preserving wet carpet

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....
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grodenhiATgmailDOTcom says...

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.
Banty
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grodenhiATgmailDOTcom wrote:

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 opening windows?
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
Good luck
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grodenhiATgmailDOTcom wrote:

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)
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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). :)
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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 England). Thanks!!
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New England is hundreds of miles long. How about narrowing it down a bit? My local dealer is great, but he is not going to Maine or northern Vermont.
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Yeah that would probably help a lot :). I'm in Northern Rhode Island (Cumberland). Looks like insurance might actually cover the costs (adjuster going to come check it out).
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You're supposed to *learn* from experience. Replace the carpet with something you can take out and put back by yourself.
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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).
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On 17 Oct 2005 10:57:21 -0700, "grodenhiATgmailDOTcom"

Berber, office, and indoor/outdoor are three points of a triangle, with plenty of nice synthetic carpet in the middle.
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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.
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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 save itself.**
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 basement is.
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 again.)

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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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