Water Coming Up Through The Carpet? (Here's What To Do)
Leaks are a homeowner’s worst fear. They can cause massive damage to both your home and the property inside of it. Because of this, it’s crucial to find and fix the leaks in your home as quickly as possible.
However, that can be difficult to do when there’s water coming up through your carpet. When this happens, there are a few things you need to do right away.
If there’s water coming up through your carpet, it’s likely the result of a foundation leak. These leaks threaten the foundation of your home and need to be dealt with immediately. Start by turning off your home’s main water valve. Then, call a plumbing professional to take a look at the issue as soon as possible.
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What is a Foundation Leak?
Foundation leaks are leaks that occur underneath the concrete that your home has been built on. They’re also commonly called slab leaks for this reason.
Foundation leaks often happen when the soil underneath your home shifts. This causes the concrete that your home is built on to move. As this happens, the concrete can crack and cause damage to any pipes that are in the area.
Most homes have copper water lines near the foundation. These may start leaking from the results of simple wear and tear. Or, in cold weather, copper pipes can even burst.
If your concrete has already cracked, then these leaks can seep into the foundation of your home. This is most likely what’s causing water to come up through your carpet.
How to Identify a Foundation Leak
Since foundation leaks can cause so much damage, it’s important that you know how to identify them as quickly as possible. Water that’s coming up through your carpet is one of the clearest signs of this issue. However, there are several others that you’ll also want to pay attention to.
Mold is another key sign of a foundation leak. As water seeps into your floors, it will also begin traveling up your walls. If you find mold in here or on your floors, then you may be dealing with a slab leak. This process also creates a damp, musky smell that can alert you to the leak.
You may also notice a spike in your water bill. If your bill is significantly higher than normal, then there’s a good chance that you have a leak somewhere.
Finally, low water pressure is another sign that you might have a leak. A foundation leak is the most likely cause of low water pressure if that low pressure is consistent throughout your entire home.
How Should I Respond to a Foundation Leak?
Once you’ve identified that you have a foundation leak, you need to take action to stop the damage as soon as possible. Your first step should be to turn off your home’s main water source. Doing this will stop the leak temporarily.
Next, you should call a plumbing professional to visit your home as soon as possible. The sooner they’re able to begin working on the problem, the sooner you can get back to using water in your home like you normally do.
As you wait for a plumber to fix the issue, you’ll also want to take steps to dry out your home. Doing this can minimize the damage that’s done to both your home and your property.
How to Dry Out Your Home After a Leak
If you’re able to start drying out your home within 48 hours of a leak occurring, you’re much more likely to prevent serious damage, mold, and rust. There are several actions you’ll need to take in order to accomplish this.
First, get some air moving around your house. Do this by opening your windows and doors, if possible. You should also use fans to increase airflow. High-powered fans can be purchased for as little as $50 or rented for $20 a day from local hardware stores.
You should also work to dehumidify your home. A portable dehumidifier can suck up the water that’s infiltrated your carpets and walls.
Finally, work to absorb as much of the water as possible with towels. Do these things right after a leak has occurred and you could save yourself thousands in repair costs.
Water Coming Up Through Carpet After Rain
If your issue only happens after rain, then it may not be related to a foundation leak. Instead, rainwater could be falling off of your house and seeping in through your walls.
This issue is most commonly seen in houses that don’t have gutters. Rainwater can run off gutterless roofs and pool on the ground next to your walls. This is the water that may be coming up through your carpet.
The best solutions to this problem require a professional’s assistance. They may advise you to install gutters to keep rainwater from pooling near your home’s walls.
Alternatively, the ground that surrounds your home may slope towards your house. If this is the issue, then fixing it may require installing French-drains that can intercept the water before it gets to your walls.
Each of these solutions is large and technical. Unless you have experience with this kind of work, it’s best to ask a professional to do it for you.
Water Coming Up Through Carpet on the Second Floor
If you have water coming up through a second-floor carpet, then you’re probably dealing with a roof leak. It would be impossible for a foundation leak to seep through to your second floor and rainwater wouldn’t be able to pool near your second-floor walls.
That’s why you’ll want to look at your ceilings to identify whether a leak may be taking place there. Signs of a ceiling leak include stains on your ceiling, sagging ceilings, and the smell of old, accumulated water.
If you don’t notice any signs of a ceiling leak, then it’s possible that the issue is related to a pipe that runs underneath the affected portion of your second-floor carpet. This pipe may have sprung a leak or may have burst entirely if there’s a massive amount of water.
Regardless, the best fix for this issue is to contact a professional plumber. They can access the issue safely, without damaging other pipes. They can also make more specific recommendations so that you can fix the problem as soon as possible.
How to Dry Wet Carpet
Although your carpet may be soaking wet, that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to replace it. Instead, you can prevent mold from growing on the carpet and save it for future use by drying it as quickly as possible.
The first thing you need to do is remove the moisture that’s in your carpet. You can use a wet vacuum to do this. Wet vacuums are usually fairly inexpensive and can even be rented at local hardware stores.
You will also want to increase the airflow around the affected parts of your carpet. This will clear away odor and moisture from the room. To increase airflow, open your windows and turn on a high-powered fan near the damp part of your carpet. You may also want to consider using a dehumidifier to speed up the process.
Unfortunately, you will likely need to replace your carpet padding after it’s been affected by a leak. Carpet padding is very difficult to dry. Yours will start growing mold quickly after it’s been struck by a leak.
If you fail to replace your carpet padding, the mold that it grows will saturate your carpet. This means you’ll need to replace the carpet even if you succeeded in drying it out very quickly after the initial leak.
You can save your carpets by replacing the carpet padding that lies underneath them as quickly as possible. Consider contacting a professional if you’re unsure about how to do this on your own.
How much does it cost to repair a leaking foundation?
The cost of repairing your foundation leak will be based on the specific attributes of the problem. That being said, homeowners pay an average of between $2,000 and $6,000 to repair foundation leaks.
Can I repair a foundation leak from the inside?
You may be able to do this by performing foundation waterproofing in the affected area. However, this is often a stop-gap solution that will simply direct your excess water to another part of your home. For that reason, foundation waterproofing is typically used in combination with another method of repair.
Kellan is a content writer who specializes in everything DIY. When he's not behind the keyboard, he enjoys spending time with his pets, playing music, and geeking out about basketball. He hopes to make your home improvement projects a little bit easier to accomplish.
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