Drying Wet Carpet – Can I Do it Myself?
What do you do if you’ve experienced a minor flooding issue and now your carpets are soaked? That’s a great question, that many of us have asked ourselves in the past. Whether it’s resulted from an overflowing dishwasher or clothes washer, it’s a nightmare scenario for homeowners. While most cases will require the carpet and pad, and perhaps the sub-floor, to be replaced, here are a few tips to try first depending on the severity of your issue.
Use a Wet Vac
If you don’t have a wet vac, you can typically rent one at your local tool and equipment rental store or even buy one inexpensively. They are designed to remove moisture as the name suggests. NOTE: Do not use your regular household vacuum cleaner for this task. It is not meant to remove moisture in most cases. Using a wet vac will take care of the initial problem…any standing water that may not have seeped through the carpet and into the pad below.
Create an Air Flow Plan
After you’ve removed as much water as possible with the wet vac, you’ll need to find a way to get air circulating through the space to promote air flow and evaporation. This natural process will help remove water you weren’t able to remove with the wet vac. Open windows and doors. If possible, rent a carpet dryer from your rental store as well. A dehumidifier will also come in handy as you work to remove as much moisture as possible.
Baking soda works as a drying agent. If you apply it to your carpet, it will begin to absorb more of that unseen moisture and make it possible to be removed by traditional vacuuming.
These tips are primarily for carpets that weren’t completely saturated with standing water for extended periods of time. In most cases, excessively wet carpets will require professional help to completely and effectively dry. The carpet pads will likely need to be replaced in most cases as well.