Wet wall-to-wall carpet is always an emergency situation. If wet carpet isn't dried, then it will quickly start to grow toxic black mold.
If you discovered wet carpet in your home from a roof or plumbing leak, then this is not a time to sit back and hope it dries out. Even if the carpet has been wet for a while, time is always of the essence. The longer you let the carpet stay wet, then the less chance you will have to salvage it.
To clean soaked wall-to-wall carpet, follow each of these steps:
Step 1: Contact Your Homeowner's Insurance
In many instances, household water damage is covered by homeowner's insurance. Even if you don't think your policy will cover the current problem, give them a call and find out for sure.
If your policy covers water damage and mold remediation, they will send out a cleaning service or damage contractor to dry everything out and get your home back to its pre-damage state.
Step 2: Consider Hiring a Cleaning Service to Dry and Clean the Carpet
If your insurance doesn't cover water damage of this type, then you also have the option of hiring a cleaning service yourself.
For an extensive leak or a lot of standing water, this is your best bet if you want to salvage the carpet and whatever else got wet.
Step 3: Remove as Much Water as Possible
If you are going to dry the carpet yourself, then use towels, blankets, and a shop vacuum to remove as much of the water as possible from it.
Step 4: Remove the Carpet and the Pad
Remove the carpet and pad by pulling them up off of the tack strip in a corner of the room. Be careful to avoid touching or stepping on the tack strips and roll the carpet so it's easier to take outside or to your garage to dry.
Step 5: Inspect, Treat Mold, and Clean the Carpet
Once the carpet has dried, inspect it for discoloration and mold growth.
If the carpet has discolored, then it will need to be replaced.
If the carpet has even the smallest area of mold growth, then it needs mold remediation using a cleaning solution designed specifically to kill mold and mildew without damaging carpets.
Once the carpet is free of any mold, clean the carpet using a carpet cleaner and let it dry.
Step 6: Have the Carpet Professionally Reinstalled
Finally, if the carpet survived the process and you want to put it back into your home, then the best thing you can do is to have it professionally reinstalled along with new padding.
The carpet needs to be stretched and attached back to the tack strips and this isn't a DIY job. It requires special skills and tools to do it correctly.
To learn more about carpet cleaning or mold remediation, contact a cleaning service in your area.