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Old 08-22-2010, 08:42 PM   #1
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Cleaning carpet in a house with a slab foundation - okay to use steam?

We're buying a house that has a slab foundation. The owners had a cat and a dog and we want to have the carpets cleaned before we move in. We had planned to have a company that was recommended to us clean the carpets - they use steam with powerful vacuums mounted to their vans. In fact they used to clean the model houses in our neighborhood. My Mom is insisting that we need to find a chem-dry company to do the carpets since we have a slab. Does anyone know?
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Old 08-23-2010, 07:34 AM   #2
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Steam clean is fine. We have our carpeted basement steam cleaned and no one has ever suggested dry cleaning.
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Old 08-23-2010, 07:45 AM   #3
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I would think the water(steam) would do less damage to a slab floor(cement) than to a wood sub floor. Any time you use a steam clean process the biggest concern is allowing the floor to dry thoroughly, to prevent mold.
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Old 08-23-2010, 04:24 PM   #4
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We use a company called Chem-dry. While not steam, there is moisture and they use a powerful vacuum to suck most of it back up. It does take several hours to dry thoroughly, though, and it does a great job.
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Old 08-23-2010, 04:27 PM   #5
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I would be more concerned if any urine has soaked into the concrete slab.
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Old 08-23-2010, 04:40 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by DrCavin View Post
I would be more concerned if any urine has soaked into the concrete slab.

I agree. I think you need to do a bit of research on your own (don't take the word of the carpet cleaning company) and see what method is best. That being said, I do think you are going to have a major issue with the smell seeping into the slab. Carpet and the padding is notorious for wicking wetness, smell and residue all the way down to the slab or sub-floors, where the odor, stain and residue remain. That is why stains so often come back after a rug is cleaned, usually a few weeks later. You need to make sure that you use a carpet cleaning company that at the very least use's a strong extraction method to lift up the water and cleaner they have put down, and hopefully lift up the smell and residue. Also when you do finally out new carpets dowm, I would get the slab cleaned before you put the new ones down. Hope this helps!!!
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Old 08-23-2010, 04:50 PM   #7
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On another forum I visit, someone had moved into a home where the previous owners had a cat. When they looked at the home, prior to purchase, there was always the requisite candle burning or some scent in the area. A few weeks after moving in, the owner is having terrible issues with the whole house smelling like cat urine. He had a professional company come in and they told him that the cat urine had gone all the way down into the wood sub-floor and that just cleaning the carpet would not help. He will have to remove the carpets and replace the sub-floor.

I say this to you only in that when you dampen your carpets you may find a reactivation of odor if there is any cat urine on the rug. Hopefully, the previous owner did not have a "problem" cat and this is a non issue.

I have used both steam cleaning and chem dry and prefer the steam (even on a slab). As long as there is a truck mount vacuum you should be fine with getting enough moisture out. I would talk to the cleaning company about your concerns.

And I agree with the other poster--if you ever get new carpet over the slab, have the slab cleaned and sealed.

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Old 09-27-2012, 08:54 PM   #8

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It would be like regular flooring under the carpet if urine smell is present , you would need to seal it. Plus using a professional , it has the capabilities to suck up the water. With a slab it may take a little longer to dry the slab.
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Old 09-27-2012, 09:48 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by HappyDznyCamper View Post
I would think the water(steam) would do less damage to a slab floor(cement) than to a wood sub floor. Any time you use a steam clean process the biggest concern is allowing the floor to dry thoroughly, to prevent mold.
I agree. Slab (cement) foundation homes are very much the norm here and steam clean is done by lots of people all the time. Why would steam cleaning be a concern or damaging to cement?
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Old 09-28-2012, 12:03 AM   #10
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Another home with slab owner here and we steam clean. No problems what so ever.

The cat pee smell may or may not be an issue but you won't know for sure until you try. Frankly we have never seen any benefit to the extra treatments like pet odor or scotch guard. We run our ceiling fans and house fan on our furnace afterward to help it dry faster.
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