Wet Carpets, need some advice please


Hi there,
I had an saltwater aquarium (sold it last night because of this) and I had a leak onto the carpets, not a major leak (about 3 foot by 6 foot section) but the carpets were water wet to touch and I can kinda tell the underlay is wet as well.
This happened sat night and so on Sunday afternoon after the fishtank was gone I used a shop vac to suck up as much as I can. I was just wondering what I should do now, it still seems wet. I did some searching and I found two pieces of advice, pull out the carpet and replace it because you will have tons of mold issues or pull up the carpet and replace the underlay and retack it down when the carpet is complete dry.
Advice? The whole room size is about 35 feet by 15 feet so this affected a small part of it.
Thank you very much.
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I work in the carpet industry, so just maybe I can help...
1) Grab your oldest towels. The ones you use in the shop, on the dogs, etc. You'll need quite a few.
2) Flatten several of them out over the affected area. Put a large rigid flat piece of something on top of the towels. Plywood comes to mind.
3) Lay heavy things on top of the plywood so it pushes the towels down onto the carpet. Alternately, you can walk around on the plywood.
4) When the towels are wet, get more dry towels and repeat the process.
5) Continue repeating the process until the towels are barely damp. You'll probably go 3 rounds one evening with the final round going overnight.
6) After that, take everything off of the carpet and point a box fan towards the area. Leave the box fan on for a couple of days.
KB

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Hi Kyle,
Thanks for the great reply! Do you think I will get any mold issue later on? Or perhaps I could get the carpets professionally cleaner after a few weeks once its all dry again?
Thanks again, I will go take your advice as soon as I get home tonight!
James
Kyle Boatright wrote:

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snipped-for-privacy@corasen.com wrote:

I would guess the salt will reduce the potentially mold issue. Just get it dry. If you don't see a difference in appearance of the carpet, then I think you got it licked.
--
Joseph Meehan

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On Tue, 21 Nov 2006 02:53:13 GMT, "Joseph Meehan"
It will be worse, add to that the fact that salt water doesn't really dry that well. If this is really a sea water tank running 36 PPT or so that carpet may take weeks to dry and it will be cruchy. If I get beach towels wet on my boat (Gulf of Mexico) they need to be washed before they will really dry. Salt water just gets greasy feeling as it dries. There is about 2.88 pounds of salt in 10 gallons of water at 36PPT plus whatever else is in the tank
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I had a somewhat similar experience with some very dirty water spilled on a central area of light colored carpet and used the procedure outlined by this poster. It took most of the stain away. Then I flooded the area with clean water,walked on it to provide a bit of deep scrubbing, and repeated the process several times. Each rinse made a definite improvement until I finally fatigued out and said good enough.
I don't have a shopvac but I think the process would be greatly facilitated by using one to pick up the water. Perhaps the towel trick would serve best for the final drying -- followed by ventilation with a large fan, of course.
It's a lot of work, and there will always be some remaining trace of the contaminant. Your call when you've got it good enough.
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On 20 Nov 2006 15:54:36 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@corasen.com wrote:

The salt water is the problem. I doubt you would ever get rid of the "low tide" smell. Call a carpet cleaning company for advice. You may need to get a dehumidifier in there. If you are in the frozen north it may be dry enough by now so the moisture isn't a problem.
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http://www.cdc.gov/health/mold.html
snipped-for-privacy@corasen.com wrote:

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snipped-for-privacy@corasen.com wrote:

Lift the carpet, mop, suck, ventilate, heat... anything you can to get it dry, AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.
If you get it dry fast and there's no smell of mold or mildew you're likely going to be okay. But if the dreaded odor is present, that carpet (or that part of it) is toast and I'd get it out of the house pronto.
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If you are going to do it, do it right. Remove the carpet and padding. Let it sit outside and dry. Reinstall and restretch. There is no way you can wet a product that is walked on, that pets run on, that people eliminate on, that pets eliminate on, that people spill all kinds of nasty stuff on, add water, and expect it to dry out on its own. You will have issues of smell, mold, or bacteria no matter what you do.
Choice one: replace Choice two: remove, dry, reinstall Choice three: blot with towels, wet vac, and hope for the best Choice four: do nothing
I'd call my insurance company and see if you might be able to get a break on some new carpet. If not, I'd replace it. You know what fish do in water, don't you?
Steve
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Not a personal experience but something I heard. Perhaps others can chime in. A neighbor of mine had a leak and the maintenance staff recommended pouring baking soda on the rug to act as an asorbant. Of course the advice to dry everything with towels and fans makes plenty of sense in addition to this.
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Use your shop vac. If you don't have one Sears has them on sale. Get the highest horse power they have. The vac worked for me. After vacuuming up and emptying the Vac numerous times I opened the windows and turned on some box fans to help dry it out the rest of the way.

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look at this as an opportnity.. Head down to whatever local grocery store rents out carpet cleaners, and wash your whole carpet......
-_JD

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On 20 Nov 2006 15:54:36 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@corasen.com wrote:

Wall to wall carpet is fundamentally evil anyway. And you should dispose of it given any excuse at all.
Failing that, fill the room with about 4 of those rectangular anti-moth blocks with the benzene in them, have it steam cleaned by proessionals, and then run a dehumidifier until it dries.
Then get rid of the moth/mildew tablets, on account of they cause cancer.
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