Learn how to clean a carpet after a water leak. Find out why you should use a mildicide with your steam cleaner when your carpet has been made wet from a leak.
LESLIE: Now we’re going to talk to Caroline in North Carolina who has something going on with the carpet. How did it get wet?
CAROLINE: We thought the hot water heater  had sprung a leak. But instead it was a leak from the outside of a brick wall. Our den is where our old garage used to be.
CAROLINE: So the carpet’s on top of the concrete.
TOM: So it leaked in from the outside, Caroline?
CAROLINE: Yes, that’s correct.
CAROLINE: And my husband’s a good handyman and he did all of the things that he knew. He used a dehumidifier  and he used a wet/dry vac. And where the most moisture was, there seemed to be something of a cloudiness …
CAROLINE: … on the carpet after he had done all that he knew to do and we ran fans as much as we could to try to move the moisture as – remove it as much as we could.
LESLIE: Is there carpet padding underneath the carpet?
CAROLINE: There is. I was just wondering, once we have cleaned that on the surface, do you suggest that we do anything further? There’s no evidence of any mold  or mildew forming.
TOM: Well, do you have odor now? Does it smell?
CAROLINE: No, not now.
TOM: OK, you know what I suggest you do, Caroline? It sounds like you’ve done all of the right things. I just want to ask one question. Have you fixed the leak?
CAROLINE: Oh, yes.
TOM: OK. Then the last thing I think that you need to do here is to steam clean the carpet. Rent a commercial carpet cleaner and get a mildicide additive. There are different mildicide additives that won’t affect the color of the carpet.
LESLIE: And that’s something you really need to be careful about because sometimes, any type of cleanser could change the coloring of the carpet and then you’ll be real sad.
TOM: That’s why you want to use one that’s designed for this purpose. And basically, by using a steam cleaner, you’re going to push clean water through that carpet and then pull up any dirt or debris that’s still in there. Because that can be causing odors and that can be giving the organic material that’s stuck in the carpet from everyday wear and tear, is something that could grow into a mold issue. So, I would suggest that you might want to think about steam cleaning with a commercial cleaner using a mildicide and that’s probably the last thing you need to do. And it sounds like everything else that you’ve done is OK.
CAROLINE: OK. Well, I thank you so much.
TOM: You’re welcome, Caroline. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.