Restoring and cleaning carpets and rugs which have been damaged by water and/or flooding can be a tedious, complicated and expensive proposition. In many cases, it will be necessary to call a professional in the Water Damage Restoration business. The IICRC publishes the Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Water Damage Restoration S500 which is an excellent manual for those interested in full water damage services. The purpose of this discussion is to detail those situations where the HOST Dry Extraction System can be used to correct water damage to carpeted areas.

Use the HOST System Successfully in These Situations:

  • Where the water involved is considered either “clean water” or “gray water” as defined by the S500 Standard.
  • Where structural damage has NOT taken place; such as damage to wall, subfloor, crawl spaces, ductwork, etc.
  • Where water is limited to one floor, room or carpeted area.

If the above criteria have been met, then the HOST Dry Extraction System can be used to correct water damaged areas. You will need the following equipment to accomplish this successfully. The first thing to do is evaluate the situation. Where did the water come from? How is the carpet installed? Over pad? Direct glue down? What type of pad is it? Hair pad? Polyurethane foam? Rubber? Is the floor underneath wood or cement?

If the carpet is a direct glue down, the first thing to do is remove as much of the water as possible with a wet/dry vacuum. You can use the weighted roller to force the moisture to the surface for easier vacuuming. After removal of the water, apply a medium to heavy amount of HOST Dr Extraction Cleaner (do not use HOST SJ) to the carpet. Brush the HOST Dr Extraction Cleaner into and through the carpet with the HOST extractorVAC. The objective at this point is to absorb the excess moisture and assist in the drying of the carpet. After brushing, use a rake or broom to evenly cover the carpet surface with the HOST Dry Extraction Cleaner.

Allow the area to dry. This may take several hours or all day depending on the amount of water and humidity in the room. An air mover can speed up the drying time but be sure that the airflow is not directed at the floor, otherwise the HOST Dry Extraction Cleaner will be blown around. A dehumidifier can also be used to help the drying in extreme conditions. Use a moisture detector to determine that the carpet is dry and then vacuum the HOST Dry Extraction Cleaner. After vacuuming, clean the carpet again with a light application of HOST Dry Extraction Cleaner and the HOST extractorVAC. Test several areas of the carpet with a moisture detector to be sure the carpet is dry. If it is not dry in areas, apply some HOST Dry Extraction Cleaner to the area and work it through with the machine, allow to dry thoroughly and then vacuum. This should do the trick.

If the carpet is installed over pad, examine the pad by lifting the carpet off the tackles strip at a corner of the room. Pads of natural materials such as horsehair or jute are not salvageable. They should be removed and discarded. Sometimes a synthetic pad made of polyurethane foam or rubber is salvageable, but it may have to be removed in order to thoroughly dry the floor. In either case, the first step is to remove as much of the water as possible. Use a wet/dry vacuum to remove the water. Use a weighted roller to “push” the water toward one corner of the room. As you “push” the water to the corner, a second person should be vacuuming with a corner vacuum tool.

As in the instructions for glue down carpet, cover the carpet with a medium to heavy application of HOST Dry Extraction Cleaner and brush it through with the HOST Machine. Then use the broom to evenly spread the HOST Dry Extraction Cleaner over the area. If you have decided the pad doesn’t need to be removed, place an air mover under the carpet at the corner to blow air across the back and under the carpet. You may use a dehumidifier to help speed up the drying. Loosen the carpet from the tackles strip at the opposite end of the room to facilitate air flow.

When the carpet is dry, remove the air mover and replace the carpet on the tackles strip. Vacuum the HOST cleaner from the carpet with the extractorVAC. Apply a light application of HOST cleaner and clean the carpet again. As above, make sure that the carpet is dry. If you decide the pad must be removed, the carpet can be dried in a separate location. Roll up the carpet, remove the pad and dry the floor. Dry the carpet as described above for glue down carpets. After a new pad has been installed, replace the carpet. You will need to enlist the help of a professional carpet installer for this job.

If the floor is wood, it is best to remove the carpet so the wood has an opportunity to dry properly. Otherwise there may be some warping and/or buckling of the floor. We use the HOST cleaner as described because they are such efficient absorbers. As the carpet dries, the moisture will wick slowly to the surface of the carpet. Under normal circumstances, the impurities in the water would dry on the tips of the fibers causing spots or stains that may be more difficult to remove. The HOST cleaner give these impurities someplace to go…into the micro-sponges. This is a controlled way of preventing permanent damage to the carpet.

Loose rugs should be vacuumed with a wet/dry vacuum and then picked up and allowed to air dry over a clothesline. Before the rug is completely dry, clean it with HOST cleaner and extractorVAC. This will help to absorb any of the impurities in the water and prevent possible staining.