I never knew the extent of damage that hail could cause to a home. Of course, I realized that windows could break, but I never imagined my roof getting damaged, the siding getting destroyed and the gutters nearly being taken off the side of the house. After our neighborhood was hit by a storm that included golf-ball sized hail, I quickly learned how devastating those little ice-balls can be. If you are going through the same repairs and clean-up efforts, visit my blog. My blog includes tips that can help you identify hail damage and learn what to do to repair it.
You've just walked into your vacation home and the carpet is mysteriously soaked. Obviously, there was a flood somewhere on the property while you were away--and now you need to know if the carpet is ruined.
Mold Growth Happens Fast
Water damaged carpet can become moldy in as little as 48 hours after a flood. Since this is your vacation home and not your normal residence, very likely your flood happened a while ago without your knowledge. If this is the case, your carpet is almost certainly ruined. However, if your carpet was just exposed to water and shows no signs of mold growth, then there is some chance that you'll be able to save the carpet.
Mold Growth Symptoms and Signs
Moldy carpet will have an unpleasant musty smell that won't go away, even after the carpet is cleaned. In severe cases, moldy carpet will actually show visible signs of mold. Mold can appear in large spots or small speckles, and may be black or brown in color. If you can smell or see mold on or in the carpet, it must be removed and discarded.
Tearing Out Moldy Carpet
You can remove moldy carpet yourself, if you wear the proper protection. For this job, you'll need long rubber gloves and safety glasses, as well as an N-95 respirator. Don't let mold spores get into your eyes, and be careful to avoid breathing in any spores. Carpet tears out easily if you lift the edge of the carpet near the wall and pull up. Beneath the carpet will be the pad, which will also be ruined. Throw out both. Next, contact a damage contractor/water damage restoration professional to have the rest of your home checked for mold growth.
Dry the Carpet if It's Not Moldy
If your carpet exhibits no outward signs of mold, then it's possible that the carpet can be saved. It must be dried as soon as possible. For this job, you'll need professional-grade drying machines (available for rent at home improvement centers). Use a water extractor to pull the water up out of the carpet, and use blowers to blow the carpet dry. Next, pull up the carpet and take it outdoors. Hang the carpet in a location where it's exposed to as much sun as possible to help speed the drying process.
Throw Out the Carpet Pad Anyway
Even if your carpet seems to be mold-free, the carpet pad is very likely ruined. Luckily, carpet padding is a cheap material and can be easily replaced.
Mold is a serious problem that can have a serious impact on your health and the health of other members of your household. Even if you manage to dry the carpet yourself, you should still consult with a water damage restoration professional to ensure that your home is mold-free.