We've recently decided to go with carpet in our finished basement. A
couple weeks ago we had record rains (in RI) and some water got into
the basement and the puddle spread from the unfinished portion of the
basement into about half of the finished portion, soaking half of the
carpet/pad. We've ripped out the old carpet and are ready to put down
new flooring. I've priced out acid staining the cement and got
estimates of $8 sqft, which is a LOT more than we want to spend (we
have 750sqft). We also would prefer some kind of carpeting anyhow
(warmth). I THINK I got the sources of the water, (the fireplace
cleanout appeard to bring in about 80% of the water, upon inspection
the flue was wide open during the storm D'OH!!!), plus we're installing
chimney caps as well, and a little came in from the seal between an
old unused drywell pipe and the foundation. I cut back the old damaged
seal and replaced with liberal amount of hydraulic cement. We've since
gotten a couple sizable rain storms and no water came in. Of course
there's no way to test the fixes, but fingers crossed , we got it.
I've looked into indoor outdoor carpet but everywhere I've gone, I get
weird looks from the salesperson about putting it in finished basement.
Plus, when they do show indoor/outdoor it either looks like colored
astroturf (ie platicy/shiney/rough) or like the very flat carpet one
would find in an office. My friend insists his parents condo (which
also took in water) had indoor outdoor that looks just like berber, and
was simply towel dried and fine just days later. Does this exist?
Does carpet NEED padding (I know it would be less comfortable)? I'm
just a bit gun shy to put this money into new carpet in the off shot
this would ever happen again. I'm trying to find a carpet solution
that doesn't look like astroturf, is inexpensive, and would have a
chance in the event of water (ie can be dried out with wet/dry vac, or
something similar. Any suggestions?
I have carpet in my basement, and it has gotten really wet a few times from
plumbing problems. Each time I have simply dryed it with fans. It got
water spotted, but nothing I couldn't live with in the basement.
Today (see the post above yours) I am ripping some of it out because I am
changing the layout of my basement. The part I am ripping out is that which
got the worst water damage. It is fine, as is the padding below it. I
don't know what is is because I wasn't there 23 years ago, but carpeting and
padding that can survive being wet certainly exists. (I was worried about
mold, but one kid has asthma and the other allergies and neither is
I've got the perfect solution for you: Legato carpet panels by
Milliken, available at Home Depot. They can be pulled up easily in an
emergency to dry them, keep them dry or individually replace them.
They have their own built-in carpet pad, no adhesive (just a post-it
like tackiness), no tack strips, and they don't show any seams.
--On Thursday, October 27, 2005 7:38 AM -0700 grodenhiATgmailDOTcom
What we are doing is painting the concrete and using a remnant from the
carpet store that we had bound, with padding underneath. That way we can
roll it up and move it. Ours is 12x14, but I've seen them up to about
I've looked at and priced the Legato system, it's about 50-60% more
than the basic wall-to-wall carpet we're pricing now. I'm ideally
looking for a wall-to-wall that would be able to be dried from the
surface (vac or heat) without having to pull carpet or pad. But the
ability to pull and either dry/replace a Legato might be worth it.
Have you ever seen it in real world use? How does it look after a few
months/years? Just wondering. My room is a large L shape, with the
foot of the L split between two rooms with a french door, so I think
painting the fllor and putting down area rugs might look too
unfinished. There is also a boxed in pole in the middle of one area.
had this just simply been a square room, then the paint/area rug idea
would be great. Whi
The nice thing about Legato is that you don't have to pay for delivery
or installation. Plus, if a panel gets stained or damaged, you don't
have to replace the whole carpet; just replace one panel or switch it
with another panel under a bed or couch.
I have it in two rooms and it is beautiful and still looks brand new
after two years. When I get around to redoing one of my basement
rooms, I'll use it there too. The extra material cost is easily made
up for in other ways.
We have an area about 6'x7' outside the front door with indoor/outdoor
from HD. I believe it was about $6/running foot, but don't recall.
Roughly 4years old and put down to cover stained concrete. Got the wipe
off mat on top of it. It is outdoors but sheltered in an open atrium so
doesn't get wet from rain. It is low loop pile, taupe color. Doesn't
seem to accumulate soil and I vacuum it once in a while. If I was
carpeting a basement, it would be my choice. I would not put a pad down
or use expensive carpet with chance of flooding. We had a minor flood
when our washer hose broke and saturated about half of a good oriental
rug. Rented a powerful wetvac, got all the water we could, then ran a
fan. We did have the wet part of the rug suppoted off the floor for air
circ, and it was dry within 24 hours. I don't care for Berber because
if it snags, a long defect can show up from the pulled thread. The
wetvac we used was like using a squeegee on the bare kitchen floor, and
saved our new kitchen from water damage. The oriental was in dining
room, with fairly new tile floor. I caulked around baseboards after
tile was down to keep mop water from damaging baseboards and causing
paint to peel - I am glad I had done that, as it helped to contain our
I'm an engineer for the world's largest carpet manufacturer. I can tell you
that if conventional carpet gets wet and stays wet for any length of time,
the latex that binds the carpet together will A) lose its strength and B)
mildew. If you have an installation where the carpet is likely to get wet,
you would do well to select another type of flooring.
On the other hand, if you think you've eliminated the probability of the
floor getting wet, you'll be happy with carpet. That said, if your carpet
does get wet, you should rent a carpet cleaner, and run the cleaner (without
adding any water or soap) to extract as much of the water as possible. After
that, you need to do everything you can to air dry the carpet ASAP - fans,
HVAC, space heaters, etc.
As far as Legato goes, it is sold by a competitor. We've looked at
manufacturing similar products, but the margins are so bad (at least for the
manufacturer) that we have avoided that market segment so far. However, if
you like its appearance, Legato might be the product for you. I will add
that one of the claimed advantages of carpet tiles (the ability to replace
one tile if it gets ruined) really doesn't work that well in practice. As
soon as the floor has any wear or dirt on it, a replacement tile will stand
I THINK we have mitigated the problem, but never say never. We have
currently set up a preliminary price quote measurement for a short
synthetic carpet, that be be able to dried quicker in the event
something happens again. I'm also considering to go with
indoor/outdoor or industrial (like what you'd find in an office
building) carpeting instead. This I believe has a rubber backing, no
padding, and can be dried (via vac or heat) with far less risk to
damage/mildew than standard carpet. While these alternatives would be
less comfortable, I think they would hold up the best and be the least
expensive (and still look somewhat decent). I may just be acting too
cautiously as 80% of the water came in as a result of an open fireplace
flue (dumb dumb dumb). The storm that created it was also one of those
that caused tons of flooded basements where owners swear they'e never
had water in 20 years (RI).
Virtually all of today's carpet is synthetic with either Nylon, Polyester,
or Polypropylene face fiber and woven polypropylene backings. It is the
latex (which binds everything together) that degrades in moisture. Also,
wet carpet can mildew, but that's just because the water provides a growth
medium for mold.
Commercial carpet is no different. Most (not all) of the products that have
built-in pad use latex as a binding agent.
If you're still worried about water, there are products out there with blown
foam backings which don't have latex as a binder. A good dealer will be able
to find you residential and/or commercial products with that kind of
backing. The local big box store won't be much help, I'm afraid...
I'm also considering to go with
What if I went with an industrial glue down carpet with no padding
(like you'd see in an office or retail store)? I know this would not
be as comfortable as padded carpet, but this is simply used as a game
room, office, and home theater. From what I've read online this would
hold up to water, especially if done over with a wet/dry vac
afterwards. I also believe these have a rubber backing. I'm really
looking to get something that will look better than cement, be cheaper
than tile, and hold up in the off chance of water.
I work in our commercial division. The carpet we make is essentially the
same as residential carpet, except the pile is lower and denser and we use
latex adhesive that has more adhesive and less filler. Get it wet and the
latex still loses strength.
99% of the products don't have a rubber backing, but a good dealer will be
able to source foam (what you're calling rubber) backed carpet for you.
Again, specify that it can't have any latex adhesive if water is your
concern. Personally, I hate using a glue down installation in a residential
application. It makes a mess, and pretty much drives you towards a glue down
installation the next time and the time after that and the time after that.
Any kind of barrier on the carpet back, it seems to me, would block
normal evaporation from the concrete floor. A foam backing or pad would
absorb moisture and dry more slowly, no? Water seeping/running
underneath a carpet with backing would not be removeable with wet vac.
NOT glue down- that stuff rots, and leaves a black powdery residue that is
hell to clean up when you or next owner tires of it. This place had that in
furnace room that previous owner used as his gun room. (Guns in a damp
basement- real bright.) I have been procrastinating the hours with a scraper
and dust mask and shop vac getting the crap up.
What I would recommend are the commercial carpet squares, about 2x2 IIRC,
with a tacky backing. Laid carefully on a clean surface, they do not move
around, but are easy and quick to pull up if there is a flood or one gets
damaged, or if you want to rotate them to hide traffic wear patterns. You
can often buy used ones dirt cheap at auctions- 50 bucks for a pallet load
pulled up at lease end for redecorating. Some damaged ones in the pile,
sure, but cheap enough so you can buy a pile and cull the bad into the
dumpster as you load them in your truck.
Other cheap alternative would be textured floor paint. (cheap being
relative, of course.)
Hmmmm. Most finished basements I've seen have a vert short un padded
carpet down (much like you'd see in an office). These have received
water several times over the years and the only thing the owners did
was wet/dry vac and everyything appeared fine. I asked them what they
used and same have said commercial and some have said indoor/outdoor.
I've got to think indoor outdoor that looks like commercial (and not
astroturf) exists. This MUST hold up to water, as it can and is used
outdoors. While I know having any water is not ideal, if I pick a
solution without a pad, it looks like I'll be able to salvage the
flooring if this does happen again. The original carpet was never
submergered in water, it was more like a puddle in the unfinished
portion of the basement spead to the carpet in the finished part, which
then absorbed it like a sponge. I never had puddles (the carpet was
never submerger, more just soaked), don't know if that will damage less
than submersion (although I guess soaked is soaked). This could all be
moot as I'm fairly confident I got the source, I just want to take some
steps now in the chance it happens again.
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