SOURCE: Angie's List

Angie's List

September 16, 2011 10:46 ET

Angie's List: How to Restore Water-Damaged Carpet

Water-Damaged Carpeting Can Be Salvaged If Immediate Action Is Taken

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwire - Sep 16, 2011) - Record-breaking rainfall hit Chicago throughout the summer of 2011, including nearly 10 inches of rain in July alone. The rain wreaked havoc on Chicago homes, leaving many carpets and rugs saturated with water. Angie's List explains how a water-damaged carpet can be restored if immediate action is taken.

First, determine how long the carpet has been wet. Mold can begin growing in as little as 12 hours, so a soaked carpet should be discarded if it has been wet for a long period of time. The source of the water also needs to be considered. If the damage was caused by rainwater, it's likely the carpet can be salvaged. However, if it was flooded by a sewer backup of bacteria-infested "black water," it's best to throw the carpet out.

If the carpet is salvageable, it needs to be separated from its underlying padding and elevated to allow air to circulate underneath. Carpet padding should be discarded because it's highly prone to mold. Fortunately, it's relatively inexpensive to replace. Once the bare floor is exposed, all standing water should be mopped up and the floor should be sanitized to prevent mold growth. When the floor is dry, experts recommend running a high-powered industrial fan and dehumidifier for at least 12 hours. New padding can be installed once the floor has been thoroughly dried.

After the carpet has been re-installed, it should be cleaned by a professional carpet cleaning service. It will help to eliminate the musty smell that accompanies water damage and restore the carpet's original appearance. Visit Angie's List for more information on highly rated Chicago carpet cleaners.

Angie's List collects consumer reviews on local contractors and doctors in more than 500 service categories. Currently, more than 1.5 million consumers across the U.S. rely on Angie's List to help them make the best hiring decisions.

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