If your carpet has been damaged by flood waters, it is safe to assume that your carpet has been contaminated with infectious organism. Therefore it is imperative that you wear rubber gloves whenever you handle the carpet and wash your hands on a regular basis throughout the drying and restoration process.
If, however, the carpet has soaked in contaminated waters for a long period of time, i.e., days or even longer, it may be necessary to discard the carpet completely. The following tips will help assist you through the drying process:
Roll the carpet up and take it outside the home to a patio, driveway or garage, making sure you do not cut yourself on staples or tacks. Roll the carpet out completely on the dry concrete ground and in an area that has full exposure to the sun. This will expedite the drying process. Using a powerful hose, spray the front and then the back of the carpet. You may need to repeat this depending on how severe the carpet has been affected. Always use an all purpose liquid cleaner allowing it to soak into the carpet for a few minutes. Keep in mind that there may be slight discoloration to the carpet after using such detergents. If necessary, use ½ cup of chlorine bleach per gallon of water. Never use maximum strength bleach as this will change the color of the carpet and cause possible skin irritations. While wearing rubber gloves, pour small amounts onto the carpet while it is wet and work the solution into the carpet using a plastic brush. Allow it to soak for approximately 5 minutes, then thoroughly rinse with the hose. Make sure all foam is completely removed from the carpet. Once these steps have been completed dry the carpet as soon as possible to prevent mildew.
When drying the carpet, use a wet and dry vacuum to remove the water out of the carpet. If it is necessary to dry the carpet indoors, turn on the central air conditioner and any dehumidifiers. This will speed up the drying process. If however, it is possible to dry the carpet outside the home, then place the carpet in the sun, turing it every so often to speed up the drying process.
It is also advisable to contact a professional cleaner. They can inform you as to how bad the damage is and any other steps that may be required. Take photos of the damage before you begin the drying and restoration process. This will assist you with any insurance claims and or disputes. Remember, your safety is extremely important. Therefore if you think the situation is too dangerous for you to handle consult a professional in this field.