Water damage from a leak or flood is never fun, but it can be even more alarming when it occurs on a carpeted surface. Mold and mildew are a real concern that can even have health implications, so you must take the steps necessary to avoid them. The following tips can help.
Tip #1: Remove everything from the room
Anything left sitting on the carpet can trap moisture and slow drying. This means that you need to pull every thing out of the room and place it somewhere dry. Chances are furniture legs and other items that were sitting on the wet carpet are also damp. Wipe them down with a diluted bleach solution to kill any mold spores, then place the furniture in a well-ventilated area to dry while you focus on restoring the carpet.
Tip #2: Extract the water quickly
The longer the carpet remains wet, the more prone it will be to mold and mildew growth. The key to avoiding this is to extract the water quickly. You can use a wet-dry vacuum for this, but a better option is to rent an industrial-strength water extractor. These can suck water up from deep within the padding and carpet, where as home vacuums can only usually remove surface water. The more water you extract quickly in this step, the more likely that you can save the carpet.
Tip #3: Rent an industrial fan
No extractor will remove all the moisture, so you will need to use use dry air to evaporate whatever remains. If the weather is dry, open the windows to improve ventilation. Then, rent an industrial fan or two and aim them at the carpet. The fans will speed evaporation and the open windows ensure that the moisture can escape the room. If you can't open a window, run a dehumidifier or two and turn up the heat to achieve similar results.
Tip #4: Clean and disinfect
Once the carpet is dry you need to have it cleaned. Use a carpet cleaner that is designed to kill mold and mildew spores. This should both remove any staining from the water damage as well as prevent any fresh mold growth anywhere within the carpet. This way, if any mold has begun to grow on the underside of the carpet where you can't see it, you can rest assured that it has been killed.
For more help, contact a professional carpet water restoration company in your area.