Rugs and Floods. What to do

With the number of home floods escalating due to severe weather, several rugs will be exposed to flood water.

The longer a rug remains wet, the more likely it is to have dye migration that is not correctible.

Rugs not appropriately washed and not dried thoroughly can end up with mildew and dry rot problems.

Here are tips to minimize the damage to oriental rugs involved in floods

Extract the water as soon as possible using a wet vacuum, or have your water damage restoration company extract it with their professional water removal equipment. (Professional equipment like the Water Claw and the Rover is the quickest way to remove water in the home from wet rugs. The Water Claw should be used on the BACK side of the carpet. The Rover can be ridden and pulls much more moisture out quicker, and with the smooth lip on the extraction points, it can be used on the front or back of the rug.)

Make sure you wand extract WITH the direction of the rug’s fiber nap instead of against it (this minimizes fiber damage). If you “pet” the carpet, it’s like petting your animals; you can feel which direction is *with* the grain and which is against it.

If you cannot have the rugs thoroughly washed right away, then it’s important to get the rugs as dry as possible as quickly as possible to lessen the risks of permanent damage. Dry them fast and wash/sanitize them later.

When transporting to a rug cleaning facility to be washed, wrap in towels or sheets to prevent dryness from migrating from one rug to another. It is very difficult to remove dye migration.

Do NOT hang up wet rugs. Extract and dry out flat. Hanging wet puts too much weight on the foundation of the rugs and will pull the migrating dye throughout the face of the rug and into its fringe tassels.

Do NOT dry in direct sunlight. Most contemporary rugs are sensitive to sunlight fading. If you must dry in sunlight, lay the rugs face down so fading occurs on the back side only until the rugs are taken to a rug washing facility.

Wool and silk oriental rugs can take months, sometimes years, to weave by hand. If you have investment textiles you want to protect from a flood that has affected your home, simply follow these guidelines, and you can lessen the risk of permanent damage to your rugs due to extended exposure to water.

Once you have done your best to minimize the damage, the rugs must be thoroughly washed and sanitized before being returned to the home. This is done in professional rug-washing facilities.

Even the filthiest rugs can come out looking fantastic with a good bath.

It’s best to leave it to the professionals when it comes to something as messy and dangerous as floods.

Print and keep these tips handy in case you have the unfortunate experience of having your home flooded. And you will know how to help protect your favorite rugs and ensure they are clean and safe when they are returned to your “fixed up” home.

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