What to do if your Oriental rugs are in a flood?

Just because your Oriental rug has become very wet does not necessarily mean that it is damage. Often when they are professionally cleaned they use water based soaps.

Recently I rescued a collection or rugs from a flood and only one of the 9 rugs was damaged, where the colours had run, which could only partially be remedied. The others were fine and none the worse for the event.

The first thing to do is dry them out as soon as you can. Very often when a rug is wet it looks uneven and does not lie flat, that is OK, it usually goes back when completely dry.

If the weather permits put it outside on a hard dry surface, a patio, driveway or even a pebble surface and in the sun. If you have or can borrow a "wet and dry" vacuum cleaner you can extract quite a lot of the moisture to reduce the drying time. If the rug is small you can lay it on towels first, roll it up tight and leave for 15 minutes, then put out to dry. When a rug is drying every hour or so turn it over as there is a lot of condensation underneath and this helps to dry them faster. You can tell when it is dry because it becomes pliable again. If you cannot dry it outside do a similar operation indoors with the assistance of a fan and a dehumidifier if you can.

Rugs can also smell quite a bit when wet, this usually goes when they are completely dry.

Do not roll carpets up when wet and leave them. I have come across easily salvageable rugs that have been ruined this way.

Depending on the quality of the flood water the rugs will probably nee to be professionally cleaned later to remove any residues. This is important for radiator leaks as the chemicals can damage the rug over time.

If you cannot handle the emergency drying work immediately call in a professional to avoid delay.

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