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Ive requested the carpet to be removed from my server room, a disaster was almost waiting to happen air con leaked and the carpet UNDER the rack was soaked. (air con unit 0.3 meter from rear of servers)

They have asked if we can have some sort of lining thrown over the carpet as it is a rented building.

If so what material or other recommendations do you have?

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5 Answers 5

up vote 24 down vote accepted

First of all, carpet in server room is also very dangerous when it's dry, because moving around on them generates static electricity that is very unsafe for computers.

If you can, remove the carpet and buy some kind of special anti-static lining/mat.

If you cannot remove the carpet, then buy some anti-static lining and cover the carpet with it.

If you have the money and need, raised floor will be an even better choice than lining.

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Some times things can go so wrong then best reised floor don't help :D youtube.com/watch?v=ttcQy3bCiiU –  B14D3 May 25 '12 at 9:55
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Repeat after me "Server Infrastructure goes above the ground floor." –  gWaldo May 25 '12 at 17:56

I would suggest that there is no "lining" or cover that could be placed on top of carpet that would be better than just removing the carpet.

I wouldn't be happy with any alternative to removing the carpet myself, but its a fair point that there's a cost issue involved with both removing it and then replacing it at the end of the lease. Its worth perhaps just outlining the safety issues and costs associated with leaving it in place and letting someone else make the decision.

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Just covering the carpet with plastic anti-static mats will just trade one bad problem for two others if you have another leak.

If the water sits on top of the mats; you still have a short hazard and have added a slip/fall hazard as well.

If the water ends up under the mats; the carpet will be very slow to dry and you'll likely end up with a mold problem.

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+1 for pointing out the perils of "stuff over carpet" -- If you can't remove the carpet pretty much every mitigating factor you can apply brings its own problems. –  voretaq7 May 25 '12 at 14:30

Sounds like a typical case for a raised floor. Wet carpet under the raised floor is bad for the carpet, but that's unavoidable under the circumstances. The only thing you can avoid is wet servers, and a raised floor will achieve this.

Unlike a plastic mat, however, there is air ventilation under a raised floor. That means it's easier to air-dry the carpet in case of small leaks, and you won't have standing water on the floor causing a slip risk.

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A water-detector under the raised floor is good too. The airco itself may not leak, but what about the cooling pipes to the outside unit? If you have a raised floor you may not notice water below it until your wiring shorts out or the airco stops completely due to overheating. –  Tonny May 25 '12 at 14:00

There is an another problem with carpets, The carpets generate lint and lint tends to stick on to the heat sinks in the equipment causing overheating.

PS:- I'm not a sysadmin, My answer is based on the experience running my desktop on a carpeted floor

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