Soaked carpet proves difficult fix
Dear Angie: My carpet got wet (the floor is plywood, not concrete) due to water intrusion. One carpet person told me it is OK to put the old carpet back. Another carpet person said that he saw the glue coming off the carpet so therefore it needs to be replaced. I saw little bits of beige granular and powdery material on the padding and he said that was glue. He said that if he stretches and puts the carpet back into place, it would strain and tear due to the loss of glue. He also said that the mold stains on the backing of the carpet would seep upwards and stain the surface of the carpet. Is the second carpet person correct? – Phil H., Washington D.C.
Dear Phil: Most newer synthetic fiber carpets have three main components: the face yarn, the primary backing and the secondary backing. The granular, powdery material you describe is likely the latex cement breaking down due to the moisture. It might be possible to reinstall it, however it will probably not be as strong as it was and it is very possible that the backings will delaminate or separate from each other, resulting in a wrinkled towel look. If there is mold on the backing of the carpet, you should replace it. Also check your walls and around baseboards in the area for any other evidence of mold. If you find it, you should call in a mold remediation expert to avoid any health concerns or long-term water damage issues.