Archive for July, 2014

Carpet Tips: The Advantages of Carpet Padding

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

Carpet padding (sometimes referred to as “underlayment”) is the material that’s placed between the carpet and the floor during installation. And, it’s not something that should be a mere afterthought to carpet buyers — buying a quality carpet pad can greatly extend the life of your carpet.

Additionally, according to the Carpet Cushion Council, purchasing a separate carpet cushion offers the following advantages to carpet installations: (more…)

Inspection Safari: Carpet Stain Blocker Failure

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

carpet stain blocker

Sometimes when I receive an inspection request, the stated reason and the actual complaint are different. Today’s Inspection Safari is a perfect example of such a complaint.

A major carpet mill asked me to inspect a carpet for “stain blocker failure.” Most of today’s carpets are made using some type of stain resistant technology. So a permanent stain is often covered by the carpet warranty. My job would be to see if this stain was something that might be a “warrantied defect.”

I called the homeowner to schedule an appointment and asked him if there was a problem with a stained carpet. He said, “Yes, AND the carpet is coming apart.” He explained that the spot had been professionally cleaned five times. The last time it was cleaned, the technician “was aggressive” with the cleaning and the carpet delaminated (separated)! So now I also had to determine the structural integrity of the carpet. (more…)

Interior Design Ideas: Carpet Color Considerations

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

colorful living room

When buying a carpet, color is an important consideration. The floor of any room is one of its largest canvases, so you’ll want to make sure you pick something that complements the color(s) of the walls and the furniture, and something that works well with the lighting and mood of the room.

So, when considering color combinations when you’re out carpet buying, keep these basic interior design ideas in mind: (more…)

Flooring Inspection Safari: Causes of Dirty Carpet

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

soapy carpet spot | carpet expert Glenn Revere

In a previous post, I discussed why a three-year-old carpet stayed clean after its first cleaning, but quickly soiled after its second cleaning. Sometimes, even a brand new carpet starts to “soil up” after just a few weeks. Here’s why.

Carpet mills have to add a detergent-based lubricant to any synthetic fiber (nylon, polyester, or olefin) when they spin it into carpet yarn. Otherwise, the heat from the spinning process could damage the fiber. This is called a spin finish. This lubricant is normally removed during the production process. But mistakes happen. Sometimes the spin finish stays in the carpet instead of getting removed. You can’t see it. When the new carpet is installed in your home, dirt starts to (more…)

Cleaning Engineered Wood Floors: Consumer-Caused Delamination

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

The process of layering materials together to form a product is called lamination. Any product made by layering materials together can separate under the right conditions. Engineered wood floors are made by gluing (laminating) several thin plies of wood together to form a board suitable for flooring. By definition, engineered wood is a plied board and can delaminate. That is, any of the layers can separate, including the veneer top sheet.

There is more than one reason why boards delaminate. My job as a flooring inspector is to figure out the exact reason for a flooring failure. Is the cause manufacturing, installation, or site/maintenance related?

Today’s Inspection Safari looks at a maintenance-related cause. (more…)

Advantages and Disadvantages of Wool Carpet

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

Wool is the original green, environmentally sustainable fiber, so if you are looking to purchase a natural carpet, wool is an excellent option. But, it’s expensive.

Breeders have to use special sheep to produce the tough wool that goes into carpeting, and with such a restricted supply chain, that means consumer costs go up. It’s a great investment if you’re able to afford it, however, because it lasts a long time. For example, it’s not uncommon to see a 20-year-old wool carpet still in good use!

For you carpet buyers out there, let’s take a look at a quick snapshot of the wool carpet pros and cons.

 

Advantages of Wool Carpet

– It’s very soft and resilient, so furniture marks easily brush or vacuum out.

– The rough surface of a wool carpet fiber is able to hide dirt, making (more…)

Engineered Bamboo Flooring Installation Problems

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

bamboo flooring installation

When a wood floor has problems, there are only four causes for those problems: manufacturing, installation, the home’s indoor environment, and maintenance. Sometimes when I look at complaints, I only find one cause relating to the problem. Sometimes I find multiple causes. In today’s Inspection Safari, I share with you an inspection that has complaints with multiple causes.

This engineered bamboo floor was installed throughout a well-maintained two-story inland San Diego home. The main floor had a concrete slab (foundation), while the upstairs subfloor was 1/2” plywood. The flooring was replaced by the retailer after one year because of multiple installation problems. I was asked to inspect the new (replacement) floor. The homeowner complained that the color of the replacement was much darker than the original installation, which she felt was the correct color. She also had concerns regarding the installation. I have reproduced the bulk of my inspection report below: (more…)

Flooring Inspection Safari: Proper Carpet Cleaning

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

carpet cleaning | carpet expert Glenn Revere

I received an inspection request from a carpet manufacturer. The carpet had been installed for 3 1/2 years. It had been cleaned twice. The complaint was: “carpet looks terrible, appears soiled after cleaning.” My job was to see how the carpet was holding up and to check the soil/stain resistance of the fiber.

When I arrived at the well-maintained home, I saw that the main floor was ceramic tile. The carpet in question was installed on the stairs, and in the upstairs hallway and connecting master bedroom.

The last carpet cleaning had been done (more…)

Mystery Spots in Engineered Wood Flooring

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

wood flooring spots

When you install new engineered wood flooring, you don’t expect to wake up one day and find spots appearing throughout the floor. But that is what happened to a floor in a suburban home here in San Diego. The homeowner found me on the Internet and hired me to figure out what happened.

The floor had been installed professionally using the glue-down method over a concrete slab foundation. At first, everything was beautiful! The gorgeous natural hickory engineered wood flooring (veneer over plywood) made the family room look great. Then, slowly, over a period of several months, small light gray spots began appearing. At first, they were barely noticeable. The spots slowly grew in size and darkened until they were highly visible everywhere in the room. That is when I was asked to inspect the floor. (more…)

Flooring Inspection Safari: Knee Kicker Carpet Tears

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

knee kicker tear | Carpet Expert Glenn Revere

Knee Kicker: a short device with gripper teeth on one end and a cushion on the other. It is used by installers to stretch carpet in small areas, like closets. It is also used to position the carpet onto the tackless strip before power stretching. The installer puts the teeth into the pile and bumps the padded end with the area just above the knee. (From All About Carpets: Everything You Need to Know)

After installing a new carpet, it is normal to see an occasional loose tuft or thread here and there. It is not normal to still see loose tufts coming out of the new carpet after a few weeks.

There are several reasons for tufts (carpet yarns) to work out of the carpet backing. There might be a problem with (more…)