Carpet Flooding and Replacement

airjay81May 8, 2012

The washing machine in our apartment flooded this past Friday morning due to a malfunction and caused some significant flooding of the carpeted areas of our living and dining rooms. Maintenance responded extremely quickly, brought out water vacuums, and got floor flans blowing underneath the carpet (i.e. between the carpet and the padding). The area of carpet that flooded was a good 200 sq. ft. I also went out and purchased a deumidifier and ran the a/c all weekend. By Monday morning, the carpet and padding was pretty much dry to the touch everywhere. I did not notice any dampness, although there was a slight musty smell in the room. The apartment maintenance came back out Monday afternoon, put the carpet back down and brought in a carpet cleaner to clean the carpet. To be perfectly honest, but for a few edges of the carpet that had some unraveling and fraying of the carpet fibers from the fans blowing all weekend, the carpet looks decent and the apartment smells pretty good too (like fresh cleaned carpets).

My primary concern is whether the padding underneath the carpet fully dried or was even able to fully dry using these methods. I have read elsewhere that when carpet floods, it is next to impossible to save the padding, even if you act quickly. Before the carpets were cleaned yesterday, I asked the management to consider fully replacing the carpet and padding expressing my concern about whether the padding would ever be able to fully dry. Now that the carpets have been cleaned and put back, I am second guessing whether I was overreacting and whether I should continue to push for replacement of the carpet and padding. My fear is that if the padding did not fully dry on the bottom, in a couple of months, the musty mildew smell will be back, and then we'll have a bigger mold problem on our hands and probably need to move. On the other hand, I don't want be an annoying tenant that sounds concerned where there is no need to be concerned. I find myself obsessing about this problem and am even considering offering to the management to pay for part or all of the carpet replacement just for peace of mind. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

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Your health should never be in doubt. Moldy carpet sucks. Padding is most likey shot if the maintenance guys went to all that trouble. It tells mevthe flooding was bad enough. Go for replacement! Dont feel akward or insecure with fear of being a pushy tennant. You pay rent and and with that have a reasonable expectation of clean living conditions. If the flooding wasnt in any way your fault and if the washing machine is the property of the apartment owners then its their responsibility to replace the carpet. Not yours. They cannot kick you out for asking.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 5:41PM
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I'm not a carpet retailer or installer, but I would venture to guess that if the padding was a closed cell urethane or rubber product, it is doubtful that it retained much moisture.

Of course if you offered to put in new carpet for the management, I am sure they would be very happy.

I would give it a couple of weeks to continue to dry out while occasionally running the dehumidifier. If after that time you smell nothing funky and see no mold growth, I'd say you're good. Remember...mold and mildew need moisture in order to propagate. Deny them that and they stay dormant and of little or no consequence.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 5:52PM
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See what you insurance will cover.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 2:00PM
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Todays synthetic/urethane/bonded/premium cushion will not suck up water unless its a commercial hair cushion, which is very rare these days. The better cushions even have anti-microbial and anti-mildew additives, and are hypo-alergenic. Be more concerned with the subfloor/sheathing and tackless (tack strip) sponging the water.

Now if its and old hair or clay waffle cushion, then it may indeed be holding water.

I recommend keeping the dehumidifier and climate control on for a few weeks and you should be find. If in doubt, demand an inspection, or pay for one yourself if they wont to it.

You can also buy a cheap moisture meter and test different areas.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 4:44AM
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