An elderly lady living in a ground floor flat noticed rust-coloured marks appearing on her bed cover, just below the ceiling pendant. Being partially sighted, the woman contacted her son who noticed that there was discolouration and dampness on the pendant plus cracks forming on the ceiling, around which large patches of damp were visible. The problem was traced to the shower unit in an upstairs flat, where the waste outlet had become detached.
The source of the problem was fixed, the electricity checked and the ceiling repaired. The water had not only soaked through the bedding and the mattress but linen kept in the divan drawers were damp and so was the carpet under the bed. The water damage to the carpet was minimal, with no visible stain so, rather than replacing it, it would be cleaned.
It was essential to clean the carpet and replace the mattress, rather than attempt to leave them to dry out, because of the source of the water and the course the water had taken. First of all, it was waste water but, additionally, it had been laying in the dirty, dusty cavity between the floor and ceiling of the flats which may have been harbouring bugs, mice droppings or other debris and building materials. In addition, there was an unpleasant musty odour that would be difficult to eradicate from the mattress but could be solved by cleaning the carpet (which would have been considerably more expensive to replace).
The carpet was cleaned and dry in a few hours.