Basement Play Area Flooded and Now We Have Mold

Dear George,

We have a basement play area for our kids that took in several dozen gallons of rainwater over the weekend. We are concerned that now we have mold and we need help quickly to dry the carpeting and padding, and in assessing and addressing the issues.

Need Help


Dear Need Help,

In your house, run the central air conditioner and dehumidifiers to help remove moisture.

If the carpeting has been saturated, there are no guarantees that mold can be prevented. If you can get it completely dry, you might be able to prevent mold.

One option is to have a professional give you their bid on removing the carpet and cleaning it. Arrange to leave the carpet with the professional cleaner until you deal with other flood damage.

If you find it necessary to clean it yourself:
* Dry the carpet as quickly as possible to help avoid mildew. Use a wet-and-dry vacuum (with only the foam filter in place) to get water out of the carpet.
* If possible, take the carpet outside to lay flat on a dry concrete area, such as a driveway, patio, or garage floor, preferably in full sun. A sloping driveway would be the best choice.
* Steam clean and disinfect the carpet on both sides. You should be able to rent a professional quality machine to do this.
* Remove the pad. It is better to replace it (after disinfecting the floor).
* Disinfect the floor, using the steam cleaner. After it is dry, install the new padding.
* After the carpet is completely dry, replace it over the new padding.

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