Area rugs add character and variety to a room, but what happens when it gets really dirty or wet from some unexpected event such as a leaking roof, sewage spills, floods, or effects of inclement weather.
This is considered water damage and large area rugs need to be cleaned and dried fairly quickly, as the longer it remains wet, the likelihood of the rug being completely ruined becomes a reality.
Rugs with water damage from a flood or sewage spill also need to be cleaned after the initial extraction.
This ensures the rug is not only dry but doesn’t have harmful bacteria once the rug is completely dry. The key is managing as much of the wet rug as possible.
Large area rugs are tough to maneuver and can take a long time to dry. It is important to follow the steps carefully to avoid a build-up of mold and mildew.
Although you may dry the rug, cleaning it after it has been damaged may require a professional’s services to restore the rug to its original state.
Here are the materials land steps needed to dry a large area rug.
First, these are the materials you will need:
- Rug shampoo
- Water hose or buckets
- Wet/Dry Vac
- Steam Cleaner
It is important to get rid of the water in a soaked rug before cleaning it, especially from flooding or sewage. These steps outline how to get the initial water-soaked rug into a condition where shampooing is possible.
Before you start, know the type of rug you have. The steps below will work on most synthetic rugs, but if you’re dealing with something more exotic wool rugs, please call a professional.
Extract dirty water from the rug
The steps below will help extract dirty water from the rug. It’s important to remove the filth before cleaning it with soap for the best results.
Step 1: Remove the rug
Remove the area rug from its original area to allow the floor underneath to dry. This helps protect the floor from additional damage. The rug may be difficult to move because it is soaking wet. The larger the rug, the heavier it becomes to move. It may take more than one person to move it.
After relocating the rug, prioritize drying the wet floor first since moisture can permeate through the surface, particularly on hardwood floors.
Use a mop and a cleaner appropriate for the surface if you’re dealing with a flood issue.
Step 2: Bring it outdoors.
Move the rug outdoors so you’ll have space to facilitate the next steps. Lay it on an open space with a flat surface. If that isn’t possible, try the garage.
Step 3: Squeeze the water out.
Use a long-handled squeegee to start removing the water. Push in the direction of the pile. The objective is to remove as much water as possible to keep it from being sopping wet. If a squeegee cannot be used, a long-handled brush may work just as well.
Step 4: Extract more water using a wet/dry vacuum.
The rug should not have any visible saturation. If there are not enough towels to absorb the water, a wet-dry vacuum should be used. While this is a great solution, the vacuum may have to be run over areas more than once and should have a tank that should be monitored to make sure it is emptied whenever needed.
Step 5: Dry the rug
The last step is drying the rug. You can do this by hanging it on a porch rail or propping it over chairs. If hanging the rug outdoors isn’t possible, place heavy towels underneath to continue absorbing water inside the garage or open space inside.
Once the rug is in a condition to be cleaned, shampooing should commence. The next steps will require you to use a full-sized carpet cleaning machine. If one isn’t available, you can rent one. Companies like Rug Doctor and Bissell offer rental units. Just search for “carpet cleaning rental near me.”
Here are the steps:
Step 1: Prep the carpet cleaning machine
Use the right amount of carpet cleaning solution. Check the correct ratio in the manual. Manufacturers usually put in indicators on the clean water tank on how much cleaning product you should use.
Add hot tap water in the container and attach it to the carpet cleaner.
Use a small amount of shampoo and work it into the rug using a brush. Rinse the rug with a water hose or buckets to rinse the solution away or have a professional rug cleaning company assist. Be careful only to use a little, as it is concentrated and can do more damage.
Step 2: Use slow movements to clean the rug
Go with slow back and forth movements. Start on one corner and make your way to the other end. Move slow and steady, and let the brush do its work.
You may need to refill the clean reservoir with water and cleaning solution multiple times for really filthy rugs.
Watch the receptacle for the dirty water to ensure it does not overflow. Check the rug for any visible stains and continue cleaning if there are any remaining.
Use the carpet cleaner to remove any excess water in preparation for the next step.
Step 3: Hang the rug
Hang the rug from a fence or line to increase the amount of air flowing throughout the rug. The rug must stay straight and not folded to work effectively. The rug may also be propped up to help the airflow.
If the rug is too heavy for a line, then prop it over two sturdy chairs. Try to keep it as straight as possible, so the air hits all areas.
Step 5: Wait for it to dry.
If possible, use fans on both sides of the rug with the setting on high to help the rug dry. Large, industrial fans are excellent for this task as it can blow a large volume of air.
Depending on how large the rug is, the process can take up to three days. If you are drying the rug indoors, it is also best to use a dehumidifier and the fans to absorb moisture.
You may need multiple fans, especially for huge rugs, so air passes through all areas.
Every six hours, check the surface of the rug to determine if it is dry. Large area rugs may dry in certain areas and still have dampness in others.
Do periodic spot checks to make sure it is fully dry. Please do not put the rug back in place until it is fully dry to avoid floor damage.