After cleaning, carpets should be dried within 12 to 24 hours. Wet or damp carpets are considered safety hazards. Walking from wet carpet to hard flooring is a potential slip-and-fall hazard. Wet carpets can also lead to bacteria and mold. If moisture is left in the carpet, it can start to delaminate the carpet, causing the backing to break apart.

Extraction is typically the first step in drying carpets, followed by fans or dehumidifiers. Moisture-detection devices can be used to determine if a carpet is dry.

Building service contractors and in-house cleaning professionals also need to keep in mind the geographical environment when it comes to drying times. Humid climates will require more equipment to dry carpet in a sufficient time frame. If time is of the essence, rate the importance of each area. Make sure busy lobbies are dry before seldom-used offices or conference rooms.