How To Deal With Wet Carpets After A Flood

Regardless of the cause, a flood can leave your carpet soggy and contaminated. If left unattended, a water-damaged carpet can encourage mold and mildew growth. This leads to its destruction while posing a health risk for homeowners. It’s vital to attend to a water-damaged carpet as soon as possible. Otherwise, you’ll have to deal with the unpleasant aftermath.

Suppose your carpet has been affected by a flood. In that case, you need to understand how to handle the situation. With that in mind, here are the steps you need to take when dealing with a wet carpet after a flood.

Home being flooded

Examine The Type Of Flood And Damage

After floods have hit your home, you’re likely to be confused regarding the next step. However, this shouldn’t be the case since the more you wait before acting, the more complex the situation is likely to get. With that in mind, putting on your gear and getting to work are vital.

The first step when dealing with a water-damaged carpet due to flooding is assessing the type of flood and damage. You want to understand how contaminated your carpet is to develop an effective restoration technique.

Flooding can involve different types of water; hence, the levels of contamination differ. Take note of the following:

  • Clean water flooding that’s caused by a burst pipe containing rainwater doesn’t carry contaminated water
  • Gray water flooding may contain contaminants such as cleaning chemicals from washing appliances
  • Blackwater flooding results from sewage or toilet backflows

In the event of clean and gray water flooding, you might have less to worry about since the level of contamination is low. A homeowner can address such a situation effectively. However, if your carpet is contaminated with blackwater, you might need to hire an expert experienced in such activities to avoid risking your health.

Carpet with water damage

Decide Between Cleaning It In Place And Uninstalling It

Depending on the severity of the flooding, you can either clean the carpet in place or uninstall it. If you must remove the carpet, check how it’s installed on the floor before anything else.

If the carpet is held down with tack strips, you only need to pull it from the edges. However, if there’s no need to remove it, prepare to begin the cleaning immediately.

Clean The Carpet

Whether you decide to go DIY or hire an expert, it’s important to know that the cleaning should commence as soon as possible. It’s vital to note that the more your carpet is soaked, the more likely it is to develop mold and mildew growth. Besides that, it can be challenging to reverse the damage.

When cleaning a water-damaged carpet, consider using a combination of wet and dry vacuuming since it can help remove excess water fast. At this point, you might need to use household detergents to ensure the carpet is sparkling clean. 

Once you’ve removed most of the water and the carpet is clean and no longer soaked, turn on the circulating fans and open the windows to allow air circulation. This also prevents odor from building up on your carpet after the flood.

Concentrate On The Carpet Pad

If you’re dealing with a carpet with a pad under it, you must remove it. However, this is successfully done once you’ve had the flood water under control.

According to experts, cleaning and drying the carpet and failing to remove the pad might be useless since this is a perfect zone for mold and mildew growth. After the fungi have grown, getting rid of them might be challenging and can cause severe damage to your carpet while posing a health risk.

While carpet pads are designed to reduce noise and stress on the floor, they’re also ideal for mold growth, especially when wet. Therefore, you should remove yours and thoroughly clean and dry the carpet before installing another one.

Sanitize The Carpet

It’s important to sanitize your carpet to ensure it’s free of contaminants from the flooding and safe to use. Research an effective carpet sanitizer and use it as directed for effectiveness.

Dry The Carpet

After the carpet is cleaned and you’ve removed the pad, it’s time to allow the carpet to dry. If you’ve uninstalled the carpet, you can dry it under the sun.

However, if the carpet is still in place, turn on the AC, switch on the fans, open windows, and use a dehumidifier to dry out the carpet and your space entirely. Remember to sprinkle baking soda on your carpet and allow it to sit for a night before vacuuming it to prevent odor buildup.

Drying a carpet outside

Pay Attention To Any Foul Smell

Weeks after cleaning your carpet, be alert for any smell that might linger in your home. If you notice a musty smell, it indicates the presence of mold that should be taken care of immediately.


Dealing with wet carpets after a flood is challenging, especially if the water is highly contaminated. However, knowing what to do can make the process a bit easier. Nevertheless, if handling the procedure yourself seems impossible, consider hiring professionals to deal with the carpet successfully.

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