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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

How to Get Rid of Carpet Odor from Water Damage?

7/21/2019 (Permalink)

How to Get Rid of Carpet Odor from Water Damage?

Step inside most homes, and you will find carpeted floors. Sometimes there will be carpets only in the bedrooms, and sometimes you'll find carpets in main living spaces including basements. And in some homes, you'll actually find carpets in bathrooms. The last isn't recommended as it can quickly lead to the problems we will discuss in this blog - carpet odors. 

Just a little bit of water can turn your once pristine, somewhat odor-less carpets into a musty smell reminiscent of a laundry basket full of sweaty clothes or a high school locker room. Below we will go over what causes the odor and how to get rid of it.

It Doesn't Take a Flood for Carpet Odor to Happen

If you've ever experienced water damage, you know how important it is to contact water damage restoration professionals, like SERVPRO of Indianapolis West, immediately. With their expertise and equipment, they can quickly get rid of the water, remove moisture from the air, and start drying any carpets that may have gotten soaked. After 24-48 hours, the water damage can become worse as mold begins to grow and destroy the drywall, carpets, framing, furniture, clothes, and much more. This type of mold damage is the worst-case scenario and usually results in the carpeting needing to be replaced. 

In the scenarios where your carpeting has a musty type of odor, there may be a chance of getting rid of the smell and saving your carpets from further damage. Unlike the scene above where the carpeting is completely flooded and soaked, in most situations with carpet odor, there isn't any visible water damage. There isn't water dripping down a wall or a wet carpet or a drip from the ceiling pooling on your carpet. Sometimes the carpet odor can be caused by someone spilling a cup of water or moisture from the basement floor underneath the rug. Even forgetting to hang up your bath mat after taking a bath can lead to a musty carpet odor from the bath mat. 

My Carpet Smells, What is Causing It

If you're paying attention, you may have noticed a constant in each of the scenarios we've discussed above. The constant is water whether it's from a dripping towel, a spilled cup, or condensation dripping off a water pipe. If your carpets get wet and are not dried quickly, they can start to smell. Going back to the bathroom, think about a damp towel. If you throw the damp towel into a pile on the ground, it may become musty after a day or two. But if you hang it up to dry, then it will usually be fine the next time you use it. 

The same goes for your carpet. If the water and moisture in the carpet are not able to evaporate quickly and dry out, then it can become musty and smelly. The musty smell from your carpet is a strong indicator that mold or mildew is growing within it. If it is not treated, it can lead to premature decay and deterioration of your carpet and subfloor.

How Do I Get Rid of the Odor and the Causes of It?

If you smell an odor coming from a carpet, you can take a few steps that may get rid of the odor. The first step is to absorb any excess water with a cloth or paper towel. Then open the windows or doors around the carpet to get fresh air circulating. You can then take some baking soda and apply it to the smelly area. The baking soda absorbs odors and is usually harmless to carpets. Vacuum up the baking soda after letting it sit for a day. 

If the odor persists, you can try a mixture of water and vinegar to try to eliminate the odor. Start with a mixture of one part distilled white vinegar to two parts water. You don't need to saturate the smelly area; you simply need to spray a fine mist over it and let it dry. This technique also works for fabrics like sofas and drapes.

If the Odor Persists, Call the Professionals

Ultimately, the best way to get rid of carpet odors from water and mold damage is to contact the professionals at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West. They have the tools and equipment to extract the water, dehumidify the air, and remove the odors from your carpet, carpet pads, subfloors, drywall, and framing. If you've tried everything to get rid of the odors and they keep coming back or are getting worse, you can trust SERVPRO of Indianapolis West. They will not only get rid of the odor, but they'll find and address the source so that it doesn't happen again. Give them a call for all of your water, mold, and fire damage.

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