The other day ago a water line going to an exterior faucet exploded in the wall and flooded my finished basement. The water level was around 1"-2" high and we imagine the water was running for at-least 16 hours. We do live on a hill and the basement only has one wall exposed to the outside and the remaining three walls are underground. That said, since this is a basement and the room stays at a cool temp should we replace the carpet? We already pulled up the padding and vacuumed up the water. Is there any pre-treating we can do?

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    If it's clean water, and it wasn't wet for very long, and you can fully dry it, you might be OK. But if it was gray water, I'd toss it all. – DA01 Jan 10 '14 at 18:25
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    16hours seems an awfully long time to stay wet, inviting all sorts of mold and other undesirables to take root. Your carpets have a tremendous amount of surface area, much more than you can see with the naked eye, and it's practically impossible to clean and dry every little fiber. Cool temperatures aside, I would personally discard the lot and install new carpet. Also check your walls for water accumulation and make corrections where necessary. – alt Jan 10 '14 at 19:22
  • I'd be more worried about the mold that will grow in your walls than just the carpet -carpet is easy to rip up and replace, but opening the walls is a way larger job. – Steven Jan 10 '14 at 21:45
  • We are replacing that. – DᴀʀᴛʜVᴀᴅᴇʀ Jan 10 '14 at 21:52
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    If you live in a dry climate you have half a chance of success, though I'm not too sure it's worth the effort. If you are in a humid climate, forget about it. Don't even try, replace it. Either way, replace the padding, it's definitely not worth trying to save it. – bcworkz Jan 10 '14 at 23:23

The "usual" flood involves dirty water, either exterior or sewage. There, I'd agree that the carpet is toast.

Where you have basically rinsed the carpet for 16 hours with clean potable water, I think you have an excellent chance of drying it out and being fine. If the outside faucet pipe froze, you are presumably heating, which means the air inside will be dry, on the whole. Add in a lot of fans and dehumidifiers, and it might well dry out fine. You are describing a one-time event, not a leaky basement that's wet all the time.

On the third hand, carpet is relatively inexpensive. And on the fourth hand, will insurance be involved? They might have an opinion, if so.

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