Removing Carpet After Water Damage

Experiencing a house flood is a traumatic, stressful experience. After the worst is over and the standing water has been removed, you will most likely be facing carpet that is seriously damaged. If your flood wasn't too extreme, you might be able to dry your carpet out to the point where it doesn't have to be replaced. However, if you were faced with a large amount of standing water, you will most likely have to tear out your carpet so that new carpet can be installed. You might think that it would be easy enough to just tear it off the floor and toss it out, but there are steps that should be taken to remove water-logged carpet safely.

Find The Damaged Portions Of Carpet

The first thing that you need to do is figure out exactly where your carpet is damaged. If you experienced flooding in an entire room, most likely every area of the carpet is damaged. If the damage was more localized, ensure that you know exactly where the damage occurred. If you miss a spot of damaged carpet, mold and mildew will quickly grow on your damp carpet and could spread to other parts of your home.

Remove The Baseboards

In order to get to the carpet more easily, remove the baseboards near the area where you will be removing carpet. You can use a putty knife to pry the baseboards off. Once you have removed them, set them in another room.

Cut The Carpet Into Sections

Although you may want to just pull all the carpet up in one go, this is a bad idea. Carpet that is water damaged will be a lot heavier than normal carpet. This water weight will make it harder for you to remove, handle and dispose of the carpet. That is why it is best to cut the carpet into sections.

Cut slits in the carpet about a foot apart, which will give you a template for where you should cut each section. Start with the first slit, and cut down the length of the carpet, pulling the carpet up as you go. You should be left with an easy to manage length of carpet. Roll up this section and dispose of it.

Repeat this step for the padding that lies underneath the carpet. Chances are that if your carpet is badly water damaged, the padding will be, too. You should continue cutting and pulling strips of both carpet and padding until all the damaged flooring has been removed and disposed of.

Dry Out The Floor

Once all the carpet and padding has been removed, there might still be moisture present on the concrete. Use de-humidifiers, industrial fans and open windows to completely dry out the floor before you have your new carpet installed.


If only a small section of your home's carpet has been damaged, you may want to cut that small portion out and try to dry it out and then put it back into place. However, this is not recommended, as even after carpet seems dry it can still be prone to mildew production, as well as bad smells.

If you aren't comfortable removing carpet yourself, water damage restoration professionals can not only help you with the first stages of flood clean up, such as removing standing water from your home, but also offer carpet and flooring removal services. Working with a flood cleanup company is also a great way to get an expert's opinion on whether or not you should try to dry your carpet out. Whether you do it yourself or work with a professional, be sure to remove your wet carpet swiftly in order to prevent further damage to your home.