As a carpet cleaner here in Fredericksburg Virginia I hear this question all the time. In fact it is probably the the most frequently asked question we get. Our customers love to have their carpet cleaned for many reasons including appearance or they may want to prolong the life of their carpet, allergies to dust and pet dander also rank up there in the top reason we get called out. But some people are just too nervous about calling us because they had a bad experiencing from a previous carpet cleaner. I hear it way too often “the last company we had out left our carpet soaking wet for days” OMG are you serious? Folks… this is not the way it should be. A true professional should be able to get your carpet to dry fast.
How long will my carpet take to dry?
There is no short answer or exact time as to how long carpets will take to dry. There are many factors that play a roll in this, such as the type of carpet, how soiled they are, the humidity inside the home, is the heat or AC running? does the customer have ceiling fans? But I can say this for sure it should be measured in hours not days. We often see that the rooms we started in first are dry to the touch before we even leave. We tell our customers that the carpet should dry in about 3-6 hours, but it is always a good practice to wait overnight before putting heavy furniture, area rugs or plastic desk chair mats back, you don’t want to trap any residual moisture under these items.
What will happen if my carpets are wet too long?
Carpet that is left wet for more than a day or two will start to smell, longer than that, it could need to be treated as a water damage restoration job. Carpet can’t stay wet for longer than 72 hours or mold will start to grow, at that point the padding will need to be replaced and the carpet will need to be treated with a microbial agent. Another problem that can occur is wicking, if the carpet dries slowly the chance for stains to reappear or browning to occur increase significantly.
What causes over wetting?
The main reason for carpets being left too wet is operator inexperience. It takes practice to get everything perfect…the right amount of pre-spray, the right temperature and pressure to have the equipment set at, doing dry strokes and utilizing fans also play a big roll. I remember my first day well… got my brand new truck mounted carpet cleaning machine went home and told my wife I was going to get our carpets unbelievably clean, well…water squishing up between the toes the day after did not over impress her. I got it dry and re-cleaned with the proper settings and Voila! great looking and great smelling clean carpet.
Other reasons that carpet will stay wet too long has to do with the equipment. Carpet cleaning machines need to be in proper working condition to ensure the carpet will dry fast. The water coming out of the carpet cleaning wand needs to be ripping hot, the hotter the water the faster it will dry. The vacuum needs to be running at peak performance with no vacuum leaks. The Jets on the wand need to be the proper size, and the pressure regulator needs to be in proper working order. If any of these components are not working the carpets will be too wet. Do you think a shady, cash strapped carpet cleaner will tell you their equipment is not working properly?
How can I be sure the company I hire will not over wet my carpets?
There are many ways to screen a company for professionalism, and looking online for ratings and reviews is probably the best way to go. Check many outside sources such as the BBB, Google, Yelp, Yahoo to see what experiences others had. It is very important to stay away from deals that seem too good to be true, I can guarantee that you will not have a great experience from the low ball guys.
Ask questions…how long will the carpets take to dry? Do you use a truck mount? How long has the person that will be coming to my home been cleaning carpet?
Get a referral, always a good idea to ask friends and family of their experiences with a cleaner or any other service company for that matter, this reduces the risk of being a victim of a shady bait and switch company.