How Water and Flooding Can Damage Your Home and Your Health: How To Protect Your Flooring

Flooding and Water Damage, flooring mold, hardwood and carpet cleaning

 

Flooding can occur in your home due to adverse weather events, plumbing failure or more. While flooding can be detrimental to your whole house structure, one place that flooding always affects is the flooring. Flooding and moisture can weaken or damage your flooring, affect the foundation underneath your floors or create the conditions for mold growth or other damage to occur in the future. Not to mention that the effects of flooding such as mold, bacteria and mildew in your floors can pose a risk to your health. Here we look at ways to protect your flooring and the health of your home and family against the risk of flooding.

Act Fast

When it comes to protecting your flooring from a flood the most important thing is to act fast. Mold and mildew can start growing in your flooring, furniture and walls within 48-72 hours after it first gets wet. This means it’s important to stop the flow of water into your home and begin cleanup as soon as possible.

Send Area Rugs and Removable Items Out

Cleaning up flood damage is very different from handling a small spill or stain. It’s best to send any area rugs or removable carpets out of the home for professional cleaning. This ensures they receive the care that they need based on their unique properties and are dried quickly to prevent damage. It also helps to reduce the cleaning burden for you.

Cleaning and Drying Carpet

Heavily soiled or damaged carpets may need to be removed and disposed of quickly. Calling in a professional carpet cleaner to evaluate the damage is a good idea to allow you to get an expert opinion. Carpet contaminated by raw sewage, oil, or other toxic waste will need to be immediately disposed of.

You can begin drying out your carpets by using a wet dry vacuum to remove as much water as possible and opening windows or using a dehumidifier to begin drying them. After you have removed as much water as possible, call in a professional carpet cleaner to clean and rinse the carpet using an extraction method to ensure all traces of contaminated water have been removed. If carpet is deeply flooded it may be necessary to pull up the carpet to dry the padding and floor underneath. Your professional carpet cleaner can also help advise on a safe and effective way to dry your floors effectively.

Drying Wood Floors

Wood floors can be vulnerable to flooding as the wood absorbs water, expands, and becomes permanently damaged. Wood can also harbor bacteria or mold. Lift as much moisture as possible from the wood floors as soon as you can. You will then need to ascertain how to salvage the flooring pieces and determine whether water has collected under the wooden flooring. If you’re unsure of how to thoroughly dry the wood floor yourself, seek professional advice from the manufacturer or call a professional hardwood floor cleaner.

Preserve Furniture As Well

 

Flooring is not the only item at risk in your flooded home. If water has reached upholstered furniture and been absorbed, your furniture will also need professional cleaning. Professional upholstery cleaning can force your furniture dry faster and prevent it becoming moldy.

If your home floods, it’s essential to act fast to preserve your flooring. Seek professional carpet cleaning and professional hardwood floor cleaning assistance as soon as possible to protect and preserve your floors.

What To Do When Carpet Gets Wet?

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For those with children and pets, small spills can happen often.  In unfortunate instances, you may also experience flooding, a plumbing malfunction or an issue with a DIY carpet cleaning machine that could create a soaking wet carpet.  Wet carpet should be dealt with quickly to keep your carpet intact and to avoid problems with mold and mildew.

Small Spills

For small spills, immediately get to work drying it up.  Use clean towels in a blotting motion to soak up the liquid.  Switch towels regularly by getting another batch of fresh, dry towels to prevent spreading the spill around.  Place towels down over the wet area and press down firmly to dry up any remaining moisture. Try walking over the towel or using something heavy to ensure close contact so any remaining moisture can be absorbed.

If the spill involves a colored substance that might stain, use carpet cleaner to reduce staining.  Carpet cleaning solutions should be tested first to ensure it is compatible with your carpet’s fibers.  Assuming your carpet cleaner is safe to use, follow the directions for use.  Most carpet cleaning solutions can also make carpet damp.  After cleaning, use the directions above to ensure you dry up the remaining moisture.

Medium Spills

If your carpet has gotten particularly damp over a larger area you will need to take some extra steps to make the carpet and the padding underneath to get dry.  You might use a hairdryer to help moisture evaporate quickly.  You might also need to use a dehumidifier to extract extra moisture from the air, so that the carpet can more easily dry.  Ceiling fans and household fans can also help the moisture to evaporate.

Large Spills

If your carpet has become entirely soaked with liquid, such as in a flood or a plumbing malfunction, there are several steps to take to dry it out.  First, move all furniture and belongings away, so the carpet is entirely clear.  Then, use a wet-vacuum to quickly remove moisture from the carpet.  Carefully follow the instructions for your wet-vacuum and make sure to empty the tank often to avoid any overflow.

Removing water from your carpet is just part of the job.  In this situation, the padding under your carpet will also need to be dried.  You need to pull back a corner of your carpet and get air blowing between the carpet and the padding.  You should also check the subfloor to ensure there is no damage.  Use dehumidifiers and fans to get air flowing, promote evaporation, and extract moisture from the area.

Wet carpet, especially large spills or floods, can be troublesome and at that point, you may want to contact a professional service to assist you.  These specialists can safely pull back the carpet, without damaging it.  They will also know the right tools and set-up to use, to ensure everything gets dried out.  This is a great investment to protect your home from mold or mildew and to keep it looking its best.

Don’t let wet carpet put a ‘damper’ on your interiors. Ensure that no matter how wet your carpet gets, it is properly dried and restored to ensure longevity and cleanliness.