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How to Deep Clean Soiled Flooded Carpets

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Dealing with flooded carpet is a situation that needs immediate response. When flooding from heavy rains occur, businesses are dealing with "grey water" one of three categories of water damage. With grey water — water that contains some degree of contamination — simply extracting the water from the carpet is only the first step in the cleaning process. Because it was contaminated with dirty water, the carpet also needs to be removed and treated with an antimicrobial solution. The pad also needs to be removed and possibly replaced, and the carpet needs to be cleaned after it has been put back into place.

With flooded carpets, dirt typically settles deep into the fibres and often needs more than just water extraction for proper removal.

In such a case, a carpet may need aggressive vacuuming over a period of days to extract the soil embedded deep in the fibres. Once accomplished, a program of pre-spraying, deep agitation with an alkaline cleaner and extraction with clean water is recommended.

"You might have to do that kind of cleaning a couple of times to reclaim the carpet," says Waddell. "But there is really no substitute in reclamation cleaning for good old-fashioned spray, agitate and rinse."

Proper Equipment And Maintenance

Performing these clean-ups will require the use of proper agitating and extracting equipment, and, of course, a good vacuum cleaner. In most cases, additional investment in specialised equipment and products aren't needed.

Extreme vacuuming and deep cleaning can sometimes bring back the most soiled of carpets. In fact, a carpet cannot be over vacuumed, especially in entry areas, says Waddell. Not vacuuming enough, he says, is one of the biggest mistakes people make.

"One of the great things about carpet is that it hides soil," he says. "And one of the worst things about carpet is that it hides soil."

Cleaning deeply soiled carpeting doesn't have to be a difficult task. It just takes a consistent and effective approach that supports the integrity of a carpet care program.

There comes a time in the life of every carpet when vacuuming can no longer restore its clean appearance. There are four major indicators of the need for a deep-cleaning job: the carpet is matted and feels sticky; the carpet is no longer the same colour as the remnant you saved when the carpet was new; the carpet has grimy circles around the chairs; or the carpet releases a dust storm when you run across the room.

"Sometimes people are looking for a magic bullet, but really it's just a combination of a lot of little things, like vacuuming and deep cleaning," says Schneringer. "If you're doing the little things along the way, then you can prevent having to do a massive cleaning later."