If you have recently had a flood in your basement and the carpeting in the area has become drenched with water, then you may decide to clean the floor instead of removing and replacing it. This is possible, but this can lead to the formation of mold if some of the moisture is left behind. Mold will often need to be removed by a remediation specialist in this case so that mold spores do not spread throughout the home. If you want to make sure mold is not a concern, then keep reading to remove water from a flooded basement carpeting.
Consider Safety First
Before you go about cleaning the carpeting, you will need to figure out if the water is safe for you to come into direct contact with. Flood water is separated into three different categories called clean, gray, and black water. Clean water is any water that has flooded the basement from a cold or hot water line. Water that has leaked out of a water heater is called clean water as well, and this water is perfectly safe to clean as long as it is removed within 48 hours, before bacteria and mold spores can develop.
After 48 hours, the clean water should be considered gray water. This water is also any fluid that may contain contaminants like detergents, cleaning chemicals, or other compounds. Water that has leaked from a dishwasher, washing machine, or bathtub is considered gray water. This water should be cleaned up as you wear protective gear like rubber gloves, boots, and safety glasses, since the water may be hazardous.
If this water sits for 48 hours or if groundwater, sewage, or outdoor flood water has seeped into the home, then you will have black water damage. This water is considered dangerous since it will usually contain microorganisms and viruses that are hazardous to your health. This type of water should not be cleaned without professional assistance.
Start Removing Water
If you have clean or gray water flood damage, then you should start removing the water from the carpet. While you may have cleaned up small pools of water with a wet/dry vacuum, these tools are not effective when it comes to removing large amounts of fluid. A wet/dry vacuum will be able to hold about a dozen or more gallons of water, but the sealed suction power of the unit is fairly low. A typical wet/dry vacuum will have water lift suction power that is no more than 64 inches. This means the suction hose can lift water about 64 inches high. A water extractor will lift water as much as 150 inches in many cases. This means that the extractor will have twice the water lift or suction that a wet/dry vacuum will.
Water extractors or carpet cleaners with built in extractors can be rented from your local home or carpet cleaning supply store. Rent the machine with the largest recovery tank to remove water as quickly as possible. Use the hose and suction attachment to pick up water with the extractor. Run the suction end across the floor several times to make sure that all moisture is removed.
Dehumidify The Area
If you successfully use the extractor to release water from the carpeting, then the rest of the water will evaporate into the air. You will need to remove this fluid or the air may become saturated and the carpet will no longer be able to release water. Rent a commercial dehumidifier to remove the water from the ambient air. These devices can remove much more water than a residential unit. If you want to rent the most powerful model, then look for a unit with an ACH value around 5 or 6. This type of device will filter all the air in the humid space through the unit 6 times per hour.
Dehumidifier models with a 5 or 6 ACH level are appropriate for spaces with a humidity level over 90%. While the basement space may not be this humid after you extract water, the powerful dehumidifier will help to reduce moisture as much as possible within the 48 hours after the flooding event occurred so mold and mildew do not become a problem.
If you still feel you may have a problem with mold, then call a local mold remediation service, such as Servpro Of Bear New Castle.