Regardless of the source of the damage, waterlogged carpets can create major issues for your home, whether those issues are a large hit in the pocketbook or to your health. Flooding, water line bursts, sewage line breaks, and storm damage is just the tip of the iceberg. Waterlogged carpet can grow mold and bacteria, both of which can make you seriously sick. With that in mind, We compiled three tips to help you fix the damage (hopefully before any costly repairs are needed.
1. Find And Stop The Water
It is imperative that you stop the water flow immediately. While that may seem obvious, there really isn’t a way to get started with the cleanup until you stop feeding the tempest. Turn off the water lines in your home if they’re leaking and patch them. Same thing for sewage lines, if you can. Anything that you can do to keep the amount of water down will help you in the long run.
It’s also a good idea to identify if the water that you’re trying to clean up is hazardous. Storm water and sink water is relatively safe for you to clean yourself: if you can drink it or touch it without fearing illness, that’s a good start. However, if you’re getting into gray or black water or the water has been there long enough to grow mold, it’s time to call a professional.
2. Be Safe About Things
When most people think about water, they think about the life-giving substance that everyone drinks and showers in. However, as mentioned before, there are some hazards such as gray (dish) water, black water—sewage, for the less squeamish of us—and mold growth. When you’re drying the carpet, be sure to pull the padding off of it and move it outside. If you can’t remove the carpet, at least elevate it on some form of stand that you don’t care about. Prevent those pathogens from staying inside the home.
Also, be sure to use safety equipment: gloves, goggles, rubber boots, disinfectants, and other forms of bodily protection. The most important part to realize is that while you can’t see the pathogens, the more obstacles you put between yourself and them, the better off you’ll be throughout the entire cleanup process. Be wary of rubbing your eyes or ears, touching your face, or eating something while the gloves are still on. It’s not safe (or sanitary, for that matter)!
If you’re using electrical appliances to assist in the cleanup, keep those cords away from the water. Short circuiting a cable or an appliance not only ruins that appliance, but it can start a fire as well. You might have a lot of water around, but odds are there still isn’t enough water in your carpets to stop a fire.
3. Use Tools
Certainly, air drying is an option for your cleanup once you’ve removed the water damaged carpets from your home and have started the cleanup. However, things will move much faster if you use the tools you’ve got. If you have industrial fans, use them: the moving air will help the water evaporate more quickly. If you are afraid that the water damage has pathogens, use a mixture of water and bleach (at a very low concentration; one to two tablespoons should do it.) If it is available and would help, do it. Work smarter, not harder.
Above all, be smart about the entire thing. If there’s sewage or other major issues that you’re not equipped to handle, don’t. The expense of the cleanup is less than the expense of replacing the things you inadvertently ruin from not getting at it fast enough or using the wrong tools. However, using these tips, you should have a leg up on any water damage issues you might be having. Good luck with the spill!