damp carpet in basement

sheilaaus122December 25, 2006

Our water heater was leaking... and we did see some water on the cement floor near it,which we wiped up. The heater was replaced, and now, days later, we notice that the carpet on the other side of the wall from the heater(the bsmt is partially finished) is damp. There is now a lovely mildew smell. The dampness does not seem to be too far into the carpet, but of course, far enough (like maybe 3 feet from the wall).

I guess we have been lucky in never having to deal with this before so I ask- do I use a wet dry vac to try to draw out as much of the water as possible (and then possibly disinfect etc deodorize) or is there something more or different that we need to do?

Most appreciative for any and all advice. Hopefully we do not need to rip up the carpet.please.

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You have to do whatever is necessary to dry the carpet. That ususally means pulling it up. Running a dehumidifier is usually needed to promote drying unless there is adequate ventilation and the outside air is dry.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2006 at 10:11AM
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If it were me I'd get a dehumidifier in there immediately running at high speed. Leave it there a good full week (keep testing it, see if you feel dampness.) If the carpet is damp enough that you think a wet vac will pick up water, do that as well. Draw out as much as you can, then allow the dehumidifier to do the rest. Fans blowing will help as well.

Our lower level (bilevel) had carpet when we purchased it, carpet installed over concrete. Before we purchased there was no central air. Every summer when the humidity got high the carpet emitted a mildewy smell. I was convinced there was probably mold under it, in the padding, somewhere. We ran the air conditioner and/or dehumidifier on damp days and that eliminated the odor. We ripped up the carpet a few years ago and had a laminate floor installed. Amazingly, there was no mold or mildew on the underside or the padding. So if you act quickly, get it completely dried out, hopefully you can prevent future problems!

    Bookmark   December 26, 2006 at 9:36PM
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Thank you so much for your ideas. We went to Lowe's and they suggested pulling back the carpet and padding which we did, and using some pretty powerful fans which have been running overnite...and the concrete floor is pretty dry now and the carpet is almost dry. We ripped out the damp padding as they said the padding was most likely the stench and the cause for keeping things damp. (It will also be pretty cheap and easy to replace I expect).
Just to explain, the carpet was damp (well I guess it was really the concrete and padding) but not wet wet so my initial idea of the wet dry vac probably would not have been worth it much. I think we will get a dehuimidifier and let that run. The smell is still pretty pronounced so I guess I will deal with that more so after the dehumidifer does its stuff.We actually never had a dehumidifer which I guess indicates that the basement is pretty dry and hopefully that will help out with the stench dissipating!
Thank you!

    Bookmark   December 27, 2006 at 5:28AM
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You might want to "spot" some light (and heat) on the area, too. A 75 or 100 watt bulb close to it will help kill the mold.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2006 at 9:46PM
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Thought I should update thanks to all the suggestions. Pretty much once we realized it was the padding that needed to get out, we did that, pulling back the carpet and running fans round the clock for several days until the carpet and floor were dry. There was a damp odor which remained for a bit but after using bleach on the concrete floor, and letting everything dry out all I have now is a febreeze plug in and it smells fine. We put the carpet back down, still have not replaced the padding only because we ( I ) am lazy.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2007 at 8:58AM
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