(ABC4) – In addition to strong wind and rain, the monsoon season can also have an unexpected and often expensive result: smelly carpet.
This past month was the busiest in over a decade, according to Utah Disaster Kleenup, one of the state’s largest civil protection companies.
“We probably haven’t seen anything like this in 10 years,” UDK marketing director Keri Jones told ABC4.com. “We have seen spikes in calls related to wind and cold temperatures before, but rainwater is a high that very few of us have seen before.”
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Jones explains that the increase in calls her team responded to includes an area that stretches from the Avenues neighborhood in downtown Salt Lake City to the outskirts of Tooele. Draper, Sandy, South Jordan, and Murray have all seen spikes in activity, with up to two inches of rainfall in residential areas.
Much of this rain finds its way down window shafts and eventually onto walls, carpets, and basements, causing hundreds, even thousands of dollars of individual damage to homeowners.
Water damage from rain, says Jones, is treated in much the same way as wastewater. After hitting the floor and picking up pesticides, fertilizers, animal waste, and other filthy substances before ending up on a family basement carpet, the water can get pretty gross.
Most of the time, Jones and her team recommend the complete disposal of damaged property. Since home insurance is usually not covered, recovery from a flood can be very expensive and entirely out of your pocket.
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For those who have been hit by a flood and are unable to purchase insurance or an exemption for living near a recent burn scar within the 30 day waiting period, there are certain things that homeowners themselves do can do to clear up the cost of a disaster.
First and foremost, Jones and UDK recommend getting everything out and drying without a 24 hour flood by following these steps:
– UDK advises homeowners affected by flooding to remove the water by all possible means using either a shop vacuum or a sump pump.
– After the carpet has dried, which has probably been soaked in water contaminated with bacteria, it is recommended that it be cut into strips and placed in garbage bags.
Dispose of carpet upholstery
– Just like the carpet, the upholstery is probably pretty gross at this point too. Fortunately, the exchange is much cheaper. Throw it away.
Remove wet skirting boards.
– Unfortunately, the wooden skirting boards are probably also ruined at this point. These are very susceptible to mold and other bacteria, so grabbing a utility knife and prying the boards off the wall and replacing a few inches of drywall is likely a must.
– Clean it up and remove any gross bacteria from the area. Any suitable household cleaner is sufficient
– To dry the basement after removing the ruined carpet and baseboards, load the area with fans and air movements. Hardware stores can rent off-the-shelf fans, but if you only have floor fans these are better than nothing. It is important to also dehumidify the room with a dehumidifier, which can also be rented, or by opening all the doors and windows.
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While UDK is in business to clean up after a costly and costly ordeal for homeowners, it is best to be prepared in advance. Working with flood insurers is usually “less painful” than working with those without insurance, says Jones.
“If you’re in an area prone to this, it’s a good thing to look at,” she says of the insurance company. “If it’s not covered, it’s hard for individuals to raise that money out of their own pocket. We are here to try and suggest how you could do some of the things yourself and if you would like to ask us to do it, we will be happy to do so. “
As far as replacing the smelly carpet with a fresh cut of new shags, that’s a different story.