The method that you choose to dry a carpet will depend largely on how the carpet became wet in the first place. A wet carpet resulting from a flood will require very different handling than a carpet that is merely damp from steam cleaning. Here are a few tips for a variety of scenarios.
Drying a Carpet Dampened from Cleaning
Steam Cleaner: If you plan on steam cleaning the carpet yourself, it is important that you extract all excess water from the carpet. If you want the carpet to dry faster, run the cleaner over the carpet one last time at the completion of the job using only the extraction process. (Rather than pushing forward and releasing cleaning solution and water, only pull the machine toward you.) Continue to pull across the carpet until you no longer see water entering the water discard chamber.
A carpet steamer is also a good tool to use to clean up a carpet water-soaked by other means, such as a flood.
Wet/Dry Vacuum: A wet-dry vacuum is another option to suck up water from a minor flooding issue.
Dehumidifier: For faster drying times, use a dehumidifier. Its efficiency will depend on the size of the dehumidifier in relation to the size of the room. A 10-pint dehumidifier works well up to 500 square feet where a 22-pint dehumidifier is needed for 2000 square feet. Contain the area by closing all windows and doors and keep the room temperature above sixty-degree Fahrenheit.
Fans: Carpet drying fans are another option to use. If you find you need to dry your carpets on a regular basis, the few hundred-dollar investment is well worth the price rather than having to replace an entire carpet due to mildew issues.
Sunlight: Open all the curtains and shades and allow Mother Nature to offer a hand in getting those carpets dry.
Drying a Carpet Soaked from Flooding
If your carpet became flooded through a clean water source, such as a washing machine leak, there are measures to take to dry it.
Dry it as quickly as possible to avoid mold and mildew
Use a dry/wet vacuum to extract as much water as possible
Close the windows and use a dehumidifier to extract any remaining water
If the carpet was soaked through a contaminated water source that may have included sewerage, it’s best to call it a loss and replace it.
“The Disaster Handbook – National Edition.” The Disaster Handbook – National Edition. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Dec. 2010. http://disaster.ifas.ufl.edu/chap5fr.htm.
“Dehumidifiers.” Efficiency Vermont. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Dec. 2010. http://www.efficiencyvermont.com/pages/Residential/Lightingandappliances/ENERGYSTARAppliances/Dehumidifiers/.