Fluffy, soft carpets are a luxury we all enjoy barefoot. A carpeted home is cozy, but not if the carpets are wet and moldy. The only drawback with carpets is that they aren’t the most resilient- they lap up spills and hold onto moisture.
Water damages the look and feel of the carpet and is dangerous to your health if it starts growing mold. Luckily, there are a few ways to tackle damp carpets, ensuring that you don’t need to splash out on replacing the whole thing.
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How Do You Know If a Carpet Is Wet?
Carpets can be dense and are great at hiding all manner of germs, dirt, and moisture. It can be challenging to tell if you even have a clean carpet or not.
Here are a few signs that your carpet may be holding onto moisture:
- You may notice a musty odor lurking in your home that doesn’t disappear during regular cleaning or vacuuming. A musty scent is a good sign that your carpet may be starting to grow mold.
- If you have a poor sense of smell, you may miss the scent and instead notice some unusual colored patches on the floor. These patches can be black, white, or even green.
- If you or anyone in your household begins to experience itchy eyes, they are allergic to bacterial growth.
- If you aren’t sure if you have a wet carpet or if there is mold, you can buy a mold test kit.
It’s not always apparent that your carpet is wet, especially if it’s a gradual leak. But once you do notice, it’s a good idea to fix it as soon as possible.
What Happens if Water Falls on Carpet?
It depends on the volume of water spilled. If only a tiny amount of water has fallen onto the carpet, the water may not penetrate the deeper layers of the caper and won’t reach the foam underpadding.
Therefore, the water will dry relatively quickly and not cause any problems. Depending on the volume, it can take up to 12 hours to dry.
However, if you’ve spilled a larger volume, the water will seep into the foam underpadding and even the subfloor. If not addressed quickly, it can lead to mold and mildew growth.
Is Spilling Water on Carpet Bad?
Due to its transparency, you may think water is harmless, but sadly this is not the case. If cleaned right away, water on carpets can be ok. However, problems can arise if the water is left for more than 48 hours. If you live in a humid climate, the time frame is smaller, and issues can crop up within 24 hours.
The moisture can encourage mold growth, which is bad for your carpet and your health. If the water continues to soak into the underfloor and subfloor, it may eventually cause rot and decay of the wood. If enough water gets into the subfloor, it can be an extremely costly problem to fix.
Is Carpet Ruined if It Gets Wet?
No, not if the water is cleaned within 48 hours. If the water is clean, it won’t contain many contaminants and thus won’t introduce much bacteria to the carpet. Therefore it simply needs to be dried to be restored. If left longer, or if black waste was leaked onto the carpet, you may have a bigger problem.
What to Do to Fix Spilled Water on Carpet?
If you spill a small amount of water, such as a bottle, follow these steps to fix it:
- Use a dry cloth or towel and blot the area.
- Press the cloth/towel into the carpet with enough pressure to soak up the water seeping deeper into the carpet.
- Continue blotting, using new towels if necessary, until most of the water is absorbed.
- Gran a fan or a hairdryer to dry the carpet. Hold the blow dryer a few inches away from the wet patch, moving it back and forth.
- Allow the patch to cool, then check if it is dry with a paper towel or your hand. If it’s still a little damp, continue using the hairdryer or fan.
If you have spilled a large amount of water on the carpet, follow these steps:
- Press dry towels over the wet area, and absorb as much water as possible.
- If you have large household fans, point them at the area, and set them to oscillate. This will keep dry air moving across the surface without having to hover a hairdryer over the large area painstakingly.
- If possible, turn on a dehumidifier in the room.
- Blot the area with a dry towel to lap up any extra moisture every so often.
Large fans, such as the link below, can be instrumental in speeding up the drying process. Plus, it can be handy if you live in a warm climate:
Does Baking Soda Dry Carpet?
Baking soda is one of those magical, multi-purpose ingredients that is handy when baking and cleaning. Baking soda is a powerful disinfectant and a deodorizer and is excellent at absorbing spills.
Follow these four steps to dry your carpet with baking soda:
- Absorb any excess water with a cloth or a towel. Blot the area thoroughly.
- Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda over the wet spot. Leave it to sit for a few minutes.
- Using a powerful vacuum cleaner, vacuum the area.
- Repeat these steps if necessary, or grab a fan and direct it to the site to finish the drying process.
Will Carpet Padding Dry?
Carpet padding is a soft sponge that adds cushioning to your floor and absorbs any liquid it touches. Unfortunately, the carpet padding will not dry out if you’ve had a flood and must be removed and replaced.
However, if you’ve had a minor spill or leak, you can remove the majority of the water with a water vacuum. First, you will need to pull back the carpet and vacuum the padding with a wet/dry vacuum. Then, you will need to use a fan to dry out the area.
How to Dry Carpet After a Flood or Burst Sewer Pipe?
Flooding in your home can be devastating, ruining many precious items in your home, including your carpet. However, carpets can be recovered in some minor flooding cases if tackled immediately.
Sadly, if you’ve had a burst sewage pipe, you may need to replace the carpet entirely.
Flooded carpets from freshwater can take up to five days to dry, and woolen carpets may take even longer. None of the above methods may work if you’ve had a severe leak or flood. A more intensive approach, such as a water extractor or vacuum, may be required.
Follow these steps to dry a carpet about a flood:
- Move furniture to ensure you spot all the damp areas and can access all the wet patches.
- Using a water extractor vacuum cleaner, vacuum up as much water as possible. If your carpets can be lifted at the corners, do so and vacuum underneath.
- Blot the area with some towels to blot the surface of the carpet.
- Use some intense fans, as many as possible to circulate dry areas in the area. You may need to rent some fans, borrow from a neighbor or buy some fans—the more powerful the fan, the better. If possible, use a dehumidifier to speed up the process. This step may take a few days, but it’s still cheaper and easier than replacing the whole carpet.
- Finally, sprinkle some baking soda to clean and finish drying the region. Let it sit for a few minutes, then vacuum it up.
Check out the link below to buy a water vacuum:
Water can be very damaging to carpets and can even lead to issues with the subfloor and mold. Small spills are easy to fix but must be done immediately after the spill occurs. Most carpets are recoverable using towels, fans, baking soda, and maybe even a water vacuum. However, black water from sewage is highly hazardous and does mean your carpet must be replaced. Otherwise, fresh water is cleanable; you need to be proactive.
As a busy mom, Raz knows firsthand the challenges of balancing parenting and household management. Raz is constantly searching for ways to simplify her life and loves sharing her experiences and tips with others. Whether it's finding creative meal solutions for picky eaters or discovering the latest time-saving home organization hack, she is always on the lookout for ways to make life easier for her family and herself.
Last update on 2023-03-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API