A flood doesn't mean you have to replace your carpet. Basement seepage, rain water, and burst supply pipes are relatively clean and sanitary. Your carpet only needs to be replaced if the water contained harmful contaminates, such as those from a broken sewage line. Even with a clean flood, you will need to act quickly to prevent mildew or permanent carpet damage.
If the flood came from a clean water source, such as a broken water supply pipe, you can begin the process of saving your carpet as soon as the leak is plugged. This increases the chances that your carpet cleaner can save your carpeting. The first things you need to do are:
Schedule a cleaning and restoration appointment with IICRC-certified cleaner. These professionals have the necessary training and skills to help recover flood-damaged carpet.
Remove any items that may bleed and stain the carpet. This includes rugs, clothing, and paper items. Ink and dye can be impossible to remove if it leaches into wet carpeting.
Move larger items, including furniture and appliances, out of the room. These will only get in the way of further cleaning. Moisture trapped beneath them can also lead to mold growth, or metal legs may rust and stain carpet.
The goal is to get the carpet dried out as soon as possible so mold and mildew don't take hold. Your carpet cleaner usually begins the process by using a water extractor to suck up as much moisture as possible. This works like a giant, high-powered vacuum to suction up water. These units are available for rent if you can't get a cleaner out to your home immediately.
Extraction doesn't remove all the water. Fans are also used to finish the drying process. Your cleaner may set up fans and instruct you to leave them running for several days before coming back to complete the restoration process.
Disinfect and Clean
Extraction is followed by a thorough inspection. Your cleaner is looking for signs of mildew, mold and stains. If these are found, stain and mold treatment will also be necessary. If your carpet is fairly problem free, hire a carpet cleaner, like Enviro-Steem, to thoroughly wash your carpet with a disinfecting cleaning solution. Verify that a disinfecting solution is used, otherwise mold and mildew may surface later.
Once clean and stain-free, the moisture from cleaning is extracted. Fans may be used to complete the drying, or you may be instructed to let it air dry. Stay off the carpet until it is completely dry to prevent soil and stains.