Carpet Cleaning After Water Damage

When water damage strikes, the last thing you are probably thinking about is cleaning the carpet. You just want to get it dried as quickly as possible. After it has dried though, you are left with a bit of a mess. Cleaning your carpet after a water damage situation does pose some unique challenges. You have to deal with furniture stains from varnish and rust, water marks, mildew and even possible odor problems. This article will help you understand what must be done to correct these problems.

Furniture Stains

Furniture stains occur when furniture is left on a wet carpet. There are two main types of furniture stains that can occur, varnish and rust.
Varnish Stains
When it gets wet, some types of varnish can transfer to the carpet. This is most common with older antique furniture and seems to occur more with cherry finishes. This is not a stain that you want to attempt to clean yourself but is one that a professional can typically handle. To remove a furniture stain your carpet cleaner will use a chemical such as Stain Magic. This is a two part chemical that is mixed and then applied to a spot. Heat from an iron or steamer is then applied to speed up the reaction of the chemical. Success rates are around 75% with this process.
Rust Stains
Rust stains need to be treated with a strong acid. Mild rust stains can often be addressed with a solution of water and white distilled vinegar (1 part vinegar to 3 parts water) but heavier stains need a professional strength acid followed by a rinse. Success rates are around 90% with this process.

Water Marks

Water marks are often left at the edge of your water damage on the carpet. They will typically come out with a normal cleaning. If a normal steam cleaning does not remove the stains, an application of citric acid can do the trick. The citric acid is applied and allowed to dwell for a few minutes before being rinsed with a truck mounted steam cleaning machine. Acetic acid also works well for lesser stains.

Mildew & Odor

Mildew occurs if the water damage situation was not taken care of properly. If it was not dried in a professional manner, mildew can grow. The best way to deal with this is to prevent it in the first place by hiring a professional restoration service to remedy your water damage. If it is too late for this, you should have a carpet cleaner clean the carpet, spray the carpet with a mildew treatment and, if necessary, replace the padding.
Odor can be a problem with water damage situations but are easily fixed. In most cases, a basic carpet cleaning will do the trick. In more severe cases, an application of a powerful deodorizer or pad replacement will be in order.

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