It poured last night and rain leaked from my ceiling and soaked up a portion of my carpeted floor. I've been laying down paper towels and towels to soak up some of the moisture but there is still some present and I'm afraid that mold will begin to form. What can I do to prevent this and is there some type of pet-safe cleaner I can use?
The safest way to dry a wet carpet is to crank up the heating to full power. The warm air can retain more moisture than cool air and slowly draws the moisture from the carpet. Frequently (3 - 5 times a day) open all the windows as far as possible to let the moist, warm air out and let cool, dry air in. If the ambient air is very moist where you live, you should keep your windows closed and instead put an air dryer in the room.
You also need to dry the ceiling / wall where the rain dripped through. Without proper heating and drying there's a high risk of mold growing in the next few weeks or months. Mold spores are a health hazard for humans and pets alike.
After a similar issue, this is what I found effective:
- Find a large funnel, perhaps 20 cm (8 in.) across, and tape it to the hose of a shop vac that can handle water. Place the funnel on one spot at a time to pull up water, shutting the vacuum before moving to another spot. (The force can pull up carpet if used injudiciously.)
- Use many large, fluffy towels, doubled or trebled over, to place on the damp spots and step (or jump!) on them. After using al the bath towels in the house, wash, dry and repeat. (Yes, I looked silly jumping on the towels, but it was effective at removing much of what the vacuum left.)
- Leave a fan running so that warm, dry air from the house blows over the carpet.
Do not use a portable room heater due to possibility of shrinking the carpet or causing a fire.