A slow escape of water from an adjoining bathroom had caused black mould beneath the bath, as well as brown water damage to the carpet. We were asked to attend this apartment near the waterfront in Portishead last week in order to put things right. Although we wouldn’t classify this as a flood, it serves as another example of how water can cause damage to absorbent materials over time.
Assessing moisture levels
The first step here was to lift the carpet & underlay to determine how wet the sub-floor was. There would be no point fixing the issues with the other elements, but just sweeping under the carpet any underlying damp issues. Our team use a variety of Tramex moisture meters to assess levels of moisture in a variety of surfaces. In this case, we were dealing with a wood composite sub-floor.
In this image, you can see that we’ve stripped out the damaged underlay. Unlike carpet, underlay cannot be decontaminated & fully cleaned.
We then inserted a metal probe into the boards to discover whether they were in danger of secondary damage.
The meter here shows a moisture content of 16%. This is slightly above the norm for this material, but below the threshold for structural damage.
Without moisture measurements, we would look for the physical signs of water damage – browning, a breakdown in structure or mould growth.
Repairing the minor damage
The damp underlay was removed and the rotten gripper rods lifted out. Once this was complete, the subfloor and area beneath the bath (in the adjoining bathroom) were cleaned of mould & an anti-fungal solution applied.
Now we were able to install new gripper rods and underlay into the area.
Decontaminating the affected carpet
Now that the sub-floor, underlay and gripper rods were cleaned and replaced, the carpet could be re-fitted and cleaned. The type of water damage evident on the carpet suggested that it might not revert to its former state, but it was worth a try. We set up the rinse extraction machine on the floor below and ran hoses up to the affected room.
After a biocidal detergent had been applied to the carpet, we used a small hand tool to carefully rinsed the reinstalled carpet. The results were not great –
The carpet had been permanently damaged by the ongoing leak & was not going to improve further.
At this stage, we discussed the possibility of a carpet repair.
Replacing the damaged carpet
There was plenty of spare carpet available in various cupboards in the home, so we decided to proceed with a repair.
Carpet repairs tend to be small, whereas this one would need to be 110cm long –
Cutting carpet requires a lot of measuring to ensure an accurate and regular hole is available for the insertion of new material.
A sharp blade is also essential. Without this, the edge of the cut is likely to cause the carpet to tear or fray. This will mean that the repair is unlikely to last long.
Once the damaged carpet had been carefully excised, we measured the replacement carpet and cut it as precisely as possible to ensure a close fit.
Heat seaming tape was inserted around the hole and the new carpet carefully lowered in.
We then applied steam through the carpet to bond the existing carpet to the insert.
If you have experienced a flood or escape of water and would like a survey, or are interested in our carpet repair service, please do get in touch, Our friendly, zero-pressure team will be happy to help.