Hot Water Extraction After Water Damage
There are several techniques and methods to clean water damaged carpets. To ensure that a carpet is cleaned correctly, the process must be thorough and effective. Although it may seem counterintuitive, sometimes the best way to clean water damage is to use more water. One of the most common and most effective methods to clean water damaged carpets is hot water extraction.
What is Hot Water Extraction?
Carpet fibers are usually densely woven, providing a comfortable walking surface when dry. These same fibers absorb a considerable amount of water when wet. Water damaged carpets need to be thoroughly cleaned and dried, otherwise, residual moisture can lead to mold and mildew growth, structural damage, and lingering odors.
Hot water extraction is one of the most effective methods to clean water damaged carpets and restore them back to their original condition. This process utilizes extremely hot water, detergent, and a specialized brush and vacuum system to simultaneously deep clean and extracts impurities from the carpet.
Hot water extraction can usually be done in a day, depending on the extent of the damage and whether a second treatment is needed.
The hot water extraction process:
Carpet preconditioning: A high alkaline detergent is applied to the carpet surface.
Agitation: A brush or other specialized equipment is used to help the detergent penetrate the carpet surface for thorough cleaning.
Dwell time: The detergent must be given time to work for optimal cleaning.
Cleaning: A specialized machine performs two actions at nearly the same time. First, a hot water and brush combination scrubs the carpet to loosen ground-in dirt and soil. The hot water sanitizes the carpet while the brush extracts deep stains and dirt. Then, a vacuum removes stains, moisture, dirt, and detergent.
Drying: Floor dryers, dehumidifiers, and standing fans are used to circulate the air and accelerate the drying process.
When Carpets Can’t Be Saved
Although the hot water extraction process is used for most carpets, some carpets simply cannot be saved and must be discarded following water damage. Examples include:
- Exposure to raw sewage or black water
- Damage to the subfloor
- Structural damage below the carpet, etc.
Carpets which have been heavily soiled or exposed to sewage must be replaced, since bacteria and other pathogens may be present.
Can you DIY Clean Water Damaged Carpets?
If you are a DIY enthusiast, you may be wondering if you can steam clean carpets yourself. The answer is that it depends.
DIY carpet cleaning is risky, especially when it comes to after a water damage. Rental steam cleaners are less powerful and effective than commercial units plus if used incorrectly can cause more damage to your carpets. Professional carpet cleaners have incredibly powerful hot water extractors and not to mention, the proper training and expertise to get your home clean and back to normal after water damage.
If not dealt with as quickly as possible, carpet water damage can lead to expensive problems such as structural damage, mold and mildew growth throughout the building, and more. It only takes a few hours before water damage begins to have long-term effects. If you have a water damaged carpet following a leak or a flood, call PCS Southern. Our technicians are on-call 24/7 to respond to late-night emergencies. We will be over to your home in no time and you can rest assured that the job will be done correctly and efficiently.