We know wet floors and carpet are bad, but do we know why? How moisture affects carpets and flooring depends heavily on whether it’s pooled, or in the air as condensation. Both can cause damage, but the actual process varies.
Pooling, or Deep Moisture
When liquids rest on a surface, over time they begin to wear away at it. Any cracks or pores on the surface of a material are forced open. With car carpets and floors, this is especially dangerous, because they are not compact materials. Moisture can seep deep into them, worming its way to the metal base. When temperatures change, the moisture will expand, breaking up the internal structure of the flooring material. This will have two effects. The first is that it will increase the chances of flooring being uprooted or falling apart. The second is that now dirt, dust, food, or anything else can find its way under the very flooring of your car.
A humid or moist car can seem like less of a problem than if there were puddles of water in the backseat, but the effects can be just as troublesome if left alone. Airborne moisture carries more than just water. A variety of different gases and chemicals can evaporate as well. This condensation coalition moves like a single unit around your whole car. The main problem caused by this circulation is the smell. One bad smell from a food or drink can easily find its way into the trunk, roof, floor, and seats. A combination of various chemicals can cause extreme damage to the interior. Car cleaners, or acidic foods like vinegar, will damage your car if not aired out properly. A dehumidifier can help keep the problem from spreading, but you should also make sure to open the doors and windows from time to time to just let the old air clear out.