Water Damage in Traditional Wool Rugs: 6 PreventionTips

Traditional wool rugs, professional washing of traditional wool rugstraditional wool rugs, drying process for professional rug cleaning
Professional rug cleaning at Adams & Swett. They combine hand and machine washing and then dry the rugs in a chamber with heated air circulation.

Hurricane Irene reminds us to learn what to do in case the next hurricane is not as mild and if we should have flood or water damage to our traditional wool rugs and carpets.

Every situation of flooding of traditional wool rugs is different, so it is important to consult a competent rug cleaning expert as soon as possible. However there are some general rules that can help us prevent the most common mistakes people make in such situations:

1.   Do not let wet rugs sit. Take quick action

When wool rugs and carpets stay wet for more than a day, they start developing mildew and with time this can turn into dry rot which if allowed to spread can destroy the rug to the point that it has to be thrown away.

2. If the rugs were soaked by dirty water, send immediately for a rug cleaning professional

The rug cleaning professional can assess if the rug can be cleaned and if stains can be removed.

3. If the rugs got soaked by clean water, dry the back first

If the rug is just wet, but otherwise clean, immediately start drying the back of the rug. Do not make the mistake of just drying the front of the rug, leaving the back of the rug wet where mildew and even dry rot could develop.

4. How to dry the back of a rug

If you are unable to get hold of a rug cleaning professional quickly enough, you can use several plastic laundry baskets or pails to raise the rug off the floor and place fans around the rug to blow air under the rug. Be sure to follow appropriate safety precautions around children and pets.

5. Handle water marks professionally

When a clean rug is dried it sometimes develops patches of different color shades called “water marks”. This is a result of the rug pile getting bent in different directions if the rug was brushed while wet.  Water marks can be taken out by steaming the rug and brushing the pile in the same direction as the pile in the rest of the rug. Unless you are an expert in steaming rugs, it is best to have a professional handle this.

6.  Getting rid of mildew odor

Professional rug cleaners may be able to treat rugs that have developed mildew odor, but the odors have been know to occasionally return on hot summer days.

 

 

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