How to Dry a Water Soaked Carpet

All kinds of mishaps can cause a carpet to become water soaked, from burst water pipes to flooding, but you can mitigate the damage when you act quickly.

Always determine where the source of the water came from before you start this process. If the water that soaked the carpet contained any sort of sewage or other contaminants, discard the carpet. Dry areas exposed to excessive water within 24 to 48 hours to prevent mold from growing, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Rent industrial equipment from a local equipment rental or department appliance store. Standard tools for drying out carpet include a wet-dry vacuum, professional fan, also known as an air mover, dehumidifier and moisture meter.

Run the wet-dry vacuum across the entire carpet to remove as much water as possible from the fabric. This may take several passes depending on the amount of saturation, and require emptying the machine during the process.

Pry up one corner of the carpet. Start in any corner of the room and grab hold of the a carpet's edge. A pair of pliers can help pull the carpet up if your fingers cannot do the trick.

Pull the carpet off the floor and tacking strip. When pulling up large pieces of carpet, such as an entire room, roll the carpet up as you go to make it easier to move.

Remove the carpet padding from underneath the carpet and discard.

Roll the carpet back out so that it is flat on the floor.

Arrange air movers so that the flat end of the blower is underneath the carpet. Once they are turned on, they will "float" the carpet so that air circulates on the top and underside of the fabric.

Set up the dehumidifier close to the drying area and turn the machine on. As the fan blows water into the air, the dehumidifier collects it. Check the dehumidifier frequently and change the water receptacle as needed to keep it running as efficiently as possible.

Check with a moisture meter after four to six hours of drying time to test the progress of your effort. The EPA recommends keeping indoor humidity between 30 and 50 percent. If the room where the carpet is drying reads above this number, continue drying.

Things You Will Need

  • Wet-dry vacuum
  • Pliers
  • Industrial air movers
  • Dehumidifier
  • Moisture meter

About the Author

Nikki Jardin began freelance writing in 2009 and focuses on food and travel articles. She has been a professional cook and caterer for more than 20 years. She holds a degree in environmental science from Humboldt State University.