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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

How to Dry Wet Carpet In 7 Simple Steps

6/22/2020 (Permalink)

carpet cleaning services in Dallas Carpet Cleaning Services from SERVPRO North Irving

Walking on a wet carpet feels spongy. This is because carpet can soak up a surprising amount of water and tends to trap water as well. Unfortunate events like a pipe bursting, flooding from storms, or a sewage invasion creates a situation where the carpet takes in as much water as it can hold.

Dealing with flooding events is overwhelming but SERVPRO of North Irving is here to give you some pointers on how to send that water where it belongs - out of your house or business! In this guide, we’ll show you how to dry wet carpet.

Is It Okay to Leave a Wet Carpet Alone?

Water and moisture trapped on the surface and deep within the carpet layers is a prime spot for mold growth. Soggy carpet causes further damage when it makes contact with wooden surfaces such as the subfloor or furniture.

To avoid the growth of unhealthy mold and more property losses, it’s important to solve wet carpet problems as soon as possible.

How Long Before Mold Starts to Grow in Wet Carpet?

At SERVPRO of North Irving, our goal is to eradicate harmful mold because it makes an environment toxic. It aggravates allergies and causes illnesses.

Mold easily takes root in wet carpet and breeds. This process starts as soon as 24 hours from the time of absorption or up to 48 hours.

Soaked carpet is a clear warning of potential mold growth, but there are other signs you should look out for. Let’s go over how to detect mold in carpet.

1.    Discoloration

Carpet is supposed to be all one color. If you see strange spots unrelated to anything else (like stains or heat damage) check it out. Black, green, blue, red, or white spots are colors that may indicate mold or mildew growth.

Mold stains are a sign of advanced mold growth. Carpet should be either professionally treated (not just cleaned) or completely replaced.

2.    Odor

Mold makes its presence known with a smell. You may recall what mold smells like from tossing old food (like cheese that has gone bad). Occupants of a space may be “nose blind” to smells. When a visitor is honest enough to tell you that something smells weird, this could be a sign of mold.

3.  Indoor Allergies

Mold isn’t the only thing that causes allergies, but it is a material that causes acute symptoms for allergy sufferers.

Doctor visits, air filter changes, dusting, switching to hypoallergenic pillows, and air purifying machines are all preliminary measures to curb allergy issues.

If someone in your home or business continues to suffer after you’ve taken proactive measures, inspecting the carpet should be one of your next steps.

4.    Lesser Water Damage or Damp Carpet

A carpet doesn’t have to be completely soaked to be a source of mold growth. If you detect that a carpet is moist, damp, or moderately wet it might already be growing mold. 

Remedies depend on how long it’s been wet. The longer it’s been holding water and moisture, the better the odds are that mold has begun to grow. 

If it’s caught sooner, cleaning and drying are appropriate. If damp carpet has been sitting long enough for delamination (when the glues in the carpet start  to separate) to happen, replacement is best.

7 Steps to Drying Wet Carpet 

With water events, there are several things to do for recovery. Carpet drying is one of the most important tasks. Interiors must be completely dried to avoid mold growth, carpet especially. 

When it’s time to get started on the drying process, here are seven steps on how to dry wet carpet. These ensure that the carpet is acceptable for living conditions. 

1. Remove Furniture from the Carpet

Depending on the extent of the water damage, you should remove from the room everything you want to preserve. Family photos, electronics, valuable furniture pieces, etc. are all things that could be destroyed with exposure to moisture.

Unfortunately, items with extensive and permanent water damage may have to be disposed of. Items like upholstered furniture need special cleaning care.

It’s important that you protect your furniture from further water damage. Either remove it from the wet carpet or place a barrier between (like foil around the legs).

TIP: For paper items you want to save (like books), place them in the freezer.  Freezing the water in the paper will stop the damage.  Remember--liquid water is what causes the damage, not frozen water.  To restore water-damaged paperwork and books, we need to go through a process called sublimation.  Normally, frozen water turns into liquid which then turns into steam.  Sublimation is when the frozen moisture in an item is extracted straight to steam and the liquid part of the process is skipped.  This is how what were once-wet books and papers are saved.  

SERVPRO of North Irving has a sublimation machine to save your water damaged books and paperwork.  Just give us a call, and we’ll be on our way. 

2. Soak Up Water and Remove Moisture

Agenda item number one in recovery is to remove as much water and moisture as possible mechanically. This is done with towels, mops, and extraction machines.

Carpet that has been touched by sewage cannot be cleaned.  This damage will result in carpet having to be replaced. 

Depending on how much water there is to remove, a shop vac may or may not be able to suck up all the water. A heavy-duty water extractor is the best way to get water out of carpet.

Dehumidifiers help remove problem moisture, but water extractors are always the first step. 

3. Create Air Flow

Ventilation aids the drying process. Opening windows gets the air circulating, but only if the humidity outside is lower than it is indoors. 

4. Use a Fan and Turn Up AC

Along the lines of airflow, fans and the AC help dry the room and then help with drying the carpet. The higher the power, the better the drying effect. 

Use portable fans and ceiling fans to encourage drying. Your air conditioner isn’t as effective as fans are, but turning up the heat promotes drying because warm air captures more moisture.

5. Steam Clean the Carpet

Once the carpet is dry enough, steam cleaning goes to work to kill bacteria and mold spores.

Severely damaged carpet is likely to need professional carpet cleaning.

6. Replace Carpet Padding

Next, inspect the carpet padding. Pull up the carpet for padding removal. If it’s moderately damp and not soaked, laying out the affected sections in the sunshine dries it. 

It’s not worth salvaging carpet padding that is very wet or has been wet for a long time. Padding is inexpensive to replace.

Once the padding has been remediated or replaced, put the carpet back.

7. Drying Carpet with Baking Soda

Baking soda is a favorite household helper. If you sense an odor or you think it could just use a freshening up, baking soda is perfect for this.

Once the carpet is mostly dry, sprinkle the baking soda generously over the affected area. Let it sit up to 24 hours. This may require more than one package of baking soda.

Once it’s had enough time to work, vacuum it up. Baking soda on wet carpet soaks up moisture and takes care of odors.

Cleaning up after a water event is a big job. We hope you can recruit enough help to do a thorough job. Should you need assistance, please give SERVPRO North Irving a call. We’re available 24/7.

How Long Does it Take for Wet Carpet to Dry?

While you complete the steps of how to dry wet carpet, you might wonder how long before it all totally dries.

This depends on the extent of water exposure and absorption. This ranges from minor situations that take about half a day to more extensive damage that takes up to three to five days.

Waiting for everything to dry is sometimes inconvenient, but the goal with wet carpets is to see to it that the carpet, the padding, and the subfloor are totally dry.

Contact Our SERVPRO Carpet Cleaning Experts Today

SERVPRO of North Irving is here for any water emergency. When water soaks your carpet, we’re here to get everything back to normal.

Our trained cleaning staff removes all water and moisture to keep mold growth and further damage from happening. Our goal is to both recover invasive water property damage and promote a healthy environment for occupants.


We’ll do a thorough water damage clean up, and provide advice on how to prevent and take action on future carpet soaking situations. We answer the call 24/7 at (972) 986-7677 or you can complete our convenient online contact form!

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