Water intrusion affecting carpet and other floor coverings is among the most difficult situations faced by a homeowner. There is no standard procedure for dealing with every flooding situation since every flooding situation will have its own distinguishing problems. The primary question that must be addressed is the type of flooding that has occurred, sanitary, unsanitary, or black water.

Sanitary Flooding (waters with no contamination)


The carpet must be treated with a disinfectant following extraction of excess water. Most homeowners insist that the carpet should be replaced in all flooding situations but this is not mandatory in the case of sanitary flooding. In order to save carpet in a sanitary flooding condition, Luna recommends a few simple guidelines to ensure the carpet can be returned to pre-flood conditions.

  1. Immediately to shut-off and control the source of the water. It is impractical to begin drying efforts prior to identification and elimination of the water source.
  2. Traffic on the wet carpet should be kept to a minimum until the carpet is completely dry. The latex that holds the primary and secondary backings together is weakened when wet; the latex should regain most of its strength after drying.
  3. Quickly remove any furnishings that may stain or damage the carpet.
  4. Extraction of excess water should begin immediately and the carpet should be completely dry within 12 hours following intervention. Removing water can be accomplished with a water extraction vacuum.
  5. To expedite drying, the carpet should be removed from the tack strip and the carpet padding should always be discarded. Carpet should be elevated and fans should be utilized to speed drying time.

Failure to follow these recommendations may allow for the development of several types of bacteria and fungi that may negatively affect human health. To reduce the possibility of this occurrence, the application of a disinfectant to the face fiber is recommended. However, disinfectant treatments will destroy stain resist treatments.

Unsanitary Conditions


If the flooding can be identified as unsanitary, some degree of contamination, there are a few safe options. Examples of unsanitary water intrusion include dishwater overflows, toilet overflows with urine present, punctured waterbeds, or other water sources that may contain bio pollutant contamination. Luna recommends the carpet be discarded due to bacterial concerns. However, if the decision is made to restore the carpet, disinfectants must be used to protect human health. In dealing with unsanitary water sources, you must always assume there is a significant threat to human health. Rubber gloves, boots, goggles and other protective clothing should be used. Anyone with cuts or open sores should avoid contact with the flood waters.

Black Water


Black water can be described as any water that contains raw sewage. Sea, river or lake water as well as any water that comes in contact with the ground may also be classified as black water and is considered highly unsanitary. This type of flooding can produce serious health effects. All floor covering materials must be discarded and other surfaces should be carefully evaluated. It is recommended that all porous surfaces are removed and discarded. The facility should be evacuated by inhabitants until the environment can be returned to pre-flood conditions.