When your property experiences flooding, one of the worst consequences is a wet carpet. It takes only 24 to 48 hours for water damage to destroy your floor coverings, leaving them smelly and infested with mold. Time is a priority when dealing with carpet drying. A flood does not necessarily mean that the carpet is irreparable, if you get on the case immediately then there is every possibility of it being rescued. The carpet itself is not so much a danger, it is the padding beneath it which acts as a huge sponge, absorbing moisture and creating the perfect breeding ground for mildew and other bacteria. That is why even if your carpet appears dry on the surface, you cannot risk leaving it alone because the underlying padding could still be wet and be breeding all manner of nasty things which will soon become airborne and affect your health.
Timing is everything. In an ideal situation, the water should be drained and your carpet dried within 24 hours of exposure to moisture, even up to 48 hours afterwards can still allow for reasonable rescue although it may only be possible to salvage the carpet and not the padding. However, when you hit 72 hours after exposure, it is best to assume your wet carpet cannot be saved. The longer your carpet is soaked the worse the problem is going to get so you should call in professional assistance immediately to extract the water, dry the surface and the underneath of the carpet and steam clean it to kill lingering microbial growth and eliminate odors.
Failure to dry a wet carpet after a flood will put to your health at risk. Inside of a week the carpet will be showing visible signs of mold growth. Mold spreads unbelievably quickly and once airborne can have a negative impact on your health. Health concerns include respiratory difficulties, irritation of the skin, eyes, nose and throat and exacerbation of existing health conditions. The elderly, young children and expectant mothers are especially at risk.