After your home or business floods, you may wonder if it’s possible to save your wall-to-wall carpeting and padding so you can forgo the high cost of replacing them. The chances of successfully cleaning your carpet depend on many factors. Consider each one to help you determine if you can salvage your carpet after a flood.

Age and Quality of the Carpet

If you installed your carpet within the last five years or so, it has the potential to last another decade or more if you can restore it properly. This makes flood damage restoration well worth the effort. However, if your carpet is aging or showing signs of wear and tear, it may be in your best interest to replace it after a flood instead of trying to salvage it.

Type of Floodwater Involved

Water damage restoration companies classify floodwater into three groups: clean water, greywater, and blackwater. The type involved in your flooding incident could determine whether it’s possible to save the carpet. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Category 1 (clean water) comes from broken pipes or uncontaminated rainwater. You have the best chance of salvaging a flooded carpet and padding that has suffered this type of water damage—as long as you act quickly.
  • Category 2 (greywater) is minimally contaminated water from an overflowing washing machine or dishwasher, broken aquarium, or rising groundwater. You will most likely need to replace the carpet pad if it has been exposed to greywater, but the carpet itself may be salvageable.
  • Category 3 (blackwater) is highly contaminated with dangerous pathogens. Sources include sewage backups, flooding from rivers and oceans, and stormwater damage. Saving a carpet with blackwater contamination is nearly always impossible.

How Quickly You Begin the Cleanup Process

Floodwater mitigation should begin without delay. The longer you wait, the more likely your carpet will suffer permanent damage. Mold is the biggest threat. Microbial growth can begin within 24 to 48 hours of a flood. If mold sets in, the resulting odors, discoloration, and health hazards could make your carpet unsalvageable.

Whether You Restore Your Flooded Carpet Professionally

Many home and business owners try to save money by cleaning up flood damage themselves. While you should begin drying the water immediately, your towels, shop vacuum, and ceiling fan are no match for professional water extraction and drying equipment. You have a much higher chance of saving your flooded carpet if you leave the cleanup process to a licensed disaster restoration company. Plus, an expert can evaluate the entire water damage incident and help you mitigate other losses, not just the carpet.

Every water damage situation is different, so you may not know for sure if you can salvage your carpet and pad until a professional inspects them. Contact DKI right away at 877-533-0210 if your home or business has been damaged in a flood. We offer emergency restoration services to help you start the water damage recovery process as quickly as possible.