Flooding, a burst pipe, or leaking appliances are just a few causes of water soaked carpet. It is important to extract the water from the carpet and padding as quickly as possible to prevent mold, mildew, and damage from occurring. Failure to act swiftly can cause further damage to the home.

While a homeowner, landlord, or maintenance crew, can attempt the remediation, it is best completed by the experts, like Eco Bear. Below is the explanation of the time and labor-intensive water remediation process.

Prep

Before tackling the cleanup process, the source of the water issue must be found and fixed. Remove the furniture from the space, especially wood furniture that can stain the wet carpet. Black water contains sewage, dirt, bacteria, microbes, mold, viruses, and other pollutants. If black water is present, it will require a professional restoration company to do the work. You should avoid any form of contact with black water. 

Next, gather the necessary tools for water extraction and carpet drying. You will need personal protective equipment such as gloves, respirator, protective suit, waterproof steel toe boots or shoe covers, and a hard hat. You’ll also need extraction equipment, for example, a ride-on extraction tool or a stationary tool and a carpet wand. Air movers and cleaning machines, knee kicker and an awl for testing the padding.

The Extraction Process

Extraction is the process of removing the excess water from the carpet and padding. You must not skip this step. All the following steps will be ineffective if you have not first properly extracted the water from the carpet and pad. Removing the water from the carpet helps to prevent germs and bacteria from growing in addition to mold and mildew. It cuts down the time the remaining steps take as well.

Step One: Check the Padding

The first step in the extraction process, regardless of which extraction tool you are using, is to check the carpet padding. In the corner of the room, using a knee kicker, remove the carpet from the tack strip. Not doing this will cause the laminate to separate from the back of the carpeting, and extraction will no longer be an option. The carpet will have to get replaced. 

Use your awl to pull the carpet up in the corner to reveal the padding. Fold the pad over and squeeze. If water comes out or your hands are wet, it needs to get extracted. Check if it is safe to remove the water from the pad. If there is a nylon mesh, it can get extracted. If there is a plastic barrier on either side or if there is nothing at all (no nylon mesh just the pad itself), it cannot be extracted and will have to get removed. If the padding passed the check, lay the carpet back down and prepare for extraction.

Step Two – Sub-Surface Extraction

Now it is time to begin the sub-surface extraction. That means the carpet padding. This process will remove some of the water from the carpet, but not all of it. That will get completed in a later step. 

How the extraction works will depend on the type of tool you are using, a stationary or a ride-on tool. However, the one thing that is consistent for both is the hose. They are both designed for a 1 1/2 or a 2-inch hose size. Always use the 2-inch hose. Follow the instructions below for your tool of choice.

Stationary Tool

Place the tool in the corner of the room where you conducted the padding check. Hook up the 2-inch hose. Turn on the extractor and stand on the base. That will apply pressure to the padding and force the water out while the suction forces it up into the holes in the tool, through the hose, and into the water collector. Do this for five to fifteen seconds. 

Step off the extractor and move it away from the corner. With your awl, lift the carpet like before. If it is attached back to the tack strip, be sure to use the knee kicker first. Lift the corner of the padding and fold it over. Squeeze it as hard as you can. If water flows freely or your hands are wet, you need to increase the time of extraction. For example, if you stood on it for eight seconds in one spot, you need to increase that time to thirteen seconds. If there was no flowing water when you folded and squeezed, and your hands were not wet, whatever time you chose is sufficient. 

Using the correct time for extraction, continue the process across the entire room. Consistency is key. You cannot try to rush the job or slack off towards the end and shorten the time. It will only cause you to have to redo the room before being able to move on to step three.

When you have finished the room, check the padding in the corner once more to ensure no flowing water or wet hands. If, for some reason, water is still present, give the room a second pass with the stationary extractor. 

Ride-On Tool

Ride-on tools work by the user standing on the device, applying pressure to the roller wheel that rings out the padding as it simultaneously sucks the water up into the machine. There are a couple of different types of ride-on tools, a standard ride-on tool, and a ride-on rover. Here are the main differences:

Standard Ride-On Tool – Once you have it in the position where you want to start, you’ll need to pull out the steering pin. It has a switch for forward and to reverse with the user steering with the handle. 

Ride-On Rover – This more advanced machine has a joystick to control the direction and steer. The rider’s weight needs to be as far forward as possible while moving in a straight line. For turns, it is best to shift the user weight to above the wheels. 

Both tools control how fast the extraction rate is. The user will set the time on the device, and the tool will regulate the speed at which it moves to provide the appropriate extraction time. With these machines, there must be a 2-inch distance kept from the baseboards at all times to avoid damage and pulling up the tack strip. 

As with the stationary tool, use a 2-inch hose for these. Ensure there is water in the pump before you begin. Start in the corner where the padding check was. Make two passes (go forward over the area, then backward). Dismount the machine and conduct a padding test to determine if the time set was sufficient, or if additional seconds are needed. Once the correct time gets discovered, make two passes around the entire room. Afterwards, go to the corner and re-check the pad. If there is flowing water or hand wetness, make two more passes over the floor, for a total of four passes. 

While using this equipment, it can be tricky to keep the cord and hose out of the way. The easiest way is to hold both items in one hand on the side away from the direction you are moving in. 

Four Steps of the Carpet Pad Extraction Process

In review, there are four main steps in the sub-surface extraction process. 

1. Always use a 2-inch hose

2. Check the carpet pad.

3. Conduct an extraction test (fold and squeeze for water to check if time adjustment is required).

4. Consistency. Use the same extraction time for the entire room.

Surface Extraction

That is when the carpet gets extracted to complete the full extraction process. For this step, you’ll need a carpet wand. Once the hose is attached, place the head of it in the corner up against the baseboard. Pull it back slowly to suck the water out. You have finished when no more water suctions up. At that point, dump out the water or reserve tank. Do a final pass around the room to verify that all the water has been removed. 

Drying

Good air circulation plays a critical part in a quality restoration job to clean the air and remove any residual moisture in the space. That will hasten the drying process and make the air safe to breathe, a particularly important step if there are children, elderly, immunocompromised, or pregnant individuals in the home. 

Dehumidifiers are machines that will pull the moisture out of the air.

Fans will help to circulate the air promoting a quicker dry time. The recommendation is to leave them running for a full 48 hours after the carpet dries to ensure the padding is dry as well.

Air filtration devices (AFDs), or air scrubbers, clean the air by removing microbial spores, dust, and other harmful particulates in the air that are common after water damage or flooding takes place. There are strong recommendations to use one of these with every water cleanup job for everyone’s health and safety.

For all of these machines, it is necessary to leave them running until the carpet and padding are completely dry.