Can water damaged carpet be saved?

Jul 22, 2020

When building your dream home, the last thing you want is for something that you worked so hard on to be ruined. However, with flooding, your entire basement could be destroyed in a matter of minutes.

When it comes to water damage, the flooring of your basement is typically one of the first things to be ruined. Water can cause damage to all types of flooring including hardwood, linoleum, and carpet. For this post, we're focusing specifically on water damage to carpet. 

Imagine you come home from an evening out and head down to the basement to make sure all of the lights are turned off before going to bed. When your foot hits the carpet at the bottom of the stairs, it’s submerged in several inches of water. Can this carpet be salvaged?

Obviously the first factor in answering this question is to determine how much water actually managed to make its way to your basement floor and how much surface area it covered. The second factor to consider is whether or not the water in your basement has any contaminants that could be harmful if you were to come in contact with them. The final thing to consider is how long the water has been there. All of these factors will determine whether or not your carpet can be saved. 

Category 1: Yes - the carpet can be saved. 

If you discovered the flood quickly enough, there is a chance that the carpet will not be ruined. If your carpet is wet for longer than 48 hours, it's unlikely to be salvaged. Likewise, if the flood was caused by something other than a broken water line pipe or clean rainwater that overflowed in your sump pit, you’re less likely to be able to restore it. If you fall into Category 1, call a professional to sanitize, clean, and restore the carpet. 

Category 2: Maybe - the carpet might be able to be saved.

Category 2 requires immediate action to be taken. This situation is when the water contains contaminated water that could be dangerous if a person comes in contact with or ingests it. This contaminated water is typically found in things such as sump pumps or washing machines.  Again, for this scenario, the shorter period of time that the carpet is wet, the better. When you discover this type of flood, if the issue is resolved within 48 hours, the carpet may be able to be fixed. However, the padding underneath the carpet will most likely need to be replaced. 

Category 3: No - your carpet cannot be saved.

In this scenario, the flood in your basement was caused by black water. Black water is the most dangerous because of the harmful bacteria and pathogens that it contains. This type of flood is mostly caused by high levels of water build up from hurricanes or flash floods, sewage bursts, ejector pit overflow, etc. In this case, the carpet can almost never be salvaged. Unfortunately, all of your carpet would need to be replaced. 

Whether or not your carpet is completely ruined is mainly determined by what caused the flood and the duration that the carpet is wet. Having to completely replace your carpet would not only be a pain, but it could also be very costly. Can you imagine the frustration you would feel if you had spent so much money and time making your new basement perfect, just for it to be ruined by a flood?

Luckily, there is a way to prevent the pain of replacing your carpet. One of the most common culprits of a flood is a failed sump pump. DriBot is a state-of-the-art sump pump appliance that not only prevents flooding but has several other features to make your life easy. Its reliability will leave you with peace of mind in knowing your basement carpet is dry and there to stay. Find out more about DriBot and how it protects against common flooding causes at