How To Dry Flooded Carpets Quickly

Flooded Carpet Drying Process

Flood Water Damage Restoration

Carpets can become flooded for various reasons. The most common reasons are broken internal plumbing such as pipe joins inside walls and ceiling – taps left running unattended, water filter failure, washing machine fittings which can fail or overflow, hot water cylinder failure or environmental flooding such as heavy rainfall, blocked or obscured drains.

White water flooding

White water flooding is the occurrence of a leak or overflow from a fresh water source such as internal plumbing or a tap left running from fresh cold or hot water source.

Grey water flooding

Grey water is a flooding situation – usually environmental from heavy rain, a blocked drain or external water pipes which flood the interior areas of the house or building. The water flooding the building will contain various materials such as trace elements, soils, debris and other organic substance which may have been mixed with the water.

Black water flooding

Black water flooding is determined by the water being solely or mixed in with sewerage. This can occur with a break in a sewer pipe, toilet back flow, or heavy rain which may overwhelm storm water facilities and result in an over flow of sewer line or sediment tanks overflowing.

Top Down Drying

In the event of over wet carpets or flooded carpets from fresh water or grey water when sewerage is not a factor, top down drying can be used to recover excess moisture from carpets, hard floors and timbers.

Top down drying is a non-invasive method. Excess water is extracted using powerful extraction machines and tools to salvage moisture trapped deep inside carpets underlay and under timber flooring.

Professional drying machine are used to extract remaining moisture from the textiles. This can involve the use of professional low grain dehumidifiers, air movement machines such as blowers, air injection machines to add air flow to closed cavities such as wall cavities and under hard floor timber floors, Air filtering machines etc.

Top down drying is generally more convenient for the customer or residents inside the building. It does not require lifting carpets or hard flooring.

Exposure drying systems

Exposure drying is a method employed to gain access to sub layers of textile affected by flooding. This can be the substrate behind hard flooring, underlay under carpets or the substrate under the carpets. Some building materials, textile types and situations may mean top down drying will not be expedient and good drying may be faster if the wet areas are exposed to extraction, air flow, dehumidification and heating.

This method may include lifting parts of the carpets to gain access points to introduce air flow to the back side of carpets and the underlay. Inspection may be required to assess the condition and substrate type. Often lifting carpets in this way can significantly reduce drying times and can often be utilised in a manner so disruption is minimised.

If the substrate under carpets or hardwood flooring is chip board or hard board often top drying is not recommended as these wood types can swell and buckle when exposed to water. If this is not quickly addressed sanding of the floor will be required. In the case of Timber hard flooring, these may need to be replaced.

Gib Board Exposure

In the case of heavy flooding, water can enter into the wall cavities. This can be minimised by seeking professional help quickly to extract the flooding water promptly – however this is not always possible to avoid.

Walls lined with Gib or other products have very little airflow, this means water will be trapped inside the cavity for several months. This can result in mould and fungus growth and resulting in an unhealthy air quality inside and a permanent odour issue.

These situations are best addressed by drilling holes into the Gib board and forcing air inside to allow moisture to dissipate. Gib board may need to be cut out and insulation removed for expedient resolution. In most cases the affected Gib will be about 4 – 10 CM above the water level during the flood.


Wet situations can create the right environment for bacteria to become more active. Particularly with Grey water flooding, EcoSan Solutions may use the appropriate sanitisers or antimicrobials to control bacteria and microbe growth.

These treatments are chosen with safety of the indoor air quality in mind and are always registered in NZ for this specific purpose.

Water marking of Carpets

EcoSan Solutions have a variety of methods to ensure your wet carpets are restored to pre flood condition. Water marking especially on wool carpets should be addressed early on before the water mark is visible. Although when the wool carpet is professionally dried it can usually be reversed.

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