Water damage takes a lot of work to clean up. The problem is that it has to be done quickly before mold starts to grow. It also has to be done thoroughly, or water may linger in hidden places and mold may grow behind walls or under carpets without you knowing about it. When you have a water leak and the water floods your carpet and floor, it's a good idea to hire experienced professionals to dry your home out and get it back in shape. Here are some of the steps required.

Dry Out Upholstery

Your furniture pieces can be ruined when they are soaked simply because it is so difficult to get them dry. Pull as much water out of them as possible with water extraction equipment and then set the furniture in the sun to dry if possible. You'll want to keep an eye on things like the sofa and easy chairs when they're wet. It might not be possible to dry them out fast enough to keep them from forming mold or taking on a mildewy odor. You may have to discard upholstered furniture pieces if it isn't possible to get them dry quickly.

Pull Water Out Of The Carpet

Drying out a carpet isn't easy either because carpeting has layers to it, with the bottom layer being the carpet pad. Even if the carpet fibers themselves feel dry, the pad underneath could still be damp and at risk of mold development. A professional will help you judge what to do about the carpet. It might be worth trying to save if the water can be extracted soon after the leak. The restoration crew may suggest pulling up the carpet and letting it dry outdoors so the floor underneath it can be dried out thoroughly. You may then need a new carpet pad when the carpet is put back into place.

Replace Damaged Drywall And Flooring

If the water level was high enough to reach the drywall above the baseboards, then the drywall may be damaged. Drywall is another part of your home that is difficult to dry out because it soaks up water like a sponge. This causes it to swell and lose its shape. It might be necessary to cut away the lower portion of the drywall and replace it with new material. If the leak happened on an upper level, the ceiling might have to be replaced in the same way.

Depending on the type of flooring you have, it might have to be replaced too. Vinyl tiles allow water to seep underneath them. This leaves the subfloor wet and at risk of decay and mold. It also causes the tiles to get loose, so they will probably have to be replaced. Stone tiles that are grouted into place may survive fine, but natural flooring such as wood might be damaged to the point it needs to be pulled up and replaced.

In addition to these difficulties associated with cleaning up water damage, you have to be on the lookout for mold. If the damage is a few days old, mold may already be present. If so, a professional crew should clean it out before you spend time working in your home.