Ensuring Proper Carpet Drying to Avoid Mould and Mildew – Tips and Strategies

If your home has experienced flooding, a burst pipe, a leaking washing machine or some other type of liquid spill, chances are that some of your carpet will now be wet. Not only will wet carpet stain if left untreated, but it will also smell. Worst of all, mould and mildew will have a chance to take hold and proliferate. This is a real health hazard.

To avoid all of the above issues, your wet carpet needs to be dried out effectively. This article offers handy and timely tips on how to dry out your carpet and return it to a normal state.

Remove excess water immediately

Whether it’s because of a leaking pipe or floodwater, the faster you can mop up excess water, the better the results will be. Warmth, dampness and time are the factors that lead to mould growth, so to avoid that, the faster your carpets dry out, the better. Mould can grow rapidly, sometimes in as little as twenty-four hours given the right conditions.

Use towels, rags or even blankets to soak up as much water as possible. Keep repeating the process with fresh materials to get as much water out as possible. Another option is to use a wet and dry vacuum if you have one. This type of vacuum will suck up the water in rapid time, so it’s worth trying to get your hands on one, even if you have to rent one or borrow one from someone you know.

How to speed up the drying process

While step one was to remove the excess water, you won’t want to kick back and wait for your carpet to dry naturally. You really need to get it completely dry within a forty-eight-hour window. So, in order to achieve this and avoid odours and mould growth, you’ll need to do some things to accelerate the drying process.

Open the doors and windows to let in sunlight to allow the dampness in the room to escape. If the affected room has a ceiling fan, turn that on and leave it running continuously. A ceiling fan or not, put other fans in the room and direct the breeze onto the wet areas. You can even rent a high-speed drying fan if necessary. Using fans will really speed up the evaporation process.

Creating a dry environment

As water evaporates from the carpet, the air inside the room is going to become damp and humid. This damp air needs to be able to escape. Make sure doors and windows remain open as much as possible to prevent the growth of mould and mildew. This free flow of air will also help prevent bacteria growth and bad odours.

Another option is to place a dehumidifier inside the room to extract moisture from the air. This device will speed up the drying process. A dehumidifier works particularly well in rooms with no windows or little ventilation, such as a basement.

If you have air conditioning, use it to help dry out your carpet. Like a dehumidifier, air conditioners remove moisture from the air and can certainly help accelerate the drying process.

Try baking soda

Baking soda is handy for many different things, and it can also help to dry out a damp carpet and prevent mould growth. It works well to remove moisture trapped deep down in the fibres of the carpet.

Sprinkle baking soda evenly over the carpet and allow at least half an hour or more for it to seep into the fibres. After sufficient time has passed, vacuum up the baking soda and repeat the process if necessary.

Another attribute of baking soda is that it also absorbs odours, so it performs a twofold function of drying out the carpet and preventing it from becoming smelly.

Steam carpet cleaning

To ensure your carpets are properly clean and free of bacteria and odours following spills or flooding of the carpet, the use of a steam carpet cleaner is your best option. Steam cleaners make use of what’s known as “dry steam”. The reason is the steam produced contains much less moisture than what’s in the air.

As the steam heats up to 250 degrees Celsius, it activates a special detergent designed for steam carpet cleaners. The heat and detergent work together to penetrate the fibres of the carpet for deep cleaning power. This ensures every part of the carpet is thoroughly cleaned to avoid bacteria, prevent mould and mildew growth and eradicate the possibility of odours forming due to a flooded carpet. All dirt and debris trapped in the carpet is loosened, so it can be easily vacuumed up by the steam cleaning machine.

Sanitise walls and skirting boards

If the carpets were really wet, chances are the lower parts of the walls and skirting boards also were affected. These areas will need to be cleaned and sanitised to ensure mould doesn’t have a chance to get a foothold. Wipe the walls and skirting boards with soapy water, followed by a disinfectant to kill bacteria and spores. Once again, use fans, air conditioning or a dehumidifier to ensure they thoroughly dry out.

Tips for preventing carpet water damage

To avoid your carpet getting wet in the future, have all of your appliances regularly checked to ensure they are not about to spring a leak.

It’s also a good idea to periodically have a plumber come to your home to perform an inspection of the plumbing system. This mitigates the chance of a leaking or burst pipe causing water damage.

Also, make sure gutters, downpipes and all the drains around your home are free of debris so rainwater doesn’t create flooding.

Call in professional help

Boas Cleaning Services offers professional carpet steam cleaning. Don’t risk mould growth ruining your carpet. If your carpet gets wet, call us immediately, and we’ll sort it out with our powerful, state-of-the-art steam cleaning machine. Get in touch today. We’ve got you covered for all of your cleaning requirements.