Can Wet Carpet Be Saved After a Flood?

wet carpet

Each year, floods can cost about $2 billion in property damages.

These costs to repair your home can be devastating, especially considering what was damaged. Wet carpet may be one of the most frustrating things to fix.

If you’ve just experienced flooding in your home, you may be wondering if you can salvage soaking wet carpets. Here’s what to know about saving wet carpet.

Three Different Types of Floodwater

When trying to figure out if you should replace your carpet, you should first determine what kind of floodwater ruined it.

There are three different main categories.

Category 1

The water in this category is normally clean. Usually, it will be rainwater or come from a broken pipe that isn’t mixed with contaminants.

If the water is from this category, you may be able to save it depending on how long the carpet was wet. If it was less than 48 hours, you may still be able to salvage it.

A professional can restore the padding and the carpet and sanitize just in case the water was contaminated.

Category 2

In category 2, you have graywater. This is water that was contaminated and can cause sickness if you touch or ingest it.

This can come from an overflowing washing machine, toilet, dishwasher, broken aquarium, or sump pump failures.

When you have this kind of water damaging your carpet, the padding will need to be replaced. However, the carpet may not be able to be salvaged.

If this problem happens, you should aim to treat it within 24 to 48 hours of the flooding.

Category 3

Blackwater is even worse than graywater, making it in the highest category.

Blackwater is water that is even more contaminated than category 2. This water has harmful agents, materials, or pathogens in it.

This can be water like toilet backflows, sewage, or flooding from rivers, streams. This category also belongs to the weather-related ones, like hurricanes and storms.

Cleaning the carpet is very difficult and almost impossible when soaked with this kind of water.

You will most likely need to replace your carpet if it was flooded with blackwater.

Can You Salvage It?

While the categories can be helpful, each scenario is unique, and you may not really know if it can be salvaged until you talk to a professional company.

Most of it largely depends on the water that contaminated it.

As for area rugs or rugs with a foam backing, it will probably be worth it to throw them away rather than pay the expense to have them cleaned.

If it is a really valuable rug, you may want to consider having it cleaned, however.

At the end of the day, with the type of water considered, the general rule of thumb is that if the carpet is soaked by rainwater, you should replace them if they’re soaked for over 24 hours.

If it was less than 24 hours, you can clean them yourself or have them professionally cleaned.

Professional Cleaner or DIY?

If you aren’t going to replace your carpets and want to clean them instead, you then have two options.

You can either have a professional clean them or do it yourself.

If you don’t want to pay to have them cleaned, it is doable on your own. However, you will need to get the proper supplies and have time to dedicate to that big of an undertaking.

However, before you start going out and buying supplies, you should know that getting a professional cleaner is always a better solution. You can use towels, a shop vacuum, and ceiling fans, but it won’t be as good of a job as a professional could do.

You also need to make sure that you clean the carpet as soon as the damage has happened. If you don’t, the carpet will suffer from permanent damage, and then you’ll have to pay even more to have it replaced.

If you don’t think you can afford it, you can always call your insurance company first. If you have homeowner’s insurance, they may end up covering flood damage. However, some flooding cases aren’t covered, so you should check your policy.

If you have separate flood insurance, they may cover the cost to have your carpet repaired and or replaced.

If they will replace it, then you should take photos and videos of the damaged carpet as soon as possible. The insurance company will need these to file your claim.


If you’re going to do this by yourself, there are some steps you should follow. Make sure you do this as soon as possible for the best results.

Use Fans

The fans may take a while to completely dry the damaged carpet. However, they can also help circulate some fresh air into the room.

Keep the fans on 24 hours a day and do this for about a week.

If you don’t have any, you can rent some high-powered drying fans from a home improvement store.

Get Some Dehumidifiers

If the fans don’t work very well, you can also try using a dehumidifier.

They will help remove a lot of extra moisture and help prevent the growth of mildew and mold.

Steam Clean the Carpet

After you’ve used the fans and dehumidifiers, you should steam and clean the carpet.

This will make sure that they’re deodorized and properly sanitized.

Salvage Your Wet Carpet Today!

Don’t worry, just because you have wet carpet doesn’t mean you need to replace all of it.

You could easily just have a professional come in and clean it.

If you recently had a flood and need your carpet cleaned, contact us today!

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