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drelldrell 06-16-2015 11:41 AM

Can I save my carpet?
I really need help to see if I can save my carpet. I have a basement family room that is about 20’x15’. On the 20’ stretch, water seeped in due to my neighbor’s clogged gutters, which I repeatedly warned her over the last few weeks (see details below). The entirety of the 20’ stretch did not get wet. There are 3-5’ gaps along the wall that remained dry. In the space that got wet, the water traveled across the width of the room about 3-5’.

Last night I rented a Rug Doctor to suck up water out the carpet (in addition to the constant wet/dry vacuuming my wife was doing as the carpet got wet. Have two strong fans going, got a dehumidifier going, and have the windows open. When we went to bed, the carpet was wet, but not saturated with water.

This morning the carpet felt much dryer. I then cleaned the carpet with the Rug Doctor.

Is there any chance the carpet can be saved? I would estimate the 30-35% of the overall carpet was impacted. The carpet is about 18 months old.

Here is more background.

Our house is separated from each neighbor by about 10 feet – typically Chicago houses/lot sizes. The neighbor on the right side of the house had clogged gutters that looked like Niagra Falls over the last several weeks. Rain had been just pouring over the gutters. NORMALLY, with the roof overhangs on her house and my house, we hardly ever get rain on the sides of the house. Minimal - even during past heavy rains. The fact that I heard water on the side of the house is how I found the issue.

Two weeks ago, I told the neighbor about the issue and stated she should have her gutters cleaned quickly. I told her I was surprised she does not have water in her basement because the water accumulation was heavy during even with light rain.

Yesterday, Chicago got about 3” of rain on top of 3” form the prior few days. Before the really heavy rain started, I told her again about the blocked gutter and that I was very concerned with rain flooding my side of my house. She didn’t seem to care so I also let her know that if got rain in my basement.

About 6pm yesterday, the area between both houses was absolutely flooded with water. I knocked on her door to ask her to look at what was happening. I also told her I had water seeping into my basement. She looked, and then said the water seeping into my basement was not from her gutters. I asked her where in the bleep did she think it was coming from, if not her gutters? Told her I had video for future reference. I also have video of the Niagara Falls from two weeks ago when I told her she should clean her gutters.

My wife and I are desperately trying to channel water away from house. It was a waste of effort. Too much rain. I figure the only way to stop the flooding was to clean the gutters. Stop it at the source.

I ask a neighbor if he had a 20-foot ladder and he did. Got the ladder, climbed to top of the ladder while its still POURING rain, and within SECONDS, there is a big whooshing sound and her gutters are working again. Niagara Falls stopped instantly! I moved a few leaves and that was it. The gutters worked like the use to work. Back to normal.

While still at the top of the ladder, I look at the lady and said something to the effect of “do you see how easy that was?” Ms. Perfect and Considerate then says “Thank You”. Thank you?!?!?!

At that point I simply lost it. The next few minutes were a blur. I highly doubt we will get any invitations to her BBQs or a holiday card.

Colbyt 06-16-2015 04:23 PM

Pulling the carpet from the tack strip, folding it over to the dry part and lots of fans is the pro way to dry it and the padding. Then you have to get an installer to stretch it back in place. If you do this this I am 95% certain you will avoid the mold and must that will follow and your carpet will be saved.

The rental centers have special, high volume bottom discharge fan designed to create the maximum dry.

The rental and the installer will still be cheaper than new carpet.

I don't think I would do it but you may have an insurance claim.

rusty baker 06-16-2015 05:15 PM

You almost always need to change the pad. And the above poster is right, you need to pull back the carpet and blow air under it.

drelldrell 06-16-2015 11:46 PM

Pulled the carpet up, ripped out the padding that was soaked in some places and I am running fans. However, I am worried about this happening again in the future. We are very seriously considering ceramic tile.

I have addressed the issue caused by the neighbor. I also added more soil to the side of my house to create more grade and barrier to hold water away form foundation. Plan to compact it with a had tamper soon. Hoping this is a heap and effective mitigation - in addition to cleaning the neighbor's gutters again if I need to do so.

Several neighbors have said the never get water except in cases of neglecting to maintain drain line/lateral or surface water backing up to house foundation. OR when the city fails to release rainwater and the storm drains fill up. Which case sewage into basements.

Is ceramic tile hard to install? I like the idea of ceramic tile as it is much easier to clean. We don want to go through this mess again. I am thinking about 16x16 tiles. The family room floor is pitched toward a drain in the rear, but is even.

I noticed a few cracks in the floor. I plan to seal them somehow. I far as I can tell, the water came in from the foot of the wall. The tack strip for the carpet is soaked.

Any other alternatives for a basement where the potential for recurring water is low to moderate.

ron45 06-18-2015 05:12 PM

This is the building code..

Section R801.3. The code reads as follows:

"In areas where expansive or collapsible soils are known to exist, all dwellings shall have a controlled method of water disposal from roofs that will collect and discharge all roof drainage to the ground surface at least 5' away from foundation walls or to an approved drainage system."

Unless your rules and codes are different in your area.?
If her house doesn't meet that condition, she doesn't even need gutters. Water entering your house from rain is your responsibility not hers.

ron45 06-18-2015 05:45 PM

The pros use these to dry the carpet, they work very well.

drelldrell 06-19-2015 04:10 PM

Thanks to all for your help.

The old padding is out. new padding is in. Area was dry when the new padding went in today. I got the humidity level in the high 40s to pull our as much moisture as I could. I will run the dehumidifier throughout summer.

If I ever get water again, I am going to seriously consider cost remediation and certainly ceramic tile. Its just cheer the route I went today and I am not sure that I will have an ongoing water issue. Again, I took measures to make sure water is diverted from the perimeter of my house. Low cost, and hopefully effective.

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