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Carpet Cleaning Myths

Water has broken your carpets. You may were built with a toilet leak, maybe your hot water heater burst, maybe your child left the tap running within the sink for hrs.

What in the event you do in order to dry your wet carpet to reduce harm to your carpet and pad?

To begin with, there’s some general details about carpets you need to know that is applicable to any or all the misconceptions .

General Details about Water and Carpets

Residential carpet normally has a pad beneath it. The information could be between 1/4 inch to just about one inch thick. The information provides padding and provides your carpet that comfortable, soft feel whenever you walk onto it.

Commercial carpet in offices and stores generally does not have pad beneath it.

Carpet pad soaks up water just like a sponge: The issue with pad within carpet is that it’s a sponge and may hold many occasions it’s own weight in water.

Pad is made to cushion your ft, so it’s soft by character and can take in water such as the cleaning sponge inside your drain.

Carpet does not stop or hold much water:

Although your carpet may go through very solid beneath your ft, it provides hardly any potential to deal with water passing through it.

Carpet is really just like a sieve to water. An average carpet won’t hold greater than a couple of oz . water per sq . ft . of carpet prior to it being saturated. After these initial couple of oz . water have joined carpeting, any more water filters straight with the carpet and in to the pad.

Water loves to travel:Water does not stay there, it is usually on the go. The rule to keep in mind is “Wet would go to Dry”. Water will instantly move perfectly into a dry building material.

Water in the center of the room will flow with the carpet and over the pad towards the walls. It’ll migrate towards the edges from the room within minutes or hrs for the way much water was leaking.

Whenever you touch carpeting close to the area, it might not even feel moist, however the pad might be saturated. This is often seen utilizing an infrared camera. An infrared (or Thermal Imaging) camera is helpful to find the actual area the water has broken, even when you cannot see or feel it.

Generally I’d state that the particular wet area in almost any ton (found with professional water damage and mold meters) is all about two times how big what the average consumer reviews.

An infrared camera can have how water travels underneath the carpet with the pad. Even just in a ‘small’ ton, water can migrate through walls and finish up 2 rooms away within 12 hrs.

Bearing the data above in your mind, here are a few common misconceptions about wet carpets and just how to dry wet carpets

Myth #1. Carpeting will dry alone

This really is really true, much like it is a fact you could get a windfall with one ticket.

Yes, carpeting will ultimately dry alone. However, does it smell bad and have mold onto it when it’s dry? The other damage will occur as the carpet dries alone?

Unless of course you reside in somewhere like Arizona or even the desert in which you have hot temperature and occasional humidity, there’s Hardly any chance the carpet and pad will dry before mold begins growing or bacteria start creating that wet carpet, moist smell. Typically you’ve about 72 hrs to dry wet building materials before they begin growing mold.

Even when carpeting itself dries, does which means that the information is dry? There’s hardly any chance the pad is dry. The information holds more moisture than carpet and it is avoided from easily delivering the moisture because of carpeting above it and also the sub-floor below it. So even when your carpet is dry, the information is most likely not dry.

Which raises another point. How about the wet sub-floor? Keep in mind that carpet is sort of a sieve, and also the carpet will pass water lower towards the pad very rapidly. A saturated pad may then release water in to the sub-floor.

Drying out Sub-flooring

Sub-flooring are often either wood or concrete.

Concrete sub flooring are sponges too, except they’re very slow sponges. They absorb water remarkably rapidly, but release it very gradually. So even when carpeting and pad are dried rapidly, the concrete sub-floor could still release moisture for days.

Wood sub-flooring hold water too. If they are made from nick-board/particalboard/press-board (small chips of wood held along with glue) and they’re wet for over a couple of hrs they absorb water, expand, and lose their structural integrity.

When wet particalboard dries it’s very little strength and you’ll end up walking using your floor if you are not careful.

Plywood or OSB (Oriented Strand Board) tend to be more sturdy options for any sub-floor than particalboard. When they get wet, you are able to dry them, as lengthy because they weren’t sitting wet for lengthy enough to warp. This falls loosely underneath the 72 hour rule. Another problem is dry rot that is a microbial degeneration that can take a 3 week period to manifest at lower moisture levels.

Identifying if the sub-floor is wet or otherwise are only able to dependably be achieved having a penetrating moisture meter. Different building materials have different acceptable amounts of moisture, so you apply the meter to let you know when the materials are acceptably dry or otherwise.

With respect to the region you reside in, plywood is dry around 20% Equivalent Moisture Content (EMC). Within 4 days, mold can begin growing on wet plywood otherwise dried properly.

So, we all know the carpet and pad are unlikely to dry rapidly enough on their own. But even when they did, is the fact that all you need to be worried about whenever your carpets are wet? No, it isn’t.

Like I stated, WET would go to DRY. This means water keeps distributing outwards in the source.

On a single flooded carpet job we did, carpeting first got wet about 12 hrs before we showed up. Throughout that point the average consumer used her wet vac to suck as much water as you possibly can in the wet carpet – about 100 gallons.

She wanted us to dry her carpets. However, while using infrared camera and moisture meters, we discovered that her walls were wet, occasionally to just about 12″ over the carpet.

Wet drywall, is the fact that an issue?

The issue with wet drywall may be the usual 72 hour problem.

Within 72 hrs mold can begin growing with that wet dry wall. Mold especially likes dark, warm places without any air flow. That describes the wall cavity – the right spot for mold to develop.

So this is the problem – wet carpet produces wet drywall which could create mold. Here is a picture of the wall after water have been meaning a very long time.

In summary. Yes, carpeting will ultimately dry alone. But you’ll most likely have mold and smells when it’s dry, after which you will be ripping walls and carpet to repair the problem

Myth #2. You need to take away the wet pad underneath your carpet

There’s a myth that you simply can’t remove water from the wet pad, despite commercial extraction equipment. Individuals who say this are speaking concerning the standard rug cleaning ‘wand’ proven around the right. It is generally accustomed to clean carpets. It oral sprays warm water to the carpet after which sucks it back again.

The wand is made to pull water from the carpet materials, not the information also it will a good job at this. If you have water damage and mold on commercial carpet with no pad, the wand is a great tool to make use of.

However, on residential carpet having a pad, it extracts almost no water in the pad.

How do we get water from the pad so it’s not necessary to remove and discard the information?

You will find numerous new commercial extraction tools which will remove water in the pad. The most popular may be the FlashXtractor. It’s a wonderful device, most likely my personal favorite tool. (We’ve no affiliation using the makers of the tool, and receive no compensation for mentioning it)

The FlashXtractor will pull containers water out carpeting that’s been wand removed to dying!

Before tools such as the FlashXtractor arrived on the scene, there is a method known as “floating carpetingInch that was accustomed to dry carpet and pad because of poor people job the wand did of removing water in the pad.

To drift carpeting, you pull-up a large part from the carpet and stick an aura mover or carpet fan underneath the carpet to blow air underneath the carpet and to the pad. Although this method is still effective it’s reduced, less efficient, and frequently stretches carpeting to ensure that it does not fit correctly when restretched.

Floating carpeting is definitely an old-fashioned technique that’s unnecessary if you possess the right tools, ie an in-depth extraction tool like the FlashXtractor.

To complicate things, remember this. When you can dry wet pad, it does not mean you need to.

For those who have contaminated water within the pad you are able to dry it, but you’ll be departing a minimum of some contamination within the pad and with time, it will begin to stink and rot. In contaminated water situations you’ll have to take away the pad since you can’t effectively decontaminate it even though it is beneath the carpet. Within the water restoration industry, contaminated water is known as Category 2 (grey water) or Category 3 (black water).

Myth #3. You cannot dry a wet pad within carpet

The reality for this myth is identical for the issue above. Essentially, you are able to dry a wet pad, even without floating that carpet, however that does not mean you usually should. Begin to see the answer above for particulars.

Myth #4. You need to lift carpeting and ‘float’ it using blowers

The response to this is incorporated in the response to question 2 above. In summary, it’s not necessary to float carpet for those who have an in-depth extraction oral appliance understand how to utilize it.

Myth #5. You need to remove and discard wet carpet.


For those who have a black water situation (Category 3 water – contaminated water for example sewage, toilet leak or rising ground water), based on the industry standard IICRC S500, you need to discard carpeting. In my opinion it is because there’s no Environmental protection agency registered disinfectant for carpet.

However, for those who have Category 2 water (grey water for example washer waste water, shower runoff,etc) you need to discard the information, however, you can clean carpeting and it.

Category 1 water (water that is clean – toilet supply line, fridge ice maker, etc), also it has not been sitting in excess of 48 hrs, you’ll be able to extract water and carpeting and pad.

Another reason water damage specialists sometimes believe they ought to discard wet carpet happens because the backing from the carpet will p-laminate when it’s dried. The backing may be the lattice webbing on the rear of carpeting store the carpet materials together. It’s glued on. Whether it will get wet and stays wet for any very long time it may outside of carpeting materials and begin to disintegrate.

How lengthy is really a very long time? It’s difficult to calculate – is dependent around the carpet, the temperature, how wet it had been, etc. Normally when carpeting p-laminated flooring there is a black water situation anyway, therefore the carpet needs to go.

Myth #6. Professional Rug Cleaning will dry your carpet and pad

No. Not unless of course they will use an in-depth extraction tool that’s designed particularly to get rid of water in the pad. A normal rug cleaning wand won’t remove significant water in the carpet pad.

Myth #7. To get rid of the wet carpet smell, you ought to have it appropriately washed.

Yes, having a ‘mostly’ mounted on it. Carpeting cleaning machines and techniques open to most home proprietors aren’t extremely effective. In comparison to commercial rug cleaning equipment, carpeting cleaning machines you are renting in the local supermarket are just like a moped would be to a Harley. They are exactly the same factor, although not really.

Getting anything apart from an easy smell from carpeting necessitates the ruthless and suction of the commercial machine. Additionally, it requires the help of a experienced and trained carpet cleaner. You will find many causes and methods to different smells inside a carpet and knowing how to proceed so when into it requires experience and training.

If sodium bicarbonate and cleaning aren’t effective, your best choice would be to call an experienced and trained carpet cleaner, ideally one that’s also an IICRC licensed Odor Control Specialist.

Myth #8. Should you dry a flooded carpet, you won’t obtain a moldy wet carpet smell

Is dependent. If your carpet is dried rapidly and correctly there won’t be any smell. Actually, contrary, you will see less smell since the carpet has effectively been washed.

When the carpet and pad aren’t dried rapidly and correctly you’ll most likely have trouble with residual musky smells and mold.

See myth #2 for additional particulars.

Myth #9. Make use of a truck mount carpet extractor to dry or clean carpeting correctly

False. It is really an ongoing believe that I do not think is ever going to be resolved completely. Portable rug cleaning machines have the benefit of short hose runs while truck mounts have the benefit of high energy.

What it really comes lower to is usually the specialist holding the wand. A great specialist on the bad machine will receive a better result than the usual bad specialist on the good machine.


If you have had greater than a couple of gallons water leaking in your carpet, you are best calling an expert water damage and mold company to correctly dry your house if you’re able to afford it, or you have insurance. While you leaned above, however , when the carpets and walls aren’t dried rapidly you can face a mold situation which is a lot more costly to repair than drying out the carpets. Check out the best cleaning carpet service.