We had an issue with the hot water heater in our basement that resulted in some minor flooding. Fortunately most of the water went straight out the nearby garage thats across the hallway, but some soaked into carpet in rooms on either side of where the water heater was. No furniture was touched and the baseboards don't look particularly damp either. The water level was not ever higher than an inch since I got to the shut off valve pretty quickly.

At this point I've taken up the carpet and removed all of the wet padding and placed it outside. This was less than a 6'x 14' rectangle of padding. I have a single consumer grade dehumidifier running, and our AC fan on. The RH has never read above 56%. I have the carpet drying, backing up. I have not removed it completely as it is wall to wall only a small portion go wet, less than the 6' x 14' square of pad I removed.

Is this enough to prevent mold given the relatively minor damage or should I be taking additional steps.

1 Answer 1


Honestly that seems fine to me. For added peace of mind, you can spray it with bleach. If you live in a particularly dry and sunny climate, you could also leave it out in the sun on some concrete. I live in the desert and this works great; the sun dries and disinfects anything in hours.

What you should be more worried about is your drywall. Poke it with something hard. If it's mushy, you'll need to replace the bottom sections. There's also the issue of termites. They're attracted to water; you don't want to find that they're eating your studs. This also depends on where you live, of course.

  • Drywall looks fine from some quick poke tests. I don't think termites will be much of an issue because the studs that would have gotten wet are interior and this is a basement built on concrete, so it would take some work for them to find their way in. Thanks for the additional warnings though. I'm going to leave the question open for another 8-12 hours and then I'll accept your answer if nothing else has come along. Commented May 3, 2015 at 21:27
  • Make sure the padding is completely dry before you re-install it. If you cannot remove it, prop up the carpet by sliding 2 x 4s or bricks or something under it and set up a fan to blow/circulate air under to help dry it, the AC and DH may not move enough air under the carpet. Commented May 3, 2015 at 21:49

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