Wet Carpet - Posted by Robert McNeely

Posted by Mark on July 22, 2001 at 10:30:31:


Nearly thirty years in the floorcovering industry has taught me many things, and among them is that water, a “universal solvent”, will eventually deteriorate ANYTHING.

Not only do you want the carpet to dry out, more importantly, you want the cushion UNDER the carpet to dry out. Today’s wet-vacs do not have enough suction power to extract the water through the carpet itself to the cushion under that and then to the water which is below the cushion (where the true problem is). It must also be said that using a wet-vac as soon as possible DOES at least help.

The real problem is the substrate; or as we all call it, the floor itself, under the floorcovering. If you are the handyman type, cut the carpet apart at the doorway seams and pull the carpet back laying the folded area over some sort of framework, be it boxes, plastic milk crates, or whatever items you choose which would “suspend” the wet carpet off of the rest of the uneffected area. Then, set up a fan directed at the point it attacks both topside and underside of the carpet. The larger the fan the better. Doing this provides more surface area of the wet carpet, both top and bottom, to evaporate, and moving air rather than stagnant air, cuts the drying time exponentially. By contrast, folding wet carpet over non-wet carpet you have effectively doubled the size of your problem.

Secondly, using a razor knife, cut out the section of wet cushion and remove it to the outside of the home, and exspose it to the direct sun and nature will take care of the rest, and when completely dry, you may be able to simply tape the cushion back together in its former state using two inch wide masking tape.

The real issue with mobile home water issues, most often is not the floorcovering itself (today’s carpets are synthetic). It is the floor under it. Mobile homes generally have two types of subfloor; either partical board or plywood. Plywood is our friend, particle board is not. Plywood, depending on how long it has been exsposed to standing water conditions, will itself dry out on its own and fully recover. Partical board on the other hand, may very well be completely shot the moment it gets wet, thus making it necessary to cut out the affected area and replace it, but this time using plywood of the same thickness.

To get to the question of what you can do to help arrest the possibility of mold and mildue, the answer to that would simply be bleach. Household bleach, diluted in (now get this) water, can be applied sparingly to the affected wet area of the SUBFLOOR only. Do not douse the floor with an abundance of the solution, you would only compound your problem. And you should also note, that it would be best to apply this solution to the affected area when it has sufficiently dried or at a minimum, “half” dried out. You cannot apply this solution to the carpet itself, and you should use caution when wiping the solution over the floor with a damp sponge, not to get any of it on the carpet. Everywhere a single drop falls on the surface of the carpet, you will end up with a nice white spot where the color of the carpeting is completely “bleached out”. So be careful not to tip your bucket over, or you have a new problem.

When the floor dries, and the carpet is folded back to its original state, baking soda can be sprinkled over the formerly wet carpet area to reduce the odor. This does not remove the odor, just reduce it. The next step would be to clean the carpet only after it has been re-attached/re-installed, using (guess what?) a steam cleaner. If you have a home model, use it extremely sparingly, as the home models have the same characteristics of wet-vacs, not enough suction power to remove entirely, the water that they themselves apply. If desirable, have it cleaned professionaly. If for no other reason, that big machine that is mounted in the back of their van has a suction rate up to fifteen times that of a strong wet-vac.

A small side note here: The suggestions that I give you here are directly related to the issue of not having power to the home. A home that has electricty can take other steps which aren’t available to you in this case.


Wet Carpet - Posted by Robert McNeely

Posted by Robert McNeely on July 22, 2001 at 08:41:55:

A supply line blew off the bath sink in one of my empty mobiles. Soaked the carpet, used a wet vac to get most of it up, but it is still wet. It is now hot and humid, no electric yet to run a fan to help dry it. Question, should I put anything on it to keep possible mildue out, as it may take some time to fully dry out.

Re: Wet Carpet - Posted by Mark

Posted by Mark on July 22, 2001 at 21:36:05:

Hello again, Robert.
And a fine hello to you also, Lee!

Just one final word here from me:

The information which Lee speaks of is both acurate and indespensable. (Whether or not an investor, realtor, or perhaps a highly successful investment banker…chances are, there is carpeted flooring in some part of your OWN home). Anyone looking through this site and stumbling on the information given, should save that page somewhere in their computer for future reference. And should you happen to be…an investor, realtor, or perhaps a highly successful investment banker, then it becomes, at the very least, twice as important.

Robert, if I have ever seen a more direct, and all-too-important answer, to a simple question (YOUR question), this would be it. For the sake of heading-off trouble well before it can begin, follow Lee’s reccomendations.

Happy to be here -:slight_smile:


Re: Wet Carpet - Posted by Lee R Ramey

Posted by Lee R Ramey on July 22, 2001 at 20:14:34:

Mark did an excellent job of handling it from a land lords perspective reasonable cheap. Let me introduce myself, I am Lee Ramey from Birmingham al, I’ve been monitoring this forum for a month or longer. ( I am about to make an offer on a park)

My main business is a water damage clean-up and carpet cleaning business. I am certified as an Master cleaner and a Master restorer by my industry. I only state that as for you to know where I am coming from.

You may, depending on your climate may be able to remove the affected room or two of carpet totaly and lay out in you garage or elsewhere, Run an extention cord to the neighbors and pay them a couple bucks or a six pack. Rent a turbo dryer from a rental store 18-22 dollars a day, if the outside humidity is 55-70 % or below open all the windows, it should dry in three days or less. If it rains or you have high rH then you may also need to shut the windows and rent or bring in a dehumidifier.

The bleach Mark mentioned will help a little but it only has a three to five day active usefullness. If it is still wet or gets re-wet, you have’nt done much good. An Quantinary amonnium Anti-microbial disinfectant is what you should ask for from a good janitorial store or carpet cleaning supply. Microban, MSD, odor-ban,Kill-odor,Mildewstat are some name brands.

Let it dry completely before you put down new pad (you can hardly ever save the pad economicaly. Apply and reaply the anti-microbial daily until it is. Apply to Both sides of the carpet if your are able to save it.

Look up an IICRC certified firm in your area, many times if you exp[lain the situation and they can help you through it. I can fax or email you my 7 page instruction sheets on what to do with a flood tommorrow if you call my company To the Rescue! @ 205-252-5326.

Ps I am currently involved as an expert witness against a mobile home dealer that just painted over a water damage problem and then sold the unit. The 16 month old has developed severe resperatory problems from the mold that was not showing but was residing in between the walls, so make abosolutely sure that the walls are dry also. The certified firm will have non-destuctive instruments to verify the moisture content, and where water has migrated to. Sorry to be sounding like an alarmist but this mold thing is the next big issue the lawyers are jumping on the bandwagon.