Kitchen pipe flooded bedroom - should GC replace carpet?

kaysdSeptember 12, 2013

Tuesday night, I walked into my daughter's room and stepped into a puddle in the carpet. The carpet was really wet all along the 12' wall between the kitchen and the bedroom. (We went through several bath towels trying to soak up the water.) When our GC opened up that wall yesterday, he discovered that the cabinet guys (who I hired directly) put a nail through one of the pipes. The water ran down the wall and under the carpet on the bedroom side. The kitchen has tile on slab, so no water came through there. (I just had a terrible thought - we may need to pull the toe kicks off the cabinets to make sure there is no water under the cabinets, which sit on the tile.) GC removed several sections of drywall from the bedroom side and is running fans to dry out the space.

This is a brand new wall installed by GC with new plumbing work done by GC's sub. There was no metal plate put in between the pipe and drywall to warn anyone trying to put a screw or nail through the wall that there were utilities there, so I have a hard time blaming the cabinet installer. If the plumbers had paid attention to the cabinet layout shown on the building plans, they should have realized it was a stupid place to put the pipe. Someone, the plumber, framer (GC) or drywall guy, should have put up a metal plate to shield the pipes before installing drywall and hiding them.

The bedroom is 11' x 12' and had new carpet installed 6 months ago. GC pulled back a 12' x 5' section of the carpet and removed the pad underneath so the carpet can dry. He put the section of pad outside to dry. DH thinks it will be fine to put the same pad back in in a few days and stretch the carpet back over it. Since it was only wet for one day and it was clean water, he is not worried about mold or mildew. The pad we used was the most expensive pad upgrade with antimicrobial treatment, which the store recommended for people with pets and small children. The carpet is a Stainmaster carpet. I am concerned that all of the water may have washed the stain-resistant coating off of the carpet and/or the mold-resistant chemicals out of the pad, thereby shortening the useable life of the carpet. We have the same carpet in 5 rooms and my experience is that carpet colors/patterns available from a manufacturer change regularly, so we may not be able to re-carpet the one room in a few years if we need to and still have it match the other rooms.

Am I worried for nothing? I do not want to ask the GC to replace the pad (and maybe the carpet too) if it is not really necessary. There have been other problems with subs on this job, and I don't think he is making much money on it at this point. Plus, we would like to get the room back to normal as soon as possible.


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So the issue is the carpet was wet for a day and now it's dry? Your carpets won't all match?

I had a house where the shower leaked onto the downstairs ceiling and ruined it. The handyman fixed the ceiling in that case. I don't see where the damage is in your case.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2013 at 2:49PM
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Not a big deal at all. Stain resistance can't be washed out of the carpet. Likewise, the padding anti-microbial is integral to the material and cannot be washed out. If it was wet briefly and is now dry, re-installing the original products is fine. Now, if it had stayed we for days and you didn't notice it, that would be another story.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2013 at 2:59PM
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I would make sure that either the cabinet guy or the plumber/GC paid for the pipe repairs. Beyond that I dont think there's anything to be worried about.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2013 at 3:39PM
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Fori is not pleased

You can also contact the carpet and pad manufacturer to see if they advise replacement, but it's probably fine.

Hopefully stain resistance isn't that necessary in a bedroom!

    Bookmark   September 12, 2013 at 4:07PM
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Thanks for reassuring me. GC is making the pipe and wall repairs.

Fori, I thought about calling the carpet store, but was worried they might keep a record of my call and void my warranty if there were any future issues, even if unrelated. Sadly, my 2-year-old puts that stain resistance to the test with juice pouches, snacks, etc., that she sneaks into the bedrooms, even though she is not supposed to.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2013 at 5:25PM
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Even though it was clean water, I'd call a professional carpet cleaning service (one that does water restoration) to see if cleaning & sanitizing the carpet is recommended.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 11:44AM
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Having had a washer overflow this summer which required replacing sheetrock, ceiling, and carpeting, I second romy718's advice. They'll bring out a water detection device and check all the walls and floors. You'd be surprised how far water will travel. If there's any remaining at this point, it's considered gray water and they'll need to remove materials. I would also call your insurance company and find out who they recommend make the evaluation.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 2:14PM
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That's a good idea to havea professional restoration company come in for a second opinion. I would never call my insurance company about a water issue, though. Insurance companies are so paranoid about water damage and mold that your house can become uninsurable if any mention of water damage ends up in the CLUE database.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 5:56PM
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