Flooring and Carpeting/Wet Stinky Carpet

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Question
Hello - We occasionally get a little water in our basement if the ground is frozen and we get heavy rains - Exactly what happened last week in Wisconsin - almost 4 inches.  The indoor-outdoor carpeting that is on the floor in the basement was soaked.  I used a carpet cleaner to remove as much of the water from the carpet as I could.  Then I have had fans blowing for the past 4 days.  The carpet is drying out, but it STINKS! (And the smell is beginning to move upstairs)  What are my options?

-Keep drying the carpets and then somehow try to clean them?  How?

-Remove and discard the carpet?  How to I remove the glue from the concrete?

-If I remove the carpet and get the glue off, would you recommend these epoxy paints?

Many thanks -

Answer
The smell is probably due to mold/mildew. The only way you can get the carpet to dry to to remove it and lay it out in another area, turning it over so both sides get dry,. You cannot do this on concrete, because of the moisture emission of on grade/below grade concrete floors, which feeds mold/mildew.

If your carpet is truly indoor-outdoor, meaning it can be installed outdoors then it can be cleaned using a rental steamer (let me know if you need steam cleaning instructions). If it is not a true outdoor carpet (many people use the term indoor-outdoor to describe any low level loop type carpet) then the carpet may not be salvageable. Excess moisture that occurred during the flood can degrade the latex holding the primary and secondary backings causing delamination and ripples to occur later on.

If you cannot easily scrape up the adhesive there are types of removers that you can choose. some of which are user-friendly and safe; citric acid or soy bases. However, for adhesives that are difficult to remove, you will need to use a solvent-based adhesive remover.

Apply the adhesive remover to the adhesive with a brush or trowel. Allow the adhesive remover to sit for as long as the package directions recommend. Test the surface by scraping a small area to see if it is ready. If the adhesive does not come up easily, allow the remover to sit a little longer. Scrape the entire surface with a scraper, putty knife or a trowel with a flat edge and remove as much of the adhesive as possible. Apply another coat of remover if needed. Repeat until you have removed all the adhesive. Wipe up all the excess adhesive and rinse the area thoroughly with water. Wipe it clean with rags. Allow the surface to dry thoroughly before recovering with carpet, or other flooring.

I do not recommend any type of paint over concrete if you think you may want to cover the concrete floor later on with carpet because some adhesives will not stick well to the paint. However if you do not plan on recovering your floor with carpet then you may be able to  paint it. Consult a paint expert for paint varieties and applications over a concrete floor.

Flooring and Carpeting

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R Adams

Expertise

Certified Installer 1966-1976, Certified Carpet Cleaning Instructor 1976-1985, Certified Commercial and Residential Floor Inspector since 1985 is available to answer questions on problems with carpet or other flooring, and carpet cleaning. I can guide you as to whether you may have a valid claim against a manufacturer/installer/dealer/cleaning company.

Experience

Floor covering Installer 1966-1976 Carpet Cleaning Instructor 1976-1985 Floor Covering Inspector 1985- present

Organizations
Floor Covering Inspector Training School; FCITS Floor Covering Inspection Technical Services; FITS Certified Claims Inspectors Association; CCIA

Publications
Hartford Courant

Education/Credentials
B.S. Chemistry 1971 A.S. Physical Science 1969 Armstrong Certified Installer 1972 3M Certified Carpet Cleaning Specialist 1976 FCITS Certified in Carpet and Hard Surface, Commercial and Residential

Past/Present Clients
GE, Phoenix Insurance Group, McDonalds Corp, WTNH, US NAVY, Xerox, Time Warner, Pitney Bowes, Conair, Yale New Haven Hospital, UCONN, Price Waterhouse, Pepsico.

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