Water certainly isn't a carpet's best friend. Water damage to your carpet can be a danger to the health of everyone in the house or place of business. Before you decide if the carpet is salvageable you must first determine where the water came from so that you can evaluate whether the effort to restore it is really worth it.
If your carpet has been damaged by what the industry calls black water, this contains contaminants and untreated waste water, the carpet can't be salvaged and you must, for health purposes, dispose of the carpet in a safe manner. If it was ruined by black water it probably now contains viruses and bacteria that you don't want to be exposed to.
So, carpet water damage restoration should only take place when the damage has been caused by clean water. It is also safe to restore the carpet if it is damaged by gray water, which includes dish water, washing machine water or even toilet overflow water. In all cases the padding should be replaced and the old padding discarded.
What is important for restoration is to address the issue in a timely manner; as a wet carpet that remains wet for 12 hours or more can start to grow mold and cause serious health problems. If there's one cost you don't want to address it's the removal of mold from your home.
So to restore your carpet you should follow some basic steps in order to do it right. Of course, the first step is to eliminate the source of the water by fixing the leak or shutting off the source. Always determine whether restoration is feasible first with water damage to the carpet. Don't waste your time and risk health issues if it is not even a salvageable carpet.
Next, you have to move the carpet away from the floor. Lift it up and, if possible, take it into the garage or outside; then tear the padding up and dispose of it in a safe manner. Keep the carpet elevated so that the air can circulate around it. While it is elevated start the cleanup of any remaining water in the room where the carpet came from; you don't want any standing water there.
Whenever possible use fans and air conditioners to circulate the air faster and help speed up the drying process. After about ten to twelve hours the carpet should be ready to lay flat again. Once you lay it flat keep the air circulating and if you have a dehumidifier turn it on.
Remember to never attempt to salvage a carpet that has been damaged by seriously contaminated water. If you do this you risk serious health problems for you and your family. Doing it right by following the steps above will save you a lot of heartache and money in the long run. Water damage to a carpet can be costly if not done properly.