“Why is my carpet giving off an awful smell?”, “Does the wet carpet have to be replaced?’ These are the common questions that often get raised by most of our clients. Unfortunately, water odors are something that 90% of people living in America face and carpets or rugs can essentially be needy when it comes to water damage restoration since it’s not as easy as wiping a spill. Additionally, a water-damaged carpet can breed harmful molds and bacterial infections, causing significant damage to your home and health. Mold is no fun–it also develops spores that can discolor and damage the fabric of your carpet as well. Furthermore, having mildew or a bad smell might reduce the value of a home or rental property, making it less appealing to potential buyers or renters.
What Causes Water Damage at Home?
- Broken/leaking pipes.
- Malfunctioning appliances
- Natural sources like melting snow or excessive rain
- Clogged drains
- Roof leaks and other unforeseen circumstances
Three Myths to avoid after facing a Water Damage:
- Water damage cleaning can wait. The truth is the quicker you react, the better it is.
- If you don’t see the water, that means the problem is solved. The scariest part of having water damage is that it is sometimes invisible.
- The nasty smell will disappear over time. False! The mold will grow and will let the odor spread faster everywhere in your rooms, surroundings, and kitchen.
If your carpets have recently experienced water damage due to any of the reasons mentioned above, be cautious and take the following steps in order to save it from the mildew smell.
- Fix the Cause: Odor removal may look difficult, but it is rather simple. The first step is to ensure that the cause of the water damage is addressed and rectified. Mold grows in a wet environment; thus, lingering water damage might suggest that it is getting worse and spreading faster. If the water or mold damage was caused by sewage or other contaminated water, then call in a restoration water damage expert who has experience in fixing the issue.
- Dry the Carpet: There are several ways to dry a wet carpet. Normally, if the sun is out, it is logical to move the carpet outside because direct sunlight can impede mold growth. If not, open the windows of the room and let fresh air come in, circulate and hasten the drying process. You can also choose to use floor fans that help in directing the airflow on the carpet. Dehumidifiers are also another option that can assist in reducing excess moisture from the fiber of the carpet.
- Apply Baking Soda: Baking soda is a proven odor absorber, plus it’s cheap and safe to use around children, elderly people, and pets. The best way to use it is to evenly sprinkle the baking soda on the affected areas and let it soak overnight. The particles go deep down and neutralize the smell. Next day in the morning, you can vacuum the soda and scent up. Another advantage of baking soda is that it is a natural dry deodorizer, and you may not have to worry about over-saturating your carpet or getting another wet stain from spray bottles.
- Apply a Cleaning Solution: If you do not have baking soda at home, an alternate solution is to mix one cup of vinegar and two cups of warm water in a spray bottle. Sprinkle the solution on the smelly parts of the carpet, but make sure not to over saturate it. Otherwise, it may lead to further mold development. Usually, it takes 5-15 mins for the bad odor to go away. If not, repeat the process one more time. Be sure to use white vinegar, because a colored one may worsen the fabric.
- Shampoo the Carpet: Vinegar and baking soda are the proven solutions for carpet cleaning but in difficult situations, try using a premium carpet shampoo, that is specifically made to clean the stain, dirt, and debris. You may also have this combo of cleaning the carpet with either baking soda or vinegar at first and then try shampooing it after with a chemical-based detergent. Before buying the product, it is recommended to read the instructions, as there are many carpet cleaning shampoos available online and in store that may work with a carpet cleaning machine or applied just with a sponge.
- Control Indoor Air: The simplest way to control mold growth and odor removal is by controlling the inside air and moisture. Eliminate the source of humidity and steam from the room and replace it with fresh air and cooling fans to neutralize the temperature.
- Use Hydrogen Peroxide: Spray hydrogen peroxide onto the affected areas and cover it with a white damp towel. Place a steam iron on the lowest setting and iron the towel for about a minute. Make sure not to inhale the steam and wear a safety mask to protect you from the bad smell. Repeat the process two or more times until you see some changes in the carpet. It should help minimize the smell and stop further mold development.
- Know When to Call a Pro: In some cases when DIY and store-bought methods might not be enough, then professional carpet cleaning comes to help to resolve both mold and smell-related concerns. These expert mold cleaners work with specialized machines to provide deep carpet cleaning.
At Service Master S&R Systems, our goal is to keep you and your family safe. Thus, with our water cleanup services, we make sure the water damage is addressed, and everything is completely dried up. We also utilize deep cleaning and deodorization methods to get your home smelling fresh again. If you have raising concerns about a bad water damage odor, call us today at (630) 896-0030. We will inspect your property, prepare a remediation plan that will help to improve your home ventilation, and prevent mold growth.