How to Dry a Flooded Basement Carpet

One of the most alarming sights a homeowner can see is a flooded basement. Possessions floating atop a layer of water can prompt visions of thousands of dollars of cleanup and repair and replacement.

But just as problematic is when you learn that a small leak or problem has created a flooded and soggy carpet.

Whichever way your carpet took on water, once you have everything off of it and removed to safety, you have a big project ahead of you.

Here’s how to safely get your carpet dry and get moved back into your space.

Flooded basement carpet cleaning supplies

You will likely have the following supplies and tools available around the house, and they should be enough to do the trick. Remember that not having enough of the item, or not having a big enough version, will make the work harder and take longer, but it does not make it impossible.

You will need:

Old towels


Carpet or laundry soap


Spray bottle

Wet/dry vacuum


Window fans or stronger fans

Dehumidifier / Air conditioner

First remove standing water and objects

Using the wet/dry vac, get rid of any standing water. This can be expedited by opening hidden basement drains (below thin layers of concrete or supporting framework), opening windows and using fans, and using towels and buckets.

Depending on how much water there is, you can remove furniture, objects, electronics, and everything else first or second. Just work in an order that is safe and makes sense for your situation.

Second remove hidden water from the carpet

This process is not instantaneous. Continuing to use the shop vac, pull water from every square inch of the carpet, until it is merely damp to the touch. Continue running fans and the heater or air conditioner to facilitate evaporation.

Third pull up the carpet and dry the padding and floor

Under all carpets should be a layer of padding that makes the carpet above it feel soft and walkable. Pry the carpet up around the edges to expose the padding beneath it. If it is ruined, replace it. If it is still in usable shape, repeat the drying process by using the shop vac. When you’re done the padding should feel dry to the touch. The floor beneath it should also be dry.

Fourth make sure you’ve fixed the problem

You don’t want to put anything back only to have it flood again in a few days or even weeks. Find and fix the problem that led to your flooded basement, or else these processes are wasted time.

Fifth clean all affected areas and items with bleach

Here you can use the spray bottle with a light bleach solution, and allow it to dry and evaporate.

Sixth put the padding and carpet back in place

Once your carpet, padding, and possessions are completely dry, you can return the room back to its original position.

Photo by Eva Elijas from Pexels

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