Water can be one of the most damaging forces on Earth, and the cleanup process can be extensive. So it’s understandable that you’d want to salvage as much of your home’s contents as possible. If you experience a water damage event in your home, you might be wondering if you can simply clean your water damaged carpets instead of removing them and starting over. And the answer is… It depends on the type of water and extent of damage.

The main thing to remember is that there are three main types of water that can damage homes. We call them clean water, grey water, and black water. Clean water is that which comes from broken pipes (incoming, not outgoing) or rainfall (such as with a leaking roof). Grey water “dirty” water that comes from your dishwasher, washing machine, or toilet if there is no solid waste present. And black water is that which is contaminated or potentially contaminated, such as backed-up sewage lines or flood water from sources such as a river.

With clean water and grey water, the carpet can often be salvaged if you get started on drying up and cleaning the carpets right away. This is especially true if there wasn’t too much standing water in the first place. But after about 48 hours, both types of water start to become more and more contaminated. You could face health risks if you try to save the carpet at this point. And with grey water, the padding underneath the carpet probably needs to be replaced regardless of how well you clean the carpet.

With black water, as you might imagine, carpets can’t be salvaged. And you probably wouldn’t even want to try. Could you imagine walking barefoot on carpet that was once saturated by sewer water?

The main thing to remember is that time is of the essence with water damage. For every hour that water stands and seeps into materials, they continue to degrade. And within about two days, mildew and mold become secondary concerns. So if you do suffer a water damage event in your home, call us quickly so that we can get your home dried out. Then we can help you salvage us much as possible.