Leaking and Flooded Cars

We have cleaned many types of vehicles that have been in rivers, fjords, sewage floods or just flooded due to leaking windscreens, or incorrectly fitted or perished seals. We have even cleaned a vehicle that has been immersed in sea water, even though most insurance companies write these off.

To effectively clean, dry and disinfect the vehicle, the interior carpets need to be removed and cleaned. Underneath the carpets, are two types of soundproofing, a matted material shown on the left of this picture, and a thick compact foam that holds an immense amount of water on the right. With any wet matted material we will replace it with new. With the thick compact foam (for some cars 6 inches thick), it’s impossible to dry. When you think it’s dry to the touch, try pushing your fingers deep inside and it still will be damp and a breeding ground for mould. We have to cut this away and rebuild it up.

Matted material

Compact Foam

For us to carry out this operation we would need your car for a minimum of 48 hours. The carpets, soundproofing and all interior paint work would be cleaned with a Bio Enzyme treatment to kill off any bacteria that has formed in the stagnant water. All the mould will be treated and any smells removed. An interior valet will be carried out. We will return the car to you clean, dry and fresh smelling, ready for use.

When Southsea flooded with sewage from the drains 25 years ago, we successfully cleaned 30 cars over a period of one month.

Leak Detection

Many cars leak. Maybe you have noticed your windscreen will be wet in the morning, perhaps a stale smell, wet carpets and/or boot. You are unlikely to see water leaking in as it will be behind plastic panels in the doors, boot, or behind the dashboard.

Once we know there is a leak, we will remove the interior and then start spraying the car with water. We will video the leak and suggest what will solve it. If we can’t repair it, we will advise who can.

What's Involved

This Ford Focus has had a leak. The leak is in the boot but the water is easily transferred to the front  footwells of the car. You can see the mould all over the car. So when you have a leak this is what’s growing under your car. We will replace all the soundproofing  (woollen matted material and foam with new )   It is also setting into the metal floor of the car. The whole car has to be stripped out and the mould treated to kill it off.

The leak was found to be the 4 air vents behind the bumper. Their seal breaks down and then lets water into a cavity behind which then fills up overflows and lets water into the car. We can reseal them, but in this case the customer wanted them replaced with new ones.

Extreme Flooding January 2014

This car was brought to us on the back of a breakdown truck after being pulled from river flood water. The water had reached just below the headlining.

The vehicle absolutely stunk. First operation disconnect the battery. We wanted no power going to the electrics and then sent about removing the Interior.

It’s amazing how much interior has to be removed including all door panels and soundproofing. These all had to be cleaned and disinfected for bacteria and viruses. The matted soundproofing had to be replaced with new, but the carpets were saved.

The car was thoroughly cleaned on the Interior.

Then a large fan was put inside the car with a dehumidifier and the car was left to dry for 2 days. Once drying was complete the spark plugs were removed the vehicle ignition turned over, this cleared water from the engine. The spark plugs refitted and the car started 1st time. Next operation ( but not done by us Drain the fuel tank as this was contaminated and replace various filters.



Flooded vehicle Interior removed – “Simply outstanding service.
Cannot recommend this firm highly enough. Solved my year long problem of smell due to damp saturation, caused by leak due door rubber trim defect. Michael kept me updated with photos and video of his findings, very impressed with this. Wouldnt have any hesitation in going back for valet or any other service if and when required. A mega thank you to the amazing team.”
February 2024

Waterleak in car – “Car was getting very wet in side when it was raining. Michael and the team were very responsive and could fit me in on rather short notice. I was kept informed all the way. The job was done superbly, the service outstanding. Very fair invoice.” December 2023

Flooded Car – “I discovered on Saturday that I had left a window open on my car. It had rained heavily and the interior was very wet, particularly the seats and the floor. My son researched online and found Cleaner Cars Ltd. I looked at their website on Sunday and completed their form. I received a quotation by return and accepted it. They collected my car at 9.15 on Monday and took it to their centre at Portsmouth. They returned it today dry and clean. I was most impressed by their efficiency.” December 2023

Flooded car cleaning – “Amazing job, quicker than expected. Very happy with the videos recorded throughout the process, very helpful for insurance and my own knowledge.” November 2023

Water into interior of car. Interior removed, cleaned and dried – “The company did a first class job, l’m very pleased with the result.” November 2023

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