How to Dry Carpet After a Flood

Anyone who has the bad luck to experience a flood in their home knows how terrible it can be.
Carpets are particularly vulnerable to damage because they absorb the water. A carpet that is flooded becomes a heavy and smelly item that needs immediate attention. If a carpet is exposed to standing water for more than a couple of days, there is a very good chance it will have to be discarded completely. Carpets that you dry quickly have a better chance of being saved. .

Step 1

Blow dry air into the room through box fans placed in windows and ceiling fans. Use fans on their highest settings and aim them along the surface of carpets that are in rooms (or hallways) with no windows.

Step 2

Open all drapes (or curtains) to let the sun shine into the room.

Step 3

Run a strong wet/dry vacuum over the carpet. Dump the water, and vacuum again. Continue the process until the vacuum stops sucking water.

Step 4

Run the fans until the carpet goes from wet to damp.

Step 5

Apply a carpet shampoo to the carpet while it is still slightly damp.

Step 6

Apply a solution of 2 tablespoons of bleach to each gallon of water to the carpet, if you particularly worried about mold growth. Test the solution on a small part of the carpet to make sure it does not ruin colors. If the colors remains the same, apply the beach/water solution to the entire carpet.

Step 7

Continue to run fans and expose carpet to as much sun as you can. Run a dehumidifier in the room. Allow the carpet to dry completely, giving it as much time as needed.

Things You Will Need

  • Box fans
  • Ceiling fans
  • Wet/dry vacuum
  • Carpet shampoo
  • Water
  • Bleach
  • Dehumidifier


  • Whenever possible, lift the carpets up and allow fans to blow on their underneath surface as well. Roll up the carpet and place it outside in the sun, if possible.
  • The shampoo will get rid of odors, and fight potential mold growth.
  • Mold starts to grow on a carpet between 24 and 48 hours after being flooded.


  • The pads underneath the carpets will most likely need to be thrown away.

About the Author

John Smith is a writer with over 30 years experience. He has worked at a newspaper, various magazines and websites, and he has interests in a wide range of subjects including sports, politics and entertainment. Smith earned a bachelor's degree in history from the College of New Jersey.