Cleaning and Drying Water-Damaged Carpets – Our Guide

A hard surface floor like laminate, hardwood, or tile often has an area rug or wall-to-wall carpeting on top of it. The apparent reason for having an area rug is for aesthetics. Area rugs have a special way of pulling a space together aesthetically.

However, damage from malfunctioning plumbing, floods, and other unforeseen events may cause damage to carpets. Mold and germs on moist carpets can cause illness. In severe cases of water damage, it’s impossible to prevent mold and mildew without replacing the carpet. 

Causes of Water Damage to Carpets and How to Troubleshoot

Many factors cause carpet water damage. Clean water damage is usually caused by rainwater, leaking water pipes, malfunctioning appliances, or accidental spills. 

Greywater damage is caused by burst pipes or toilet overflow. On the other hand, blackwater damage comes from sewage backups. The latter is the worst kind of water damage and contains the most bacteria and pollutants. 

Your family can be at risk for intestinal disorders and other health problems. Cleaning your carpet as soon as possible can prevent mold growth, which can take up to 24 hours to appear. 

In all flood damage cases, time is of importance. For this reason, you need to exercise urgency when handling your carpets. Here are steps you need to take immediately:

Clean the Carpets

Cleaning the carpet in case of clean water flooding may not be a big deal. However, when you experience greywater damage and blackwater damage, rotten food or sewage debris can leak onto the carpet. 

Blackwater floods can also develop mold quickly. All these are toxic because rotting organic matter contains pollutants and bacteria that can harm your family. 

Prioritize safety by wearing gloves and boots, a face mask, and primarily protective eyewear before doing anything else to avoid coming into touch with the sewage water. Evaluate the extent of the damage if the carpet needs replacement or cleaned by biohazard-trained carpet cleaners. However, if you simply have a tiny sewage leak, you could be able to save your carpet. 

Once all sewage water is removed from your carpet, gently spray with a disinfectant. Scrub it well to eliminate bacteria and germs. You can also steam your carpet so the high heat can destroy pollutants and mold spores.

Dry the Carpet

Within the next 24 hours, you need to dry your carpet immediately. Here are ways you can dry your flooded carpets: 

  • Air Drying: You can turn on the fans or AC system, along with opening the windows to air dry your carpets.
  • Towel Drying: Place huge, thick towels over damp areas and walk over them. Replace the towels after 30 minutes if they are soaked. 
  • Dehumidifier: You can also use a dehumidifier to help drain moisture from your home and prevent mold growth.
  • Drying with Baking Soda: Smaller areas of wet carpet can be treated with baking soda. Sprinkle an ample amount of baking soda over moist areas and let it sit for 30 minutes. Clean your carpets by vacuuming off any residual baking soda.
  • Wet Vacuum: You can also try using a wet vacuum to remove water off the carpet immediately. 
  • Heater: Warm air dries wet regions faster than cold air. As a result, the best tool for drying a damp carpet would be a portable heater or keep your air conditioning or heating system turned on for 2 to 3 days.

To speed up the cleaning and drying process, remove all of your items from the carpeted area. You can also take your carpet outside if possible. However, if your carpet is entirely drenched, call your local carpet cleaners right away. 

Replace Carpet Padding if Needed

If your carpet has absorbed a lot of water, the padding may be damaged. Inspecting your carpet padding may reveal that it needs to be replaced. Since damp carpet padding may breed mold and make the air in your home toxic, you need to dispose of and replace them immediately.


When it comes to salvaging your flooded carpets, patience is vital. You would need to wait a couple of days or so before the carpet dries and before the stench disappears. Getting professional carpet cleaners can also give you peace of mind. They will handle everything efficiently and speedily, so you don’t have to be exposed to the dangers of carpet water damage. 

At Restoration Masters, we offer full-service restoration for both residential and commercial clients to protect their property. From water damage clean-up to reconstruction, you can rely on us. We offer dependable service, quality workmanship, and certified restoration technicians. Contact us for any emergency carpet cleaning and water damage restoration in Los Angeles today!

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