Help with very wet interior!

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  #1  
Old 05-24-04, 06:44 AM
janent
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Help with very wet interior!

My son is in the Marines and left his 1996 Grand Cherokee Jeep with us.

Unfortunately, my husband left the sun window open during last weekend's heavy downpours and the interior of the vehicle has gotten very very wet. When we opened the passenger side door the water poured out...and inside is still sopping.

Please I need advise how to proceed. Is this something we can fix on our own or do we need professional help? How do you dry out the inside of a car?

Thanks for any advise you can give. Feeling somewhat helpless here.

Jan
 
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  #2  
Old 05-24-04, 02:09 PM
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I've owned a mustang with (until a few months ago) a VERY leaky top. It sat through a couple of very big downpours. the unfortunate result was that the car smelt like mold bad, Really bad!!! Now that I have replaced the top, I have ripped out and thrown away my old carpet, door panels, and seats (I opted for an interior color change while in the process)

under the carpet was big spots of mold etc.

Unfortunately beyond that I can't help much, other than to show you what is going to happen should you decide to leave it alone and opt for the "air it out" and see what happens route that I took. Even huge amounts of air freshoners could not hide the fact that my car had been exposed to the elements.

If I were in this position, I would honestly contact my son first and be honest with him about what happened. being that he is in the Marines, that may not be possible in a hurry. If money is available I would honestly take it to professionals to see what can be done, before everything dries completely.
Good luck!

edit: fyi, depending on how wet the car is, and being that it is newer, it may not be a wise idea to drive it. Should any of the interior electronics get wet, you could have some bad shorting on your hand and damage of electrical components.
 
  #3  
Old 05-24-04, 02:33 PM
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About the only chance you have of not spending big bucks is to IMMEDIATLY remove the seats and entire carpet. The carpet has a thick backing and will not dry on it's own and the mildew will set in quickly. You will most likely end up replacing the carpets though. They will never dry while still in the car.
There's no danger in the electrical although the water will corrode any connectors and ruin any modules under the carpet if not dried and lubed quickly ( the connectors)..
 
  #4  
Old 05-24-04, 05:23 PM
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Jeep

I would find a jeep website and find out if any electronics are on or around the floor.I was thinking since it is a jeep and they know that some people will surley try to offroad and go thru water they might have located them in a not so vunerable place as close to the floor.
 
  #5  
Old 05-24-04, 07:27 PM
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Don't know where you're located, but it must NOT be So Cal because it doesn't rain here!

You could probably suck most of the water out of the carpet and seats with a good wet/dry vac or one of those home carpet cleaners that have a furniture attachment. I've got a Hoover from Wal-Mart that works very well. About $250 if I remember, but cheaper than a new interior.

As for the potential mold/mildew/smell, one of those Living Air Classic Air Purfiers would probably do the trick. They're not cheap, but they WORK for getting rid of mold and again they're cheaper than a complete interior.

As for any floor mounted electronics, I'm not that familar with the model, but other than maybe a stereo amp or equalizer, I doubt anything important or critical would be on the floor.

As a last resort you could contact one of those businesses that specialize in flood damaged homes for help.

Matt
 
  #6  
Old 05-25-04, 03:13 AM
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Originally Posted by smogtek
You could probably suck most of the water out of the carpet and seats with a good wet/dry vac or one of those home carpet cleaners that have a furniture attachment. I've got a Hoover from Wal-Mart that works very well. About $250 if I remember, but cheaper than a new interior.

As for the potential mold/mildew/smell, one of those Living Air Classic Air Purfiers would probably do the trick. They're not cheap, but they WORK for getting rid of mold and again they're cheaper than a complete interior.

As for any floor mounted electronics, I'm not that familar with the model, but other than maybe a stereo amp or equalizer, I doubt anything important or critical would be on the floor.

As a last resort you could contact one of those businesses that specialize in flood damaged homes for help.

Matt
No, none of that is going to work. There is NO vacuum that will get the water from the backing of that carpet and there is NOTHING you will be able to do about it if it does mildew. The ONLY option is to get it aired out before it mildews. I've resolved this problem many times and removing the carpet is imperitive.
Yes, I have seen things as important as ABS modules installed under seats and carpets, not necessarily that vehicle but you will at least find wiring plugs that are rusting as we speak.
 
  #7  
Old 05-25-04, 03:28 PM
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another idea

If you are cheap like me you might want to go to your local hardware store and buy one of those super big fans that move lots of air.
Diconnect the battery so dome light stays off open all doors prop fan for max airflow across interior and just let it run for a day or two.Works better on a nice hot day.Or maybe in the gararage.
 
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Old 05-25-04, 03:32 PM
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Yes the carpet needs to be removed asap and the seats and allow them to dry completely.I just tore one apart today because a water leak caused a wire splice to corrode causing a communication problem beteween modules.Some companies put the air bag module on the floor and they are not cheap.Oh the body shop can fix the water leak.
 
  #9  
Old 05-25-04, 04:27 PM
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OOOOOOH THAT POP UP IS BAD!!!

let us know when you do decide what to do. I too think you'll be fine, electronically, I just mentioned it because in my car, under the carpet is my fuel relay, and wiring, as well as the transmission wiring harness, which is all under the carpet.

I'm sure between ebay, and the classifieds, and a jeep lovers site, you can likely find some good oem used carpet. That may be the easiest way to fix the carpet situation. Hopefully you will be able to steam clean the seats.

I still can't stress enough that if you DO NOT yank the carpet you are going to have mold problems and smell bad enough to make you want to sell the car.
 
  #10  
Old 05-26-04, 10:07 AM
janent
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Taking vehicle in

I thank all of you for your replies about my son's jeep.

His best friend works for a dealership in the area and wants me to bring it in asap and he will work on it. I'm taking it in in a couple of hours. Would detailing the car be enough?

He will completely detail it for $100, which I think is a great price. I'll ask him about pulling the seats and carpets. I think this guy will do as much as he can to help since they are friends.

Thanks again. I'll report back. I haven't tried to start it yet. And I will tell my son about the problem (wasn't going to but I think it's best).

Jan (auto dummy)
 
  #11  
Old 05-26-04, 04:30 PM
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No, detailing would be a complete waste of money. Like you've been told a number of times already, if you don't remove those carpets within 48 hours of getting wet, you'll be spending a few hundred to replace them because you can't get the smell out. Time's a wastin'.
 
  #12  
Old 05-26-04, 06:34 PM
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Put a dehumidifier in the car and plug it in with the windows rolled up. It worked for me.
 
  #13  
Old 05-26-04, 06:50 PM
PurpleThumb
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Jan, I'd like to add my experience, too. I agree that the carpet and seats must come out, also the the spare tire cover and anything else that isn't glued to the floor. With the carpet out, have it steam cleaned, treated for mildew, and deodorized...rain water stinks even when it's dry. When the car has had a couple of days of fresh air, sniff around the floor and see if you can detect any odors other than car smell. If everything seems Ok, then think about putting it back together. You also may want to check the door panels too, just in case the rain didn't come straight down. I've seen quite a few flood cars over the years in my service department and the first thing I do is have the customer sign a disclaimer acknowledging that all water damage may not be evident right away. You may even find it to your advantage to involve your insurance company. I hope it works out for you.
 
  #14  
Old 05-27-04, 03:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Daniel Wachtel
Put a dehumidifier in the car and plug it in with the windows rolled up. It worked for me.
That's ridiculous!

The carpets MUST come out!!!!!
 
  #15  
Old 05-27-04, 08:28 PM
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A good dehumidifier can remove up to 15 gal of moisture in a 24 hour period.
 
  #16  
Old 05-28-04, 02:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Daniel Wachtel
A good dehumidifier can remove up to 15 gal of moisture in a 24 hour period.
It WILL NOT get the wet from the padding under that carpet.
 
  #17  
Old 05-28-04, 08:13 AM
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I used to do flood damage repairs at an interior shop. My true job was moon roof installer but when times were slow I worked in the trim shop.

All of what the other "most' are saying is for sure true. Remove it all. We would get the carpet sanitized, replace the padding with new. Also would remove the seat covers and get them sanitized and replace the padding.
 
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