What Happens When Disaster Strikes?

So you just installed new carpeting in your home.  Everyone compliments you on how great it looks.  The kids love playing on it and even the dog seems to have a new respect for you as a homeowner.  Life is perfect…right.  Well, no one planned on your toilet overflowing and flooding you entire first floor now did they?  Probably not.  One of the joys of home ownership is dealing with the occasional disaster.  Every homeowner goes through this at some point.  What is important is that you know how to handle the situation.  So first of all, lets not freak out here.   The world is not ending.

Water, although essential for living, can cause havoc on a house.  Water is supposed to stay in the sink, tub, toilet…you name it.  Water does not belong in your carpet and sub flooring.  Sure, minor spills are normally not a huge problem and can usually be taken care of with a paper towel and some time.  However, when large quantities of water are dumped onto your carpet, a chain of horrible events can occur.  First of all, depending on what level of your home the “incident” occurred on can have a large impact on how big of a problem this is going to be.  Water can travel through every floor of your house, causing damage along the way.  Carpets will be the least of your concern if every floor of your house in affected.  However, today we are talking about carpets…remember?

The first step in this process is to call your insurance company.  They can guide you in the right direction when it comes to hiring a reputable water restoration company.  That company will come to your house and evaluate the damage.  In some instances, the restoration company will be able to extract the water from your carpet and dry it out using industrial fans.  This is a best case scenario.  However, often times the water can make its way to the sub flooring and cause further issues.

A major issue with water damage is the formation of mold.  When water is present in between the carpet and the sub floor, mold is likely to form.  In cases where mold is present, the existing carpet will need to be removed and the mold will need to be removed from the remaining sub floor.  This is a lengthy and expensive process.  If only a small amount of mold is present, the restoration company may be able to simply clean the affected areas and use a dehumidifier to remove any remaining moisture from the area, including the sub floor.  Obviously, any time mold is present in carpet, the underlying pad will need to be removed as well.  Drywall may also need to be removed as it likes to absorb moisture from the wet carpet and floor.  Mold can easily form on drywall as well.

Once drywall, carpet, carpet padding, and the sub floor has been restored, it is often a good idea to have your carpets professionally cleaned by a reputable carpet cleaning service.  Of course if your carpet had to be removed, then yes…back to the carpet store to purchase more carpet and pad.  Fortunately, many home owner insurance policies cover water damage, so they may cover the entire tab.  Wouldn’t that be nice!


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