Time To Act: Save Your Carpet From Water Damage

Posted on: 16 July 2015


If you had a water leak and your carpet was soaked in water, you will likely be hiring a plumber to locate and correct the water leak. Before the plumber arrives, ask if there is a way you can stop the flow of water in the meantime. You may be able to slow the leak with the shut-off valve at your home's water main. While you wait, you'll want to address the already-leaked water. Even if the water is sanitary, it can still cause problems.

Sanitary Water vs. Unsanitary Water

While this situation is bad, at least the water is potable and will be less likely to contaminate your carpet. If the water came from sewage or ground water, you will need to replace it. The problem is that carpets act as sponges that can absorb water. Therefore, if the water contains toxins, these toxins will impregnate the carpet and make it no longer safe.

The Ideal Time Frame

Even if the water is sanitary, you will want to act within 24 hours if you intend to save it from mold colonies. If you can remove water that fast, you won't have to replace the carpet.

Water Removal

The most effective way to remove the water is to use a water extraction vacuum. Continue to run the vacuum and dump out the water until the vacuum no longer extracts moisture after running it for several minutes. This can take a long time. Using a dehumidifier will reduce the ambient humidity, which will speed up the process of drying the carpet. Also, fans increase air circulation and will speed up the drying process.

While drying the carpet, try to avoid walking on it. The more you walk on it, the less that air flow will effectively dry the moisture. Also, the more that you walk on the carpet, the more likely that you will weaken the laminate seal.


Open all of the windows in your home. Mix a small amount of bleach with a gallon of water. Then, use this liquid to sanitize the area. Consider leaving your home for a few minutes because the fumes caused by the bleach can be harmful. 

Padding Removal

The padding underneath the carpet will likely be the area that is the most soaked. You may need to lift up your carpet, cut away the soaked padding and replace it.

While you might be able to minimize the damage, the best option is to talk with a water damage specialist, like RTC Restoration, who will be better equipped to correct the problem.