How to Fix Water Soaked Carpet

carpeted floor
  • 3-20 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 10-200
What You'll Need

If a flood strikes your property then your carpet may well become the biggest victim. Water damage can cause your carpet to lift up which can look unsightly.

Any carpet damage looks terrible and needs immediate attention. This could be very expensive if you are trying to hire a specialist carpet cleaner. However, if you have the right tools available, you should be able to do the job yourself.

Find the Leak

The first thing you need to do is locate the leak. If the leak is still causing damage to your carpet then you need to try and shut this off. It's important to stop the leak before doing anything else, otherwise, you will waste time repairing your carpet.

Decide whether or not the carpet is salvageable. If the carpet has been damaged by freshwater, then you should be able to repair it. However, if it is damaged by wastewater, then this may be irreparable.

If you struggle to find the source of the leak, hire a plumber to help.


Rows of bleach bottles

Once the leak is shut off you need to clean and disinfect the area. You can do this by making up a cleaning solution by mixing bleach with water. This can be mixed in a bucket or in a spray bottle.

Make sure you open your windows before using this solution because the fumes can be pretty strong in enclosed spaces.

Lift up the Carpet

Now you should carefully lift the damaged section of the carpet so you can access the underlay. Carefully cut away the underlay and remove it. This is like a sponge which is why it must be removed. It's also a good idea to remove any furniture from your room so you can easily clean the whole carpet.


Now you need to thoroughly dry the carpet, this will take a long time, though it can be sped up with some powerful fans. Put the fans in the room, close the door and leave them for around three days. You will need to be patient when doing this. Make sure that you don't allow the electric cords to trail across the damp areas of the carpet.

This process can also be made much quicker if you use a dehumidifier to extract moisture from the air. It's important to dry the carpet out as quickly as possible so it doesn't develop mold, which will destroy the entire carpet.

Keep off the Carpet

carpeted basement

While you are allowing the carpet to dry you must be very careful not to stand on it. Walking on it can cause damage to the carpet.

Check the Carpet

Now you need to check the carpet to find out whether it has dried out properly. You can check it after half a day to see how the technique is working.

If you do need to replace the carpet due to flood damage, you should talk to your insurance company to find out whether or not they will cover the cost of replacing the carpet.