Understanding Carpet Cleaning Services

Saving Your Rugs After A Household Flood

A water pipe freezes in the wall, breaks and soaks the wall-to-wall carpet in your bedroom. After you get over the shock of the flooding, what can you do to save the carpet? That depends on the source of the flood water and how long the carpet has been soaked. Here is what you need to know to salvage your carpets from a devastating flood.

Categorizing Flood Water

Water damage restoration companies look at the source of the flood water to determine what items can be safely salvaged. The more contaminated the water, the more difficult it is to clean and disinfect items so they can be saved. The three categories used to classify flood water conditions are:

  • Category 1 - This water has few contaminants in it and won't harm you even if you swallow it. Salvage companies consider this "clean water" and sources include a broken water supply pipe or kitchen sink that has overflowed.
  • Category 2 - This water has microorganisms in it that will harm you if you swallow it. This is called "grey water" and can come from an overflowing toilet or broken drain on your dishwasher.
  • Category 3 - This water has enough dangerous microorganisms in it to harm you by just getting it on your skin. Called "black water", this flood water comes from a backed up sewer or runoff from the street.

Carpet and rugs that have been soaked with category 1 or 2 water can be cleaned and disinfected so you can use them again. If they were contaminated by category 3 water, they will likely be damaged in the process of being disinfected enough to be saved.

The Impact of Prolonged Flooding

If carpet and rugs have been soaked for more than a day, mold and mildew may begin growing in the material. Once these organisms get established in carpet and rugs, they are difficult to remove completely. To prevent their growth, take any soaked rugs somewhere dry and place fans on them to dry them as quickly as possible. To save wall-to-wall carpeting, you have to pull it up, throw away the foam pad and dry the carpet thoroughly. The longer carpet and rugs stay soaked, the more difficult it will be to save them.

Once dry, you can have a water recovery specialist clean the carpets. For more information, contact Spotless Carpet Cleaners & Janitorial Services Inc or a similar company.