It usually happens that a week after a heavy rain storm we get several phone calls of homeowners in the same situation.
“My basement stinks! I’ve been running fans for a week and the carpet it dry…but the carpet smells and the whole basement still stinks.”
This is a classic case of not following the proper steps and prolonged drying. Inevitably, when we go out to inspect these jobs and disengage the carpet, the padding and concrete floor are still very much wet. Your attempts to remedy a flooded basement may have just cost you thousands in carpet replacement and mold remediation.
Take action now. Don’t be afraid to disengage a corner of your carpet to inspect what’s underneath. If you have carpet directly on concrete you can probably handle this yourself with extracting the carpet and running carpet dryers.
However, if you have padding underneath your carpet, you may need to more action and hire a professional. Many carpet pads have moisture barriers so no matter how much water you extract from the carpet, there is a wet sponge of padding that you haven’t even touched. Many times this padding will need to be removed for proper drying. Even if you don’t have a moisture barrier on you pad, home and rental extractors simply can not remove the moisture from this spongy material. A carpet cleaner with a truck-mounted extractor and special extraction tools will need to be called if you have padding.
Removing as much water as possible is key. Then comes the drying. You will need several high powered fans blowing under the carpet as well has a dehumidifier. It is best to have a dehumidifier with a pump out so you do not constantly have to empty a bucket. Ideally you want to be dry within 72 hours.
However, if you basement has flooded before or you had pre-existing mold growth, you want to call a professional.
Get it dry as quick as you can and don’t assume it will dry with minimal effort.