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Do You Need to Replace Carpets After Water Damage?

Carpet is a warm and cozy flooring that feels wonderful underfoot. However, it’s vulnerable to water damage, which can spell serious issues for you and your family if not taken care away of right away. Wet carpet can harbor mold and bacteria, leading to respiratory issues; excess water can also leak down into the subfloor and cause structural damage.

If you’re wondering whether you should always replace water damaged carpeting, you’ve come to the right place! Today, we’ll discuss whether you can fix a water damaged carpet, as well as what TN Flood Kings can do to help if you find yourself with a flooded carpet in the greater Nashville area.

Causes of Wet Carpets

As with other water damage throughout the home, you may find yourself with wet carpets due to a variety of reasons. However, these are the most common reasons why customers call TN Flood Kings for help with their Tennessee carpets.

Burst pipes: A broken pipe can cause widespread damage throughout the home, including to a home’s carpeting.

Plumbing leaks: A water leak is a more insidious problem than a burst pipe, often not being discovered for days or weeks. This encourages mildew growth and major structural damage to the affected area.

Flooding: Flooding is quite common near the Cumberland River, and it is, unfortunately, growing in frequency. Homeowners near the shores of the river might find drenched carpeting in their finished basements during flood cleanup.

Pet stains: If your dog or cat starts using the carpet as their potty patch, it can soak into the carpet padding and cause tenacious smells. You have to address this immediately for several reasons: first, urine is not a sterile substance, and it will encourage mold; and if you don’t catch your pet in the act, they will repeatedly urinate in that area, leading to further damage.

Major spills: A dropped drink might not seem major, but if it’s not cleaned up quickly, it can cause mold growth, as the microbes love the sugar.

Sewage overflow: This is common on lower levels, such as sewage in finished basements, and it must always be handled by sewage cleanup professionals because of the serious health risks.

What Are the Risks of Water Damaged Carpet?

Mold and Respiratory Illness

Mold and mildew love excess water, and they also like dark, humid areas like carpet padding. When wet, your carpets can become a breeding ground for mold spores, which will lead to health problems for vulnerable people.

Subfloor Damage

Structural damage is unfortunately common when it comes to wet carpet that wasn’t caught right away. As the water soaks through the flooring layers, it can start to degrade the subfloor, which can cause damage to the home’s framework and require serious remediation.

When To Replace Water Damaged Carpets

The good news is that it’s not always necessary to replace carpets that have gotten wet. However, if any of these circumstances apply, you should remove the wet carpet and hire a water damage restoration company for help.

The 72-Hour Rule

A quick rule of thumb is that if the carpet has been wet for more than 72 hours, you will need a full replacement of the damaged area, and you will also need TN Flood Kings for mold remediation. This is because mold will begin growing in 72 hours or less.

Soaked Carpet Padding

If you have underlying padding that has also gotten wet, it needs to be replaced, as it’s nearly impossible to get all the water out.

Contaminated Water

If you simply dropped a glass of water on the carpet and started drying it right away, you shouldn’t have any problems. However, if you’re dealing with standing water from a flood or sewage lines, you need to replace the water damaged carpet, as it has contaminants that could make you sick. There’s also a greater risk of mold infestation because of the pollutants.

Should You Hire a Water Damage Restoration Company for Water Damaged Carpets?

Many homeowners want to handle wet carpet on their own, but it’s not always the best idea. Water extraction from carpets requires professional equipment, as the excess water penetrates deep into the fabric; not getting all the water out can lead to a mold infestation and water damage to other areas, including structural elements of the home.

It’s also essential to test for mold growth and start mold remediation as soon as possible to protect your health.

For anything related to flooding, you should always allow professionals to handle this, as unclean water is very dangerous.

TN Flood Kings has a wealth of experience with water damage restoration, including restoring carpets that were damaged due to flooding. We offer free estimates so that you can make the final decision on whether it’s safer and more economical to get professional help; we’ll also bill your insurance directly for damage covered by your homeowners insurance.

How to Fix Water Damaged Carpet

When it comes to carpets, it’s essential that you remove excess water as quickly and efficiently as possible. While you will likely need professional support, following these four steps can mitigate the water damage.

Use a Wet/Dry Vac or Water Extractor

Tempting as it is to just use your normal vacuum, this won’t get to the water deep below the surface, and it may actually damage your vacuum in the process. You need a shop vacuum, which you can purchase or rent from a home improvement store. You can also rent a small-scale water extractor or contact a water extraction service to take advantage of there professional-grade equipment.

Dehumidify and Ventilate the Space

Get as much cross ventilation as possible. Open windows and set up fans facing the floor to help dry the carpet.


This is especially important if your pet urinated on the carpet; you need enzymatic cleaners that will break down the scent markers in the urine and discourage your dog or cat from doing it again.

Check Every Layer of Carpeting

You will need to pull up the carpet and check below it to see if the padding is wet and crumbly; if so, it needs to be replaced. You might need to pull up the baseboards to get at the edge of carpet, then simply pull it back and check below it. If the padding is wet, call TN Flood Kings for more help.

Mistakes to Avoid When Cleaning Your Carpet After Water Damage

While cleaning water damages carpets in preparation for professional services is relatively easy, you should keep these precautions in mind.

Not Getting Professional Help

Unless you plan to replace all the carpet anyway, you should always get professional water extraction services, as the typical tools you may use are not strong enough to pull all the moisture from the carpeting. TN Flood Kings has the equipment and training necessary to remove as much water as possible, as well as identify damp padding and prevent damage to the subfloor.

Not Finding the Source

It’s vital that you figure out what caused the water damage so that you can remediate this issue as well; otherwise, you may have other problems, such as wet drywall.

Wheter it’s a water leak or flooding, identify the source and work to rectify that as soon as possible. If you’re not sure, you can call TN Flood Kings and we’ll perform an assessment to help pinpoint the problem.

DIY Cleaning Mold

While baking soda and vinegar can do wonders in banishing mildew from some surfaces, they’re not great for carpet mold because they can’t penetrate far enough into the material. Scrubbing your carpet will also agitate the spores, allowing them to float into other areas of the home.

Not Sanitizing Other Materials

Any other surfaces that may have been affected must also be thoroughly disinfected to inhibit mold and mildew. Use sanitizing solutions on baseboards, walls, doors, and other areas low to the floor.

How to Avoid Water Damaged Carpets

While we can’t always avoid all water damage to our carpets or our homes overall, there are some simple steps you can take that will reduce the risk of spills and leaks on your luxurious carpeting:

  • Cover carpets in high-traffic areas with plastic mats to prevent people tracking rain or snow onto them.
  • Don’t use carpeting in rooms with water-using appliances, like laundry rooms; if you have carpets there, cover them with rubber mats.
  • Have a plumber look at any leaks right away before it starts to spread.
  • Use dehumidifiers in carpeted rooms near high-humidity areas.
  • Don’t use liquid cleaners on carpet, only powered carpet cleaner.
  • Have professionals shampoo your carpets rather than doing it yourself.
  • Investigate for water damage before you use deodorizer to neutralize bad smells.
  • Always clean up spills as soon as possible; you may consider buying a small carpet cleaning tool, especially if you have pets or children.

Dealing With Carpet Water Damage? Call TN Flood Kings for a Free Estimate! We’re Your Local IICRC Certified Company Serving Middle Tennessee!

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