Can You Save a Carpet After a Flood?

After a flood, there is so much to do. Everything will need to be dried out to pre loss condition as soon as possible and many things will need to be replaced. Obviously, you want to save as many of your personal possessions as possible and salvage as much as you can from the home or business. One question we often get is, “Can you save the carpet after a flood?” The answer is:  it depends. Frustrating, but true!

What does saving a carpet depend on? 

Whether you can save a carpet or not depends on the flooding water source and time. If the floodwater is from a fresh, clean source like a water heater supply line, burst fresh water pipe, washing machine supply line, or dishwasher supply line, the carpet can likely be saved if you get professional restoration help within 24 hours.

When can carpet not be saved? 

Carpet cannot be saved if the water is from outdoors, including flood water, or from any dirty or contaminated water source. Even if the flooding is the result of clean water, if you do not begin drying it immediately with 24 hours, you risk mold. 

Why does carpet need to be thrown out after a flood?

When water passes over the ground before entering a building it is categorized as Category 3 by the IICRC. The IICRC is a third-party, non-profit organization which sets standards in the restoration and cleaning industry. “Category 3” means the water is grossly contaminated and can contain pathogenic, toxigenic or other harmful agents. Such water may carry silt, organic matter, pesticides, heavy metals, regulated materials, or toxic organic substances (regardless of the color of the water).

The IICRC’s standards and best practices state that any carpet/pad saturated with CAT 3 water should be replaced along with other porous building materials. Restorers protect themselves from contaminated water splashing into eyes or entering the body by wearing full protective equipment during removal and restoration.

Failure to remove the affected carpet or porous materials can result in compromised indoor air quality and illness due to mold and other contaminates.

Can area rugs be saved?

Occasionally area rugs may be saved due to high value or sentimental value. To save area rugs it takes a full immersion cleaning and biocide application. Even with the cleaning, there is never any guarantee all contaminates have been removed. The rug could still be harmful to humans. 

Full and thorough cleaning of the substrate and any other contaminated structural materials will need to cleaned and treated before drying can take place.

We fully understand the financial realities of dealing with a flood, as well as the emotional loss of having to replace many possessions; however, safety is the number one priority. We will always attempt to save as much as possible after a flood, including carpet if at all possible.

Superior Cleaning & Coit Cleaning and Restoration in Woodinville, WA holds a Construction Contractor, General license (SUPERI 973KR).

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