Can you Save a Flood Damaged Carpet or Rug?

The short answer is probably no. Wet carpets from clean water like from pipe leaks can be cleaned if the carpet itself is clean. Whether you can save a flood-damaged rug or carpet depends on the source of the flooding, how long it was wet, and if it can it be effectively cleaned and disinfected.

EPA, FEMA, CDC and other standards for remediation recommend removal and replacement if your carpet was soaked with water that was contaminated (like water that entered your house from the street during a storm that might contain sewage) OR if your carpet remained wet for more than 48 hours. Flood damaged carpeting can pose serious health hazards from mold, bacteria, and other toxins. It is important to wear eye and respiratory protection as well as rubber gloves if you are around these materials.

Still not sure about your situation? Here are some basic questions to help you decide whether to keep or throw out your carpeting and rugs:

1) Was the source of the floodwater “clean” (like from a burst water pipe) or “contaminated” (like a backed up toilet or water that came into your house from outside during a storm)?

2) How long was the carpet or rug wet?

3) Can the carpet or rug be effectively cleaned and disinfected?

For more information:

American Lung Association:

Learn more about the things in your home that impact your indoor air quality and ultimately your health.  Get your Hayward Score today.  Learn how to address problems in your home so you can be empowered to take action and make your home healthier for you and for your family.


How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 4.9 / 5. Vote count: 18

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

Ready to Improve the Health of your Home?

Hayward Score helps you discover how your home may be impacting your health in minutes – – for FREE!

Answer a quick set of questions then get a personalized list of action items. Transform your home and health today!

Avatar photo
Carl Grimes
Hayward Score Healthy Homes Director Carl Grimes has both the personal experience of how an unhealthy home created his own disabling health issues, plus professional experience in various industries working in the Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) field. Carl also wrote Starting Points for a Healthy Habitat in 1999, detailing possibilities of what could occur in a house to make its occupants sick, how to identify what was happening, and what to do about it.
Related Articles


Our guide on indoor quality will help you diagnose possible issues and implement intelligent solutions to improve the quality of the air inside your home.

Related Articles