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Hot Water Extraction Carpet Cleaning

September 28, 2017

If you experience water damage from a plumbing leak or flood in your home, professional carpet cleaning will be an important step in the damage restoration process. The most effective method for restoring carpets after water damage is hot water extraction.

What is hot water extraction?

You may have heard people use the terms “steam cleaning” and “hot water extraction” interchangeably. In reality, there is no steam involved in hot water extraction carpet cleaning. There are a few problems with steam cleaning, most notably, that steam can actually set some stains in. Further, steam cannot rinse detergent or special cleaning solutions as thoroughly from carpets as hot water can. For these reasons, hot water extraction is the most popular and most effective method for carpet cleaning.

The professional carpet cleaning process begins with a thorough vacuuming to remove any loose dirt and soil. Next, during hot water extraction, hot water and cleaning agents are injected into your carpet at high pressure and agitated with a specialized brush in order to loosen dirt and grime. A technician then removes the water, cleaning solution and dirt with a high-powered vacuum. This process may be repeated, depending on the extent of the damage. Anti-microbial treatments can also be included in the carpet cleaning process to prevent the growth and spread of mold, mildew, yeast and other allergens.

Hot water extraction carpet cleaning is not just part of a flood restoration process. Proactive annual cleanings are an important part of regular home maintenance and long-term carpet care.

Can I DIY?

You can rent small carpet cleaning machines from local retailers for minor stains or issues. However, these machines are not as effective or efficient as professional carpet cleaners. Rental carpet cleaning machines may or may not generate heat, meaning you might be removing surface stains but not actually sanitizing carpets. Compared to rental machines, truck-mounted units inject the water and cleaning agents into your carpet at a much higher pressure and their vacuum systems for water removal and dirt extraction are equally superior. By hiring professionals, you’ll also minimize the risk of over-wetting carpet and causing further damage.

When is carpet cleaning not enough?

Hot water extraction will not be effective in some flood restoration or water damage situations. In these cases, it is advisable to discard the carpet, pad, and any other porous items like upholstered furniture that have gotten wet. Cleaning methods like hot water extraction are not sufficient to remove pathogens from this type of water.

  • Exposure to raw sewage or “black water,” which is water that contains human waste
  • Damage to the subfloor, such as warped or swollen particle board or plywood
  • Structural damage below the carpet

If you’ve experienced water damage and you aren’t sure what’s salvageable and what isn’t, Roto-Rooter’s plumbing experts are available to you 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, when you need service most. No matter what time of day, your call is sure to be answered by a live Roto-Rooter customer service representative who will quickly send a qualified technician to assess the water damage and determine the best course of action.

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