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What should I do?

The other night I started to do the dishes but then got distracted and turned the faucet off. However, I didnt' realize one faucet had a slow leak coming out. The sink was plugged and by morning we had a little flood going on.

There is a 5'x5' area on the living room carpet that got soaked. We didn't have a wet vac and couldn't find one to borrow so we did the best we could with towels and such and then turned some fans on it. It's almost dry now (just damp, no more squashy water when you step on it).

However....it STINKS. What can I do? I tried sprinkling baking soda on it, but it just kind of made a mess and now I have to wait for that to dry so I can vacuum it up.

I was thinking of just letting it dry all the way and then renting a carpet cleaner from the grocery store.

Any thoughts?
 

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Before you rent one ask around, many people own rug shampooers or steamers you may be able to borrow one for free. Vinegar then borax may help, it did with stinks in our mattress. I'd be tempted to take this as a sign to get rid of the carpet though, I'd worry about mold.
 

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It is probably not completely dry yet. If you can try to pull the carpet back from the wall and flip it over something so that the back is exposed and the carpet is up off the floor. Use a fan, or even better a dehumidifer, for several days in the area.
 

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We had a MAJOR flood last May. The whole downstairs was ankle-deep in water from a busted supply line. We let the professionals handle the initial clean-up.

Then, when we were replacing all the supply lines in the house, we had another flood. This time upstairs. Since we had just placed a claim with our homeowner's insurance and had watched the professionals for a week, we figured we could handle it on our own.

1. We used towels and shop-vac to get up as much water as possible.
2. We lifted up the carpet along the doorway where most of the flooding occurred. (Pulled it carefully but firmly off the tack strip.)
3. We shoved 2x4s under the padding to lift it off the subfloor as far under as possible.
4. We shoved 2x4s (offset from above) between the padding and the carpet to give more air as far under as possible.
5. We placed a wire rack under the doorway edge of the carpet and laid a fan practically horizontal on top of the rack to aim as much airflow as possible under there.
6. We borrowed every neighbor's fan(s) we could and moved everything out of the affected areas and used the fans nonstop day and night for three days. Our climate is dry, so we opened windows for a week. (If your climate is humid, keep windows closed and use a dehumidifier.)
7. We had to cut the ceiling drywall from downstairs, also, and let those areas dry out for three full days and used fans up in those spaces, as well.
8. Our baseboards in those areas are wood and we learned that wood dries out given enough time and under the above drying conditions. However, if you have MDF baseboards, you need to remove and replace them. They swell and hold water.
9. Check the drywall in the flooded areas. If it is soft or crumbly, then it has been compromised and needs to be removed and replaced.

When our downstairs flooded, we did take it as a sign that carpet wasn't the best choice. We installed cork flooring throughout the entire downstairs and
it! We were not prepared to remove and replace the carpet (bedrooms/hallway) and vinyl flooring (bathrooms) upstairs, though, so we took the steps necessary to encourage a full dry out and prevent mold. My advice is to leave everything in place (fans, etc) one entire day longer than you think is necessary. You really want a COMPLETE dry out to prevent future problems.
 

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If you do NOT have a pad, and the subfloor is waterproof (e.g., concrete), you can have it steam cleaned with very hot water - it will kill anything that is likely to grow.

If you do have a pad and/or subfloor that can absorb water, I'd try to lift the carpet and dry underneath as the PP suggested.

I was told by professional carpet cleaners that things like baking soda just feed the bacteria and other things that like to grow in carpet.

Getting bugs KILLED and the carpet DRY will keep the problems at bay.
 
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