Have you ever suffered from water damage?
Well, if you are reading this article, chances are that you are one of the 14,000 unlucky Americans that suffer from water damage EACH DAY.
Thanks to our old infrastructure and weather conditions, many house owners suffer each year from things like floods, leaks, overflows, and burst pipes.
Water can cause catastrophic damage to your carpet, flooring, and subflooring, which can risk both your home and family health.
So, should carpet be replaced after water damage?
The short answer is YES. Although it’s not the most cost-effective solution in the short run, replacing your water-damaged carpet is definitely the best option in most cases.
However, when it comes to carpet water damage, each case is unique, and in some scenarios, you don’t need to replace the water-damaged carpet at all.
This article will provide you with all the information you need to make the best decision for your case.
But before jumping into it, first, let’s take a look at how can a water-logged carpet risk both your home and your beloved ones’ health.
Why Should You Replace The Carpet After Water Damage?
The Damage Might Not Be Visible
One of the most damaging water damage characteristics for homeowners is that water tends to travel and build up far away from the original source.
For instance, if you have a leak in your bathroom, water damage in the floor, basement, or any different part of your house might result in water damage as well.
The biggest problem is that it’s not always visible!
Although it’s very tempting to ignore, it’s extremely important to find both the leakage source and all the damage caused by it to prevent further damage.
For mold to grow, it needs 3 things: warmth, moisture, and dark space.
Unfortunately, your wet carpet is a paradise for mold, as it provides mold with all it needs to thrive.
Needless to say, mold can cause severe damage to your home. But what’s really important is that all forms of mold produce allergens. According to the MNT, this can cause numerous permanent health issues, including Breathing Problems, Allergies, Aspergillosis, and many more.
How To When To Replace Carpet
What Is The Water Source?
The water source plays a vital role in whether the carpet should be replaced after water damage or not.
Suppose your house is flooded by any sewage-contaminated water sources such as toilets, floodwaters, or any form of suspicious water that you won’t drink from. In that case, you should definitely replace the carpeting.
The reason for this is that these water sources are filled with huge amounts of contaminants such as mold, fungus, and bacteria that can cause serious health risks to you and your beloved ones.
As a rule of thumb, only consider salvaging carpets that are soaked with water sources that you would drink from such as the pipes that supply your home drinking water.
Did You Miss The Window of Time For Cleaning?
A water-damaged carpet is a perfect environment for mold growth. In fact, mold will start growing within 24 to 48 hours, according to FEMA.
This leaves you with less than a day to start the cleaning process and prevent mold from growing and damaging your home.
So if you missed this window, then most likely that your carpet should be replaced after water damage.
How Much Water Soaked Into The Carpet, Flooring, and Subflooring?
Another important factor to consider is how much water did the carpeting, flooring, and subflooring soak.
Needless to say, the more water the carpet soaked, the harder it’s to dry and clean without leaving any residue, and the more likely mold will grow.
Therefore, if you found your carpeting soaked with water, then it’s about time to go carpet shopping.
What Is The Condition Of The Carpet?
Sometimes after water damage, your carpet can be in bad condition that it’s just not worth restoring.
For instance, in some cases, where the carpet covers a large room, it can be extremely hard to pull up the carpeting in one piece, as the very act will just ruin it.
In this case, it’s always better to opt for a new carpet, as it will save you the hassle and the expenses of salvaging your old one.
Further, even after drying and cleaning the carpet, there is a high chance that there is still detergent or mold residue in it, especially if you cleaned it yourself without the use of any professional help.
This will lead to rapid mold growth, which will cause your carpet to smell bad, lose its color, and of course, risk your health.
Why Does A Carpet Smell Bad After Cleaning?
Bad carpet smell usually indicates mold growth. Don’t worry, you don’t have to replace your carpet.
In fact, all you need to do is to:
1. Thoroughly wash the carpet and leave it to dry out
2. Prepare a spray bottle using the secret formula (one cup vinegar to two cups warm water)
3. Gently spray the areas that smell but DON’T overspray the carpet or you will be just creating more moisture for mold to thrive
4. Once the carpet is dry, sprinkle some baking soda, then clean the carpet using a vacuum cleaner
Pro Tip: Using a carpet freshener can help to eliminate the carpet fibers’ moist odor.
Suppose you still can’t get rid of the smell. In that case, you should contact a carpet water damage professional, as professionals will thoroughly clean the carpeting and apply odor neutralizers to successfully eliminate all the bad odors.
Is Carpet Damage Covered By Insurance?
In most cases, flood damage is only included if you have a separate flood insurance plan.
However, you should always give a call to your insurance agency and ask them directly before doing any work. They may pay to replace your carpet or at least cover a part of the restoration fees.
If you aren’t sure, call us at Restoration USA. We can help you find a provider that works within your insurance coverage.
It’s also recommended to hire a professional to help you assess the water damage and submit the claim.
This is because not all water damage is visible, and an expert will detect both the visible and hidden damages that need to be repaired or replaced.
Why Is A Carpet Lighter Color After Water Damage Cleaning?
The short answer is that carpets tend to build up dirt and grime layers over time, even if you regularly clean them using the best vacuum cleaner in the market.
On the other hand, a thorough water damage cleaning will completely eliminate these layers, which will restore the carpet to its original color and cause it to appear lighter.
There is no right answer to the question “Should Carpet Be Replaced After Water Damage?”, as each case is unique.
However, you can easily determine the answer to your case by asking yourself these 4 questions:
1. Is the water source NOT safe to drink?
2. Did I miss the 24 hours cleaning window?
3. Are the carpet and padding soaked with water?
4. Is the carpet in a bad condition?
If you answered YES to any of these questions, then chances are that your carpet should be replaced after water damage.