Help! We’ve had a flood and my carpets and rugs are soaked! What should I do?
When a flood or any water leak or spill happens, it is important to know what to do to save your valuables and, equally important, to do it as quickly as possible!
Water or flood damage is a major cause of mold and mildew growth. Mold and mildew will begin to develop within 24 to 48 hours of any water exposure in the home, including leaks, sewage back-up, overflows, etc. Mold and mildew will continue to grow until the source of the moisture is dealt with.
Mold is a real health hazard. Infants, children, immune-compromised patients, as well as pregnant women, the elderly, and those with existing respiratory conditions are at a high risk for adverse health effects.
There are 3 important steps you must take when a flood occurs in your home or business:
1. Call your insurance company.
You need to determine if the damage will be covered. Some policies require extra insurance if you are in a flood zone. Without that insurance, ground water coming into your home or business may not be covered.
2. Call a certified Water or Flood Damage Restoration Company as soon as possible.
Doing this as soon as possible after you notice any flood damage can make the difference between a relatively short job and a much longer, costlier one.
The damage must be caught within hours in order to prevent sheet rock damage and carpet and pad replacement. Affected areas can be dried with extraction, dehumidification equipment, and engineering controls before mold has a chance to take over.
3. Obtain answers to the following questions:
The answers to the following questions are important in order to determine whether or not mold and mildew have had a chance to start, which leads to different skills and services. The answers to these questions will also help the restoration technician decide what equipment needs to be brought to the site.
Additional questions which help determine the degree of drying required:
Water or flood damage restoration is the term for the removal of a water intrusion from, and the restoration of, any property.
Depending on the amount of
damage that has occurred, the restoration may involve dehumidifying and drying
an entire structure, as well as removing and drying its contents. This type of restoration should only be done by
a certified Water or Flood Damage Restoration firm.
If the flooding is widespread and a representative of a Water or
Flood Damage Restoration company representative cannot get to you quickly, your
local fire department may be prepared to extract standing water until further
remediation can take place. A carpet cleaning company may also be able to extract some water.
Many carpet cleaning companies are also certified as water damage remediation contractors. Your area and oriental rugs should only be entrusted to a certified professional with a specialized rug cleaning plant.
Most wall-to-wall carpets produced today are broadlooms which contain glue that secures the carpet pile to the backings of the carpet. After the areas of wall-to-wall carpet have been under water for 24 -48 hours, that glue will fail and the backings will deteriorate very quickly. Depending on the quality of the broadloom, trying to save it could cost more than replacing it.
Do not attempt to clean porous materials such as upholstered furniture, clothing, books, papers, etc., if the item has been wet for more than 48 hours.
If less than 48 hours has gone by, the wet porous material can be cleaned and disinfected by a professional Cleaning and Restoration firm to preserve and protect the items for safe return to the home or business environment.
After a water damaged item has been thoroughly dried, it should be monitored for several days for any new mold growth and odors. If mold does develop, the item should be discarded.
Area rugs must be sanitized and dried as soon as possible, and then cleaned, sanitized and thoroughly dried again. It is important to understand that wet textiles cannot be cleaned until they are completely dry. Additionally, flooding water, (especially from the outside environment) contains microbes and bacteria and the rugs must be sanitized.
If your area rugs have been in water less than 24 to 48 hours, we may be able to help you, depending on the type of rug. There are certain natural fiber-specific molds that can attack and deteriorate the foundations of certain rugs, which may cause tears and rips during transport and cleaning. If the value of the rug warrants repair as well as cleaning, we have a full-service repair department to help you as well.
At our ABC rug cleaning plant, we have the capability to professionally do whatever is necessary to restore your rug (if it is at all possible). We can determine the amount of the damage and offer suggestions based on our hands-on examination of your rug.
Please bring your rug or call us for pick up as soon as possible after any water intrusion. Our phone number is 607-272-1566. We are open from 8 to 5 Monday through Thursday, closing on Fridays at 4:30. We are also open from 10 to 1 on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of each month.
Although we no longer provide on location water or flood damage restoration services, area and oriental rug care is our specialty and we are always here to answer any questions you might have.