Carpeting in basements is a popular choice among homeowners because it adds a sense of coziness and warmth to the space. However, there are a few problems with it. Because it is exposed to moisture, it has the potential to produce a damp carpet.
The wet carpet in your basement may have been caused by leaking pipes, flooding, or poor drainage. There is a possibility of mold if it is not dried out within 48 hours. It can become extremely harmful if you don’t deal with mold immediately. Immediate effects on the respiratory system include breathing difficulties and allergic responses.
Completely drying the wet carpet is a challenging task that will take weeks. However, if you take the appropriate measures, you can finish it in a few days.
Causes of Wet Basement Floor
- Harsh weather: Rainstorms, for example, can cause water to leak into the basement. It can be avoided by properly installing gutters, downspouts, and grading.
- Plumbing Leakage: Sometimes, leaks from broken pipes, a toilet, shower, dishwasher, washing machine, or sink can be the reason behind the moist basement. You can solve this issue by yourself if you have plumbing knowledge. Call an expert plumber if you don’t have the idea to repair it.
- Malfunction gutters and downspouts: The main work of the gutter and downspouts is to take out the rainwater away from home. When gutters and downspouts are installed incorrectly, it can cause your home’s foundation and basement drain.
- Cracks in windows or doors: In most old basements, windows and doors have cracks and crevices from where the water can seep. Or homeowners tend to open the window for basement ventilation. Whenever humid weather enters the spaces, it will moisture the floors and ceiling.
- Improper grading: Groundwater and rainwater enter straight towards the basements if the grading is installed improperly. It will lead to water accumulation and damage the foundation of your space.
- Missing Drainage System: Most old households do not have a drain in their basement. Expecting water to enter your household is obvious without a proper drainage system. Meanwhile, damaged drainage systems like broken pipes and sump pumps can be a tough issue in a modern household.
Tools And Materials Required
- Wet Vacuum
- High Volume Fan
- Safety glasses
- Carpet Pullers
- Spray Bottle
- Soapy water
- Baking Soda (optional)
How To Dry Wet Carpet in Basement
Follow the below step-by-step instructions to dry the basement carpet.
Turn Off the Power Supply
There is a high possibility of electrocution and short circuit if the basement uses electricity. Therefore, shut down the main power supply before cleaning.
Check the electrical circuits directly connecting the basement. Wear proper gloves and boots while entering the basement to protect your arms and legs. You can utilize battery-operated lights and torches to work if the space is dark.
Remove Furniture and Upholstery
The next step is removing all the furniture and upholstery weighing on the carpet. Start by removing light items first. Take help from your friends or family to remove heavy furniture like sofas and electrical appliances.
Drain the Excess Water in the Basement
Harsh weather or damaged pipes can wreak havoc on the household premises. The basement becomes the main target of these consequences. It can flood the space with water and cause mold in the basement. It is smart to deal with it before it causes serious issues.
Utilize a mop or a towel to soak up the water. Collect as much as water and wring it out in a bucket. Empty the bucket and keep repeating the process until the space is fully free of water. This technique will work if you have a small amount of water; opt for a wet vacuum or pump sump if the water level is deeper.
- Wet vacuum: Make sure not to use regular household vacuum cleaners for dry cleaning only. Utilize the wet vacuum if the water is only a few inches deep. Empty the fill tank once it is full. It will allow the equipment to work at its full power.
- Pump sump: In case the basement is heavily flooded, a wet vacuum is not applicable for heavy-duty jobs. Place the water pump inside the standing water and the other side of the tube outside in the backyard or drain area. Then start the machine; it will push all the water out of the surface in no time.
Dry the Carpet Padding
Carpet padding is a stress minimizer on the subfloor and gives a softness when walking. It also helps to keep the basement warm. When the carpet is subjected to moisture, the padding also gets damaged. To keep the basement rug dry, you need to dry the padding.
Remove the whole carpet if all the parts are wet. You can only pull back the moist area if only a small area is impacted. Utilize the carpet peeler to remove the whole carpet and place it in a sunny area.
Address the carpet padding using a wet vacuum. Plug the machine away from the area of water damage. Please do not press it too hard on the surface when using it. It can damage the padding.
Bring Dehumidifiers and Fans To Dry the Carpet
After soaking as much water, you have to fan it to make it dry. A normal fan cannot do this job, so you must buy or rent a high-volume fan. It is easily accessible in hardware stores.
Bring the high-volume fan to push air over moist padding. You can sprinkle some baking soda on top of it to eliminate the odor. Leave the fan for almost an hour after the padding is completely dry. Utilize a dry vacuum to clean the baking soda residue. Leave the fan on if you notice any moisture left. You can sterilize the carpet to disinfect bacteria.
In the worst-case scenario, replace the padding. It is not expensive and accessible in hardware stores.
To dry the carpet, use the same technique, and bring dehumidifiers and fans dry the carpet. Keep them running until the carpet is fully dried.
Deep Clean the Carpet
The wet carpet can be smelly after the moisture damage. Added to that, mold and mildew can also grow with it. It is necessary to deep clean the wet carpet after the excess water is cleared. If you want to clean the carpet without a machine, use soapy water in the spray bottle and scrub the carpet using a nonabrasive sponge.
You can also rent or purchase a steam cleaner for easy cleaning. Disinfect it using bleach or disinfectant spray. Let the carpet sun dry completely before reinstalling it.
Prevention To Avoid Wet Basement In Future
It is necessary to take preventive measures to save your basement from moisture damage. Make sure to follow the following suggestion to avoid water in your basement.
- Insulate the basement: Small moisture issues can be solved by installing a dehumidifier. But, it is better to insulate the basement if the condensation builds up. Cover the walls and pipes with insulation to ensure the warm air will not enter the premises.
- Seal Up the Cracks: There is no way you can avoid cracks and crevices in the basement. To avoid this issue, check once in a while for cracks in the pipes and walls. Seal up the cracks as soon as you see them. Utilize the mortar to cover the cracks on the walls. You can get help from the experts if you do not know how to handle the issue.
- Install Drainage system: Whether you wish to install it yourself or with the help of professionals, it is necessary to install a proper drainage system to control the groundwater or rainwater in your space.
- Design correct landscaping: Gutter, downspouts, grading, or drainage system. Make sure you hire only experts to install these foundations in your home.
- Inspect the roof downspout discharge: Make it habitual to check and inspect the roof gutter downspouts annually. Make sure the rainwater is flowing properly outside of the house. If not, install a proper extension that channels water away from the house rather than into your basement.
- Test the sump pump: The sump pump is the heart of the basement. It drains away from the excess water in the drainage system. It is essential to give a periodic inspection if it is working or not. Call an expert in case the equipment is damaged.