Mould can grow in your carpets after 24 hours with exposure to water damage. So how do we prevent this?
Don’t Let This Be You
Remove water damage as quickly as possible
The best method is by using a water extraction machine. Wet and dry vacs can also do the job. I would not recommend trying to dry the carpet with fans until this first step is done. Have you ever tried to dry your clothes on the washing line without spin drying them first?
Use Fans and Dehumidifiers to Dry the Carpet
Professionals have been using carpet drying fans and dehumidifiers for decades to dry out wet carpet. You really should consider using them, as natural drying for soaking carpet will not always work and could result in mould. A professional water damage carpet cleaning company would be able to do install these for you at a daily hire rate as well as costs for labour and materials.
I did a video a few years back showing this process.
You can also rent these from industrial machinery hire places or purchase them from home improvement stores.
Carpet Clean the carpet after it is dried out properly
Generally water damage will leave a water stain after the carpet is dried which is why I suggest cleaning the carpet after with a browning treatment. I would request a professional carpet cleaning who knows how to do water damage restoration properly to do this for you.
This step is important especially if the water damage has been sitting for long enough to produce bacteria. Also, this step is given if you have a grey water damage (overflow of a dish washer). Applying antimicrobial to baseboards, skirting and walls affected by water damage should also be completed. We use most antimicrobial brands such as Microsan, Microban or Sporocidin. We apply the antimicrobial using a sprayer such as the one to the right.
A word or caution though, you really need to ensure you are wearing a safety mask, suit and gloves as antimicrobial is hazardous to your health. Remember if it is designed to attack living organisms such as mould and germs it can also get you. Wear the proper PPE (Personal Protective Equipment). I think I have made my point clear here.
Check Underneath the furniture
You should check under furniture if it is wet, water damage has a way of sneaking underneath when there in a flood. As someone once told me, wet always goes to dry. If the carpet is wet underneath, try to move the furniture to another room while you are drying out that area.
Check for Moisture underneath the carpet and walls
Another cause of carpet mould is if the underlay of sub floor is not dried properly after water damage. It is not always obvious when the flood occurs if these bottom layers are wet as the surface carpet may still appear to be dry. So how do you actually check this?
We use a moisture metre to determine the moisture underneath the carpet. These can be pretty expensive, but for the purposes of checking the sub floor you can get one for under $50. I could not attest to the accuracy of it, but it might give you some sort of indication.
You will also need to use a moisture meter to check the base of walls to ensure they are dry as well, as this can attribute to mould growth.
I have not gone into specifics here, as it really is a professionals job to do this properly. If you are in Brisbane, Australia, I would suggest the services of water damage carpet Brisbane professional such as us. Please call us on 1300 346 988 for 24/7 response.