Flooding is devastating for any homeowner. The damage done by flood water can be expensive to repair, even if the water was hardly an inch deep. Depending on the water damage and what kind of water flooded your home, cleaning your carpet afterward may or may not be enough to bring it back to life.

After flooding, it’s important to note that there are usually toxic materials hidden within your carpet, so you should never attempt to clean your carpet on your own. DIY attempts can lead to health risks and further damage to your carpets, but carpet cleaning professionals will know how to assist you with water damaged carpet cleaning and repair your carpet as much as possible.

Will Carpet Cleaning Help if My House Floods?

It depends. Although this isn’t the answer that most homeowners hope for, it’s the honest answer to give. Every carpet is different, and depending on the type of floodwater it was subjected to, the best course of action may differ.

Types of Floodwater

  1. Clean water

Clean water is one of the more common types of floodwater. It comes from broken pipes or rainwater and has not mixed with contaminants. 

When it comes to cleaning carpets exposed to clean water flooding, it’s entirely possible to restore your carpeting. Within 48 hours of the flooding, clean water is often removable, and carpeting can be fixed with professional cleaning and sanitation. After 48 hours, though, clean water tends to degrade into the second type of floodwater.

  1. Greywater

Greywater is water that has been contaminated and may result in sickness if ingested or even touched. It comes from washing machines, dishwashers, toilet overflows (only if there is no solid waste), sump pump failures, etc. 

With greywater flooding, carpets can be cleaned, but the damage will be more severe. The carpet padding will need to be replaced, but the carpet itself can be saved with professional resources and cleaning equipment. Unfortunately, after 48 hours, greywater turns into the third type of floodwater and cannot be cleaned.

  1. Blackwater

Blackwater may look clear or only slightly murky, but it is the most contaminated type of floodwater. It contains pathogens and harmful materials that can cause severe sickness. Blackwater comes from sewage leaks, toilet backflows (when solid waste is present), seawater floods, rivers and streams, hurricane waters, and other stormwater flooding.

Unfortunately, blackwater is all but impossible to clean. Once your carpet has been saturated, it cannot be cleaned or restored and will need to be entirely replaced. 

Should I Bother Cleaning My Carpets After Flooding?

In some cases, cleaning your carpets instead of replacing them may be more cost-efficient. Type 1 water damage (clean water) is easier to reverse and tends to be cheaper than replacing your whole carpet. However, once you hit greywater flooding damage, you need to weigh the cost of cleaning with the age and condition of your carpet.

Cleaning your carpets can be beneficial, especially if the carpeting is new, your budget’s a little tight, or the floodwater was clean. At the very least, having your carpet professionally cleaned ensures that all bacteria, germs, and mold are removed from the carpet fibers and eliminates the risk of strange odors.

Flooding will damage your carpet, but it doesn’t mean all is lost. If you’re unsure whether your carpeting can be saved through cleaning, it’s always a good idea to check with our carpet cleaning experts before assuming the worst. Replacing your whole carpet is expensive and may even be unnecessary, depending on the extent of the damage.


When your home floods, there’s a lot to think about. Your carpet may not even be the first thing on your mind. Acting quickly, however, can help reduce the damage that’s done to your carpet and even result in you saving money on repairs and not having to replace everything. Call us today if you need advice about your carpet after a flood, and we’ll be glad to assist you.