Rescuing Your Wet Carpet and Drywall
Whether it’s caused by a broken pipe, storm, or septic overflow, water damage of any kind can cause a great deal of stress. Fortunately, the severity of the disaster will determine the severity of damage done. Smaller floods made by leaking faucets may leave less damage, whereas larger ones made by burst pipes or storms can be more destructive.
Regardless of the flood’s cause or size, there is sure to be some amount of damage done to your home. You may be able to save some drywall and flooring by bringing in professional water cleanup and restoration services as soon as possible. Unfortunately, others may be beyond repair and/or create a hazardous environment if the affected areas weren’t adequately cleaned and restored right away.
To learn how to choose between restoration and replacement, let’s take a look at how and when to repair your carpet and drywall after suffering water damage.
What Happens When Carpet Gets Wet?
Spilling a glass of water on your carpet and letting it set is one thing. Letting water sit after a flood is another. If you fail to remove the water from the carpet promptly, then you’re putting yourself and your carpet at risk of further damage. This includes, but isn’t limited to, mold exposure and damage to the carpet padding.
Depending on how long the water is left for plays into the amount of damage. The longer the water sits, the more mold, bacteria, and structural damage can be done to your home. The sooner you’re able to intervene to stop the water damage, prevent it from spreading, and begin drying and addressing the damage, the better.
Should Wet Carpet Get Replaced?
In some instances, your carpet can be saved. If your carpet was minimally damaged by clean, clear water — like from a water spill or faucet leak — and can be thoroughly dried, then chances are it can be saved.
However, carpeting that has suffered more severe water damage will need to be replaced. Signs your carpet needs to be replaced after a flood includes:
- Damaged carpet padding and/or subflooring;
- Lingering stench;
- Signs of mold and mildew;
- Significant stains.
You can always speak to a restoration professional to get a second opinion on whether or not your carpet should be replaced.
What Happens When Drywall Gets Wet?
Unfortunately, some people are all too familiar with dealing with damaged drywall as a result of water damage. No matter if it’s a result of a flood, burst pipe, or storm, wet drywall can be a hassle to tend to if left for too long.
Even areas with high humidity levels like Florida and Louisiana are all too familiar with drywall damage due to an abundance of moisture.
Similar to a water-damaged carpet, water-damaged drywall must be treated right away. If left without being repaired, chances of mold, mildew and structural damage will increase. Signs of water damage in drywall include:
- Flaking/peeling paint;
- Musty smell;
- Soft spots;
- Water stains.
Be sure to contact your local water cleanup and restoration company if you see any of the above signs in your home.
Should Wet Drywall Get Replaced?
If your drywall only has a few stains, then you should be able to remove the damaged areas, paint over them, and keep the structural integrity. If it received more intense damage like warping or molding, then it will need to be replaced as soon as possible. The damage will only get worse if left unattended for too long.
You do not have to replace the entire drywall if it isn’t all damaged; rather, you only have to replace the affected areas. An example of this is flood cuts — cuts that are made removing the drywall up to a certain height where the flood water damage has occurred, to strategically expose the material and allow it to dry without destroying the entire area.
How To Dry Out Wet Carpet
For the carpet that you were able to salvage, it is crucial to ensure it is completely dry before reinstalling it. Listed below are a few tips and tricks on how to dry out wet carpet:
- Extract the water completely;
- Pat-dry the area(s) with a towel;
- Air-dry the carpet;
- Dry the carpet using fans and dehumidifiers;
- Check the carpet padding for damage — replace as necessary.
It is crucial to ensure your carpet is 100% dry before reinstallment. Failure to do so can result in mold or mildew.
How to Dry Out Wet Drywall
One of the first things to do when drying out your drywall is to remove any moisture from the surface using an absorbent towel. From there, you will want to assess whether or not it is salvageable or needs to be repaired.
If no repairs are necessary, then you may want to consider the following tips on how to dry out wet drywall on your own:
- Invest in a dehumidifier or dehumidifying services;
- Open up windows and doors for a natural, recurring breeze;
- Point fans at the wet spot;
- Remove baseboards, wallpaper, and wall molding to prevent moisture build-up.
Remember, your walls must be completely dry before resetting and painting.
Getting Professional Help
For those tough cases where the water damage is just too much, don’t be afraid to throw in the towel and seek out professional help. As soon as you recognize a burst pipe or other water damage, call in local experts in water damage restoration and mold remediation who have a trained eye that allows them to identify signs of water damage and mold, repair any damage, and prevent water damage from happening in the future.