We have a finished basement in out house (about 700sqft), that took on
water this weekend (the torrential rain in New England got us). Only
about 1/3 of the carpet was actually exposed to some water. It was
squishly and water would seep up when you walk on it (but never
submerged... if that helps.). It's a berber carpet if that matters.
Our clean up so far has been running a dehumidifier on high, 5 fans on
high, and a very strong wet/dry vac every few hours. We've got the
carpet to a point now where it's damp (feels like a carpet right after
a shampoo, not so much wet, as cool to the touch. No more squish what
so ever. Money is tight and we're really hoping to save the carpet.
Is there some kind of cleaner/solvent I can use to help prevent
mold/mildew? We're hoping to rent/borrow one of those carpet cleaning
systems and give the whole basement a once over oncde we deem the
carpet dry (or call Stanley Steamer or some place). Does this sound
doable to save us the expense of a rip/replace? Thanks for any help....
You really have to pull up that carpet NOW and air out (nice dry windy day to do
it). You'll have to discard any padding and replace it. But you may save the
carpet if you take it out to air now.
Pointing a portable heater (or more than one) to the wet area would
also help. Is the vac still catching water? I wouldn't stop vacuuming
until it sucks only air everywhere on the carpet. Can you aerate more
I wouldn't think of adding moisture of any kind (cleaners, solvents
etc..) until everything is bone dry.
I was able to dry out my carpet after a broken pipe flooded part of the
LR but was clean water on a much smaller surface. You have more than
200 sqft of carpet to dry out but it's still worth trying, IMO
We had a minor flood when washer hose broke, and got about half of our
dining room oriental rug saturated. No pad. Rented heavy duty wet vac
which, when used on bare terazzo floor, left the vacuumed portion DRY.
Got all we could out of the rug, then propped that side of the rug over
stuff to hold it off floor, ran the fan and it was dry within 24 hours.
I haven't dealt with your situation, but would consider pro shampoo
with anti-mildew, if they have it. A reliable pro should have likely
dealt with the situation. For sure, keep dehumidifier on and use the
most powerful wet vac that you can; should extract down to the base
flooring. I've gotten padding wet in shampooing carpet and the sky
didn't fall in :o)
Thanks for all the suggestions. We are currently waiting for Stanley
Steemer to show up. Apparantly they have a water extraction
process/package for situations like this. They estimated about
$150-200 to do the basement carpeting (provided nothing has to be
removed/replaced. Their website claims something like 95% of water is
removed (or something like that). We are still running the
dehudifier.... wish I had a bunch. After running it for an hour an
area around 1 foot around the dehumidifier is bone. Well hopefully
Stanley Steemer can do as advertised!! Keep you posted (as I'm sure
everyone is dying to know how it turns out). :)
Well Stanley Steemer quoted $834 for removal of wet padding (as it was
soaked through), dry the current carpet and put back in. We would
still need to find someone to install the new padding (or do it
ourselves). For that price, I think it's just motivated us to recarpet
the finished basement (750 sqft). There's been some stuborn stains and
wear anyhow.... So... for berber, what can I expect to pay
(installed). Are there things to look out for? Best place to buy (New
I did learn something..... With the amount of rain we got the water
only came in two places, both easily (fingers crossed) fixed. The
chimney cleanout filled and came out the door (solved with a chimney
cap), also, under the chimney cleanout there was a leaning board that
allowed the water to flow down that instead of the wall (circumventing
the french drain) and a pin hole leak around the old pipe for the
drywell (no longer in use), quick patch up and that "SHOULD" take care
of it. Also, we are going to look at indoor/outdoor carpet instead.
While this is only a finished basement, we still want it to look decent
(ie no industrial office carpet).
Veryt good point. Absolutely not Berber again, Synthetic that can
be washed and good as new.
If I were the insurance company, I wouldn't even pay for natural
fibres in a basement, where there are loads of ways to get wet.
P&M because I"m late.
Remove NOPSAM to email me. Please let
me know if you have posted also.
On 16 Oct 2005 06:48:33 -0700, "grodenhiATgmailDOTcom"
It matters to me. I don't think anyone should use natural fiber
carpets in a basement.
IIUC most synthetic carpets are certain to come clean and fresh after
the proper cleaning, whereas one of my neighbors complained that her
carpet was ruined.
All this is good and the dehumid. is very important. I'm in Baltimore
and I was flooded too, when my sump pump was running full barrel and
couldn't keep up with the seepage.
The basement smelled a a little bit of mold 10 days ago, but I've been
away for a week and the smell is gone. My basement is too crowded for
me to remove the Persian carpet (old, used, frayed at one end,, and
free), and after vaccuuming with a wet/dry and running a fan in the
one window, I had to close the window before I went away.
But my basement is natually dry, and it's possible the carpet will
From another flood in my kitchen a week earlier, I had in the basement
a 3 foot stack of second hand phone books from the DC area and they
got moldy and slimy and I threw them away. But on another shelf was a
stack of three phonebooks that got a little moldy, but the mold
stopped growing. I may still throw them away, but it shows how dry my
On another occasion 15 years ago, I had a a flood that left a bad
(moldy?) smell but little other problem. I got a 50 pound bag of ??
Calcium chloride?? I'm not sure but the stuff that people use in
little bags iiuc to dehumidify closets, from a janitorial supply
store. I put a piece of decorative pressboard/masonite? vertically
in a plastic bucket and the chemical in one side, and every day I
would pour water out of the other side.
This worked well for everything but the stair way. It smelled bad on
the stairs. The very bottom of the carpet on the stairs had gotten
wet, but it didn't seem to go higher than an inch.
That was really strange. I put the bucket on the 5th step, the middle
of the stairs, for about 3 days to a week.. Even though my nose is
more than 4 feet higher than the bucket, the smell went away from the
5th step, but not the other ones. I put the bucket on the 3rd step
and the smell disappeared from there, but nowhere else. Eventually I
had to put the bucket on each step for a few days, and then the smell
was gone. It's like missiles were launched vertically from the carpet
on each step. The smell never came back (except for a short while
after this flood, but that's not because of wet carpet on the stairs.)
I only used about 5-10 pounds and when I was done, I gave the rest to
a gas station.
**(I do expect that many asphalt tiles will no longer be glued to the
floor. A few became unglued at the last flood, and the ones most
used, at the bottom of the stairs and the other door, which were
cracked but I didn't know it, came loose in pieces. I'm hoping when
the carpet is up, I can just use the right stuff and stick them down
Remove NOPSAM to email me. Please let
me know if you have posted also.
Well I looked at several options to refloor. Because of cost we are
deciding to go with some kind of carpet. So, what synthetic fibers
should I look for? If I get a carpet made of nylon/olefin or whatever,
will it be able to be cleaned in the event this happens again? If so,
what about the padding underneath? Is it necessary to have padding?
I'm looking for a solution that, if wet, can either be very easily
pulled, or in best case, can be either wet/dry vac'd or blown dry. As
posted in another post I did, I THINK we fixed the issue, so far two
decent storms and not a drop (of course never say never).
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