Archive for August, 2014

Inspection Safari: Carpet Sprouts – Causes and Solutions

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

carpet yarn sprout | carpet expert Glenn Revere

Last week, I inspected a large commercial installation. The complaint came in as “loose tufts and snags”. What I found was something very different: sprouts.

As defined in my book, All About Carpets, “sprouts are long ends of yarns that protrude above the pile surface…Sprouting is a defect only if excessive and unserviceable.”

When I looked across the large, open, glued-down (no padding) installation, it appeared someone had dropped small ball bearings all over this tufted carpet. What I actually saw were random longer loops of carpet pile that were sticking up above the rest of the level loop pile. So what was going on? Had something yanked loops out of the carpet backing? Or was it something else?

Tufted carpet is made by using needles that stitch carpet yarns into a thin sheet of material. As many as 1,000 needles run across a width of carpet. Each needle sets a looped yarn at a predetermined height. For cut-pile carpet, a knife cuts (more…)

Carpet Discoloration: Heat Damaged Carpet Seams

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

discolored carpet seam | Glenn Revere

Making tufted carpet is complicated. Several steps in the process use heat. Some of those steps include twisting yarn, dyeing yarn, and curing the carpet backings. So heat and carpet is a good combination, right? Well, not always.

Heat can also damage carpet, as today’s Flooring Inspection Safari illustrates:

A high quality nylon carpet was installed in a second story condo. Approximately 18-24 months after the installation, the renter noticed the carpet was fading from tan to pink along the seams! The carpet had not been cleaned yet. The renter, acting on the owner’s behalf, turned in a claim. I was asked to inspect the job for the manufacturer. As always, I looked at the overall installation to make sure it mets industry quality standards. I have duplicated the main portion of my inspection report here. It explains my findings: (more…)

The Importance of Proper Carpet Care

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

carpet vacuum

What can you do to keep your beautiful and expensive carpet looking showroom new? Plan to care for your carpet in a number of ways involving both short- and long-term maintenance.

In the short term, regular vacuuming and spotting works wonders to keep the carpet looking good. Over the long term, plan on (and budget for) regular professional cleaning to maintain your investment.

Most carpet warranties require periodic professional (more…)

Damaged Wood Flooring: Manufacturing or Installation Related?

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

engineered wood flooring damage | Glenn Revere

As a Certified Flooring Inspector, I field inspection requests from consumers, manufacturers, and installers. The complaints range across a wide variety of problems. Sometimes the blame for a problem is obvious. It is clearly one person’s or one entity’s fault. Sometimes things are not so obvious and I cannot clearly deduce who is at fault. Today’s Flooring Inspection Safari complaint falls into the latter category.

In this case, the consumer complained her newly installed engineered wood floors were scratched and chipped. She noticed the problems when she moved furniture into her home after the installation was complete. She called the installers and they returned to look at the damage. Then they filed a complaint with the manufacturer, who called me. I looked at the floor two months after the installation. I have included the body of my inspection report here for you. You’ll notice that I am always required to check the entire installation: (more…)

Flooring Installation Tip: How Weather Affects Flooring

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

You may not realize it, but the inside of your home has its own “microclimate”. Whether it’s hot and muggy or cold and dry, the “weather” in your home affects how you feel. It also affects how your floors “feel”, too.

Flooring materials like ceramic tile or vinyl don’t care much about atmospheric changes inside your home. But carpet and wood-based flooring (solid wood, engineered wood, bamboo, cork, or laminate) physically change as temperatures and humidity inside your home vary. These materials will grow or shrink as the “weather” inside your home changes.

Before installation, carpet and wood-based flooring must be acclimated to normal living conditions in your home. Flooring manufacturers require that, before installation, their materials adjust to whatever are “normal” living conditions in your home. The acclimation period varies with the type of flooring you are installing.

Most carpet today is completely synthetic. The face fibers, carpet backings, and (more…)

Laminate Flooring Installation Problems: Gapped End Joints + More

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

laminate flooring gapped joints | @GlennRevere

You finally bought your new laminate flooring! Congratulations! But remember, installing your new floor correctly is as important as — and maybe even more important than — the selection and purchase. You are paying cold, hard cash for that floor and expect the best. The installation should also be “the best.”

As a Certified Flooring Inspector, I see so many beautiful floors that have been “messed up” because of sloppy installation procedures. Every box of flooring contains detailed installation instructions. With the proper tools and a little training, it should be relatively easy to install laminate flooring. This is a do-it-yourself floor. You’d think professional installers would do it right every time. Well, don’t bet on it. (more…)

Carpet Buying: Is it Smart to Buy Carpet Online?

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

Q: Is it smart to buy carpet online?

If you know how to properly measure your rooms, you know exactly what you want to buy, and you have your own carpet installer in mind, then buying carpet online can save you a lot of money.

But, before you go this route, it’s important to keep the following considerations in mind:

  • In order to determine how much carpet you need to buy, you’ll need to determine the square footage of the rooms you’re carpeting, and then factor in the width of the carpet roll you’re interested in (they’re not all the same size). You’ll also need to consider how much extra carpet you may need in order to line up patterns, etc. It’s important to do all of these calculations properly up front, since you won’t necessarily be able to run to the store to buy extra if you come up short.
  • Most online retailers require that you sign a disclosure that makes you responsible for assessing and reporting any damage (from the manufacturer or the shipper) before accepting your carpet when it’s delivered. That means, you’ll need (more…)

Cork Flooring Problems: My Cork Tiles Won’t Stick!

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

cork flooring installation | @GlennRevere

As a Certified Flooring Inspector, my job is to look at flooring installation failures and figure out what happened. Some people say I am a forensics flooring failure person. I look at all kinds of flooring. Today’s Inspection Safari is about a glue-down cork tile floor that wouldn’t stick to the concrete subfloor.

As with any flooring material, cork tiles must be installed according to the manufacturer’s specifications. Each brand has its own requirements. You can’t necessarily install Brand X the way you did Brand Y. That is why installation instructions are included with every box of material. Unfortunately, some installers think you CAN install different brands the same way and get the same results. It doesn’t work that way. (more…)