Carpet Water Damage, Sanitary and Unsanitary Flooding #flood #damage, #water #damage, #flood


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Carpet Water Damage

This section of the carpetbuyershandbook.com examines flood damaged carpet, water intrusion, flood classification, carpet warranty, sanitary flooding, unsanitary flooding, black water, home owners insurance, carpet cushion (carpet padding), padding, flooding types, and carpeting restoration.

Carpet Water Damage

Water intrusion affecting carpet and other floor coverings is among the most difficult situations faced by a homeowner or building manager. There is no standard procedure for dealing with every flooding situation. Each crisis must be evaluated on a case by case basis. Every flooding situation will have its own distinguishing problems. There are a number of standard questions that must be addressed in evaluating the proper protocol for returning the carpet to its pre-flood status. The primary question that must be addressed is the type of flooding that has occurred, sanitary, unsanitary, or black water.

Sanitary Flooding

The carpet must be treated with a disinfectant following extraction of excess water. Most homeowners insist that the carpet should be replaced in all flooding situations but this is usually not necessary in the case of sanitary flooding. A few simple guidelines may be followed to insure the carpet can be returned to pre-flood conditions.

  1. Traffic on the wet carpet should be kept to a minimum until the carpet is completely dry. The latex that holds the primary and secondary backings together is weakened when wet. Excessive traffic on the carpet may cause delamination. The latex should regain most of its strength after drying.
  2. Action should be taken immediately to shut-off and control the source of the water. It may be necessary to punch small holes in the drywall to release any standing water that has accumulated within the walls. It is impractical to begin restoration efforts prior to identification and elimination of the water source.
  3. Quickly remove any furnishings that may stain or damage the carpet.
  4. Immediately contact a professional restoration technician to perform the work.
  5. Extraction of excess water should begin immediately and the carpet should be completely dry within 12 hours following intervention. Failure to follow these recommendations may allow for the development of several types of bacteria and fungi that may negatively affect human health. To reduce the possibility of this occurrence, the application of a disinfectant to the face fiber is recommended. Many of these treatments will destroy stain resist treatments.
  6. To expedite drying, the carpet should be removed from the tack strip and the carpet padding (carpet cushion) always should be discarded. Carpet should be elevated and fans should be utilized to speed drying time. In circumstances where high humidity may delay drying time, dehumidifiers should be secured to assist in drying out the environment.

Unsanitary Flooding

If the water can be identified as unsanitary, there are few safe options. Anytime the water intrusion is a result of water with some degree of contamination, the water source can be classified as unsanitary. Examples of unsanitary water intrusion include dishwasher overflows, toilet overflows with urine present, punctured water beds, or other water sources that may contain biopollutant contamination. It is recommended the carpet be discarded due to bacterial concerns. If the decision is made to restore the carpet, disinfectants must be used to protect human health. In situations associated with unsanitary water intrusion, the primary concern should be protecting public health. The classification of unsanitary water versus black water contamination is dependent upon time. Unsanitary water that is left untreated for significant periods can change from unsanitary to black.

In dealing with unsanitary water sources, you must always assume there is a significant threat to human health. Rubber gloves, boots, goggles, and other protective clothing should be used. Anyone with cuts or open sores should avoid contact with the flood waters.

Black Water

Black water can be described as any water that contains raw sewage. Sea water and any water that comes in contact with the ground may also be classified as black water. Black water is considered highly unsanitary. This type of flooding can produce serious health effects. When black water is involved in flooding situations the facility must be evacuated to protect public health. All floor covering materials must be discarded and other surfaces should be carefully evaluated. It is recommended that all porous surfaces are removed and discarded. The facility should be evacuated by inhabitants until the environment can be returned to pre-flood conditions. Worker safety precautions similar to those utilized in dealing with unsanitary water should be used for black water.

Carpet Warranty

Regardless of the flooding type, all carpet manufacturers typically void any existing warranty (see carpet warranty) that may have been in effect at the time of the flood. While many insurance companies insist that carpet performance is unaffected by flood damage, this is not always the case. The lamination strength of the synthetic latex is usually weakened by excessive moisture and may affect long term carpet performance.

If you are a water damage restorer and want to be listed in our no-charge water damage restorer directory, please follow this link to our water damage restorer enrollment .

Guidelines for Response to Clean Water Damage within 24-48 Hours to Prevent Mold Growth*

  • For non-valuable items, discard books and papers.
  • Photocopy valuable/important items, discard originals.
  • Freeze (in frost-free freezer or meat locker) or freeze-dry.

Carpet and backing – dry within 24-48 hours§

  • Remove water with water extraction vacuum.
  • Reduce ambient humidity levels with dehumidifier.
  • Accelerate drying process with fans.

Concrete or cinder block surfaces

  • Remove water with water extraction vacuum.
  • Accelerate drying process with dehumidifiers, fans, and/or heaters.

Hard surface, porous flooring§ (Linoleum, ceramic tile, vinyl)

  • Vacuum or damp wipe with water and mild detergent and allow to dry; scrub if necessary.
  • Check to make sure underflooring is dry; dry underflooring if necessary.

Non-porous, hard surfaces (Plastics, metals)

  • Vacuum or damp wipe with water and mild detergent and allow to dry; scrub if necessary.
  • Remove water with water extraction vacuum.
  • Accelerate drying process with dehumidifiers, fans, and/or heaters.
  • May be difficult to completely dry within 48 hours. If the piece is valuable, you may wish to consult a restoration/water damage professional who specializes in furniture.

Wallboard (Drywall and gypsum board)

  • May be dried in place if there is no obvious swelling and the seams are intact. If not, remove, discard, and replace.
  • Ventilate the wall cavity, if possible.
  • Follow laundering or cleaning instructions recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Remove moisture immediately and use dehumidifiers, gentle heat, and fans for drying. (Use caution when applying heat to hardwood floors.)
  • Treated or finished wood surfaces may be cleaned with mild detergent and clean water and allowed to dry.
  • Wet paneling should be pried away from wall for drying.

* If mold growth has occurred or materials have been wet for more than 48 hours, consult Table 2 guidelines. Even if materials are dried within 48 hours, mold growth may have occurred. Items may be tested by professionals if there is doubt. Note that mold growth will not always occur after 48 hours; this is only a guideline.

These guidelines are for damage caused by clean water. If you know or suspect that the water source is contaminated with sewage, or chemical or biological pollutants, then Personal Protective Equipment and containment are required by OSHA. An experienced professional should be consulted if you and/or your remediators do not have expertise remediating in contaminated water situations. Do not use fans before determining that the water is clean or sanitary.

† If a particular item(s) has high monetary or sentimental value, you may wish to consult a restoration/water damage specialist.

§ The subfloor under the carpet or other flooring material must also be cleaned and dried. See the appropriate section of this table for recommended actions depending on the composition of the subfloor.

Did you know?

Carpet water damage can be one of the frustrating occurrences for any homeowner. In most case, the insurance provider will choose to restore the flood damaged carpet, but the carpet manufacturer will void all carpet warranty following flood damage.


Basement Flooding #basement #flooding, #basement #flood #cleanup, #water #damage #restoration


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How to Clean Up (and Forget the Nightmare) of Basement Flooding

Act fast to reduce repair costs. The longer your basement sits in water, the more it’s going to cost to clean up.

You can clean up some of the icky mess yourself to save money, but a pro is much nicer on your back (and your nose).

Just because you have home insurance doesn’t mean you’re covered. Best to check before a flood happens.

Rain, rain, go away. And sewage backups. And burst pipes. All y’all can GO. AWAY. Especially if they turn your wet bar into a soakingwet bar and your ping-pong table into an island.

Every homeowner with a basement imagines that horror. If it should happen to you, don’t retreat into a fetal position on your couch and hope for a miracle, no matter how much you want to. You can deal with the soggy disaster. Here’s how.

4 Things to Do Right Away

Don’t wait until you’ve reached the fifth stage of grief before addressing a flood. Fast action can minimize a rising, rank situation — and the money it’ll cost to repair.

1. The first thing to do is really a “don’t,” says Glenn Gallas, vice president of operations at Mr. Rooter Plumbing. Don’t ever, ever step into standing basement water. “You could be shocked or electrocuted,” he says. Who wants to venture into that murky mess, anyway? Turn the power off or call an electrician to be safe.

2. Then stop the flow of water. How you do that depends on what the source is:

Broken or malfunctioning pipes

Turn off your water’s shut-off valve. If you don’t know where that is, scope it out now — before the worst happens. Some valves are buried in the ground and require special tools to turn off.

Stop flushing toilets and running faucets. Your local sewage authority may offer pumping services or let you submit a reimbursement claim. If you have a septic system, though, it’s on you. Call the septic company to have your tank pumped ASAP.

Sorry, that’s bad news. You can’t turn off Mother Nature. The good news: Groundwater flooding might not stink as badly as sewage. Get references for a waterproofing pro or a structural engineer because you could have a foundation problem.

Groundwater was the culprit for Nancy Friedman and her husband when their St. Louis home flooded back in 2014. They knew they had a tiny wet spot in their basement, but “I didn’t think too much of it,” Nancy Friedman says. “Going downstairs is not an everyday occurrence for us,” she says, especially since they both travel a lot.

That tiny wet spot soon became a full-on flood in their basement, causing thousands of dollars in carpet damage – not to mention the cost to repair the structural issue that allowed water to seep in in the first place.

3. Find a plumber withahigh-capacity pump. This is not a job for a DIYer. It needs to get done fast. You need a professional-grade pump. “The longer that water sits, and the longer your drywall spends under water, the more long-term damage,” Gallas says. The more damage, the more it costs to clean up.

4. Make your smartphone earn its keep. Take photos and video. then back them up in the cloud, so you’ll have them for insurance purposes.

Spend Oh-So-Wisely on a Kitchen Remodel

DIY Some of the Cleanup to Save Money

Once the water is pumped out, the rest can be a DIY job. Just make sure to protect yourself with:

  • Gloves
  • Rubber boots
  • Eye protection
  • A mask (especially if you’re dealing with a sewage backup)
  • A nose plug if the smell is really bad

Then suck up the remaining muck with a wet-dry vac. You’ll also need an army’s worth of paper towels and plastic bags to dispose of the mess.

Unfortunately, you’ll have to say goodbye to all rugs, carpets, and upholstery, which will soak up floodwater contaminants and bacteria, regardless of the flood source. (Seriously sentimental items might be restorable by a professional, but don’t get your hopes too high.) That’s what happened to Friedman. “The first thing we had to do was pull up the carpet.”

Other restoration steps:

  • Open all windows and doors, and run large fans and dehumidifiers.
  • Scrub water-contaminated walls, floors, cabinetry, or hardware with a soapy solution. Ventilate again.
  • Make a bactericide by adding 1.5 cups of DIY Tip Bleach doesn’t kill mold and mildew. It kills the bacteria that they feed on, but doesn’t destroy the nasty fungi itself. Use soap to zap it. bleach and a few drops of liquid soap to a gallon of water. Spray on the walls; let air dry.

But Don’t Feel Like a Wimp if You Want to Hire a Pro

In fact, both Gallas and Friedman recommend hiring a restoration service, as long as the company you hire is trustworthy and affordable. A small flood might cost as little as $500 to pump out and dry, but a large flood can cost up to $10,000.

“There’s a lot of companies out there that put a guy in a truck and think a high-powered fan is good enough to dry a basement,” Gallas says. Improper technique, like not allowing the home to dry for long enough or failing to properly treat drywall, puts your home at risk for mold or mildew in addition to the flooding damage.

So just be sure to do your homework on who you hire.

Don’t Assume Insurance Will Cover Your Repairs

Friedman’s first call when her basement flooded was to her insurance company. “They told me, ‘You don’t have flood insurance,’” Friedman says. “I thought everybody had flood insurance!”

Standard home insurance often doesn’t cover all types of floods, especially groundwater.

“If I could do a speech on floods, it would be: Do you know this very moment, for sure, if you have flood insurance ?” Friedman says. “Call your insurance agent right now and ask.”

But the best scenario is no flood at all.

5 Things To Do So You’ll Never, Ever Flood Again

  1. Install a leak detector and high-water alarm. These small devices notify you before a small leak becomes a disaster, either via an audible alarm or a text message.
  2. Insulate your pipes. Thawing pipes are one of the leading causes of basement flooding.
  3. Maintain your backwater valve. It prevents sewage from seeping from the septic or sewer system to your home.
  4. Consider a sump pump. Every basement should have one of these flooding saviors. “I think sump pumps should be wedding gifts,” Friedman says.
  5. Flush and dump with caution. Dumping anything besides waste and toilet paper down your toilet or drains is a big no-no — from tampons to grease. These clog the system, causing backups.

Water Damage, Fire Damage, Mold Restoration Services #water #damage, #restoration, #cleanup, #flooding,


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When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals respond immediately and use advanced equipment and techniques to remove the water quickly. They closely monitor and document the drying process to verify your property is dried properly and thoroughly.

Please refer to our Water Damage Tips – Until Help Arrives Guide and follow these tips to protect yourself and your property.

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Why Choose a SERVPRO Franchise Professional?

They’re Faster to Any Size Disaster

SERVPRO Franchise Professionals are dedicated to responding immediately to water emergencies. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces cost.

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SERVPRO Franchise Professionals specialize in water damage restoration, the cornerstone of our business. They have extensive water damage restoration training with an emphasis on monitoring and documenting the drying process until completion.

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Their advanced equipment helps to detect hidden moisture, extract the standing water quickly, and thoroughly clean and dry your home and belongings. They finish the job with professional deodorization and sanitizing agents for your comfort and safety.

The Water Damage Restoration Process

Every water damage situation is a little different, and requires a unique solution, but the general process stays the same. The steps listed below illustrate our process for the “typical” water damage emergency.

Common Water Damage Scenarios

Water damage can have many sources, from loose appliance hoses to natural disasters. Regardless of the source, SERVPRO Franchise Professionals can handle any size disaster.

  • Flooding and storm damage
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  • Overflowing toilets, bathtubs, and sinks
  • Flooded basements
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  • Flooding from firefighting efforts

Until Help Arrives

Your primary focus should be safety, be especially careful of electrical and “slip and fall” hazards.


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