Please please help with c

M > I am a rookie... Had a little flood in the basement and the areas M > which were 'wet' are now discolored... With respect to the M > professional carpet cleaners out there, do the sub-$300 consumer M > steamers do as good a job? I don't even know why the carpet is M > discolored as it seems it was just water... thanks all!
I would try wetting/lightly soaking the carpet a little to see of the stained areas will blend in. Use a good quality carpet shampooer and shampoo to clean all of the carpet and extract as much water as possible. (I've had pretty good luck with an upper-line Hoover carpet cleaners and Sears shampoo -- think it's the one with the red label.)
As far as the carpet being 'toast' -- maybe. We have some older but good quality carpet in the basement, installed by a previous owner. The basement usually leaks in the spring when the water table rises, giving a soaking to the carpet. We extract the water (wet-dry vac with built-in pump to empty the water through a hose), run fans and dehums, and put the place back together. No idea what's under the carpet (it's not a foam pad) but doesn't stink.
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