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Drying out carpets


elbekko
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After the swim in my P38 I think I've got the ECUs almost ready to go back in, but the carpets remain a problem. The car's been om my parents' driveway for a few weeks, drying out with the doors open when the weather allows. But the carpet and insulation is still soaked where I couldn't lift it off the floor.

Taking out the carpets would be a huge pain, as it would mean taking out the entire interior. Cutting them out where wet would be an option, but I'd prefer to avoid it.

Any suggestions for drying them out? I've considered an electric dehumidifier, but I'm not sure if it'll be up to the job, and they're fairly spendy as well. A little electric heater in the car is also a suggestion I've heard, but I'd be worried about leaving it alone and being a fire hazard.

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I had a similar issue with my Disco, twice!  I have to say the best option is to take them out... the foam underlay is horrendous for holding on to water.  I had a dehumidifier in there for a week, and it made little difference.  I also tried it with a fan heater constantly warming the carpets up, but still the foam was damp and would release water when squeezed.  In the end I cut the carpet since the Disco wasn't precious to me.

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I've seen detailers turn the heater on full and leave the car/heater running for an extended period after shampooing seats and carpet. It's not ideal but it's more effective than anything else in short term solutions. Ideally done indoors with the car windows just slightly open.

I took my whole D2 interior out when I bought the car because the previous owner had a dog, smoked and had neglected the usualy D2 leaks so there was quite a concoction of smells. I shampood everything, but it's beside the point because when I lifted the carpets which were dry, I found that the underlay/soundproofing was literally sopping. What I'm getting at is I wouldn't be confident you'll dry the underlay properly for a very long time without pulling it out.

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I had quite a lot of water in the D3 last winter when the sunroof drains broke. Doesn't sound too bad, but I didn't discovery it until I heard the water running front to back as I drove slowly over a humpback bridge! When I lifted the rubber mats, the water was deeper than the carpet plus soundproofing etc on the passenger side. Still not as much as you had by some margin!

Pulling the carpets out was going to be a big job. I settled for pushing beams (I used short pieces of 25mm plastic pipe) under the soundproofing to lift it away from the floor, and encourage the water to drain, plus a daily attack with wet vacuum cleaner on top and underneath, and running the blowers full blast into the footwells whenever I was driving. It took a few weeks, but it dried fairly well and didn't smell. Don't know how the wiring is set up in a p38, but in the D3 theres a handful of badly made wiring splices under the carpet that rot when they get wet, and give all manner of odd problems. I had to cut out and solder all I could find, glue lined heatshrink, plastidip, then drowned the loom in acf50 Corrosion Block.

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We had good results with a dehumidifier too, had it running for several weeks and collected a couple of litres of water a day initially.  Our problem was in just one rear foot well in our Golf so not on the scale of your wetting but it did work over time.

Chris 

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9 hours ago, TSD said:

I had quite a lot of water in the D3 last winter when the sunroof drains broke. Doesn't sound too bad, but I didn't discovery it until I heard the water running front to back as I drove slowly over a humpback bridge! When I lifted the rubber mats, the water was deeper than the carpet plus soundproofing etc on the passenger side. Still not as much as you had by some margin!

Pulling the carpets out was going to be a big job. I settled for pushing beams (I used short pieces of 25mm plastic pipe) under the soundproofing to lift it away from the floor, and encourage the water to drain, plus a daily attack with wet vacuum cleaner on top and underneath, and running the blowers full blast into the footwells whenever I was driving. It took a few weeks, but it dried fairly well and didn't smell. Don't know how the wiring is set up in a p38, but in the D3 theres a handful of badly made wiring splices under the carpet that rot when they get wet, and give all manner of odd problems. I had to cut out and solder all I could find, glue lined heatshrink, plastidip, then drowned the loom in acf50 Corrosion Block.

I don't think there are any splices like that, should be one continuous loom, at least on the floorboards. All the connectors I can find are getting liberally sprayed with contact cleaner and attacked with a paintbrush (just like I did with the ECUs).

Getting the carpets out will be a huge pain, mostly because most of the interior will have to come out, and I just don't have the room to do all that. They're lifted as far off the ground as I can with a brick underneath, and they've dried nicely where they're not touching the floor, but I can't get them out of the footwell without taking more apart.

It's no longer my daily driver, which means running the blowers full blast is not really an option.

Maybe I should keep throwing some packets of salt in it until I can take it all apart in the workshop in a few months...

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Get a dehumidifier, they are fairly cheap from screwfix in the UK etc and they work well. They work well in the home and workshop. Newer ones are a bit more efficient, the first one I had was about 600W when running but over the years it solved a lot of damp and flood damage.
I bought two new units about 18 months ago they were on offer at about 75 UKP each.

You need the car or area you are drying to be fairly well sealed ( so you aren't de humidifying the whole of Belgium ) so close off and tape up any fresh air vents and it helps if you take the drain outside of the car as you can just leave it running without letting damp air in every time you have to empty its tank.

The fan stirs the air up and they take lots of water out of a closed space but this will take a week or so to pull the water out of the carpets and sound deadening stuff.

 

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After the drenching of the Mountain Rescue Defenders after Christmas I pretty successfully dried the interiors out by shutting in 2 portable de-humidifiers took a week or so. but it sorted it, I also removed the big sections of carpet and dried them separately, bit of a faff, but doesn't really smell fusty any more. 

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3 hours ago, Simon Smith said:

Hire a commercial building dryer, they are industrial dehumidifiers and much more powerful than any of the domestic ones on the market. We used to make the Tremdri ones at the last place I worked.

 

I've looked into those, but at £30+ per day, that'll get expensive quickly.

The ones I can find to buy for a reasonable price seem a bit weak, and also get expensive quickly... What sort of power rating should I be looking for?

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I bought two of these which were on offer at 75 quid each, they work well for what you are trying to do.

They keep my 'radio' shed bone dry through winter and the 'machine' shed dry enough not to need oil on the ways to stop rust.

When the utility room with washer / fridge freezer had a little leak which was unnoticed for a few days it dried it out in about a week.

There are more powerful ones and obviously its not an industrial tool but you are working in a fairly small volume.

 

http://www.screwfix.com/p/16l-d-dehumidifier-16ltr-dehumidifier/1379g

 

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A couple of trays of salt is a cheap although not particularly fast fix, stick them as close to the moisture as possible, ideally under the carpet.

Once they have absorbed water just stick the tray in the oven after it has been used and the heat as the oven cools will be enough to dry the salt out ready to go again, obviously this assumes you have used an oven proof tray!.

Should work if cheap is more important than speed.

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The option I've done in the past is to lift the carpets as much as possible without removing them, but taking off the dorr trims, and then cut the insulation underneath out, and remove that to dry it. That gets 80% of the wet out immediately and allows the water to drain down from the higehr areas of insulation. Once dry the insulation can go back in and nobody knows about the cuts.

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My dad bought a dehumidifier for his boat, it has a drain pipe for continuous running and switches off if it tips over. When he sold his boat I 'borrowed' it and leave it in the caravan over the winter with the pipe down the shower. Keeps it dry and much warmer feeling. Although I did once leave it running whilst sleeping in there and woke up in the middle of the night feeling very thirsty :lol: I also found it great for drying the awning when hanging in the garage.

I used it a few times on the land rover, if I had to work underneath after playing I used to leave it running next to the car for a while before working on it so that you don't get a constant drip of muddy water on you. I don't know how well it would work inside the car, the sound deadening is really thick and like a sponge, any water in there will just rot the floor. If your going to offroad it I would just take it out and put some rubber mats down.

I would definitely buy over renting.

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On 10-10-2016 at 11:38 PM, sean f said:

A couple of trays of salt is a cheap although not particularly fast fix, stick them as close to the moisture as possible, ideally under the carpet.

Once they have absorbed water just stick the tray in the oven after it has been used and the heat as the oven cools will be enough to dry the salt out ready to go again, obviously this assumes you have used an oven proof tray!.

Should work if cheap is more important than speed.

Could definitely give that a go, cheap is definitely more important than speed at the moment...

21 hours ago, Cynic-al said:

If your going to offroad it I would just take it out and put some rubber mats down.

I did that in the Classic, but it also made it a whole lot louder. Not sure I want that with a leaking exhaust underneath (different can of worms)...

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If you're not driving it every day then almost any "proper" (compressor-type) dehumidifier left running in there will eventually do the job. Ideally one with a drain tube you can run out of a handy hole or gap so you don't have to keep emptying the tank.

They can be found on eBay for under 100 monies. Just beware all the very cheap ones that are just a bucket of silica crystals with a fan on top.

Mind you, a large bucket of silica crystals might be affordable and effective too...

Running the heater is a reasonable idea, but on warm days the air-con will actually pump dry air out as it works exactly the same way as a dehumidifier, hence why air-con condensers have a drip-tray and drain hose that exits under the car.

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20 hours ago, FridgeFreezer said:

They can be found on eBay for under 100 monies.

In the UK, apparently. In Belgium, that appears to be a tall order... And shipping from the UK would hurt quite a bit on something big like that.

 

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On 11/10/2016 at 1:38 AM, sean f said:

A couple of trays of salt is a cheap although not particularly fast fix, stick them as close to the moisture as possible, ideally under the carpet.

Once they have absorbed water just stick the tray in the oven after it has been used and the heat as the oven cools will be enough to dry the salt out ready to go again, obviously this assumes you have used an oven proof tray!.

Should work if cheap is more important than speed.

Like Mav said, this is a good principle but REALLY bad idea in the detail.  Use rice or even desicated coconut,but don't put salt anywhere near it as you'll lose the foot wells, sills and door pillars.

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Under the motto "there's no kill like overkill", I rented this skookum choocher for €5/day for a week:

EJmkCGKl.jpg

Should move around 75L/day, so more than enough. It also included a carpet dryer fan for another €1/day, might as well.

The drain goes into a bucket, which has an overflow that I routed through a taillight and then taped up.

If that doesn't do it, I'm not sure what will :ph34r: The less powerful ones were more expensive to rent or buy, and it was 15 minutes from work, so I was sold quickly.

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