Archive for the ‘Ask Glenn Revere’ Category

INSPECTION SAFARI: My New Wood Floors Are Scratched!

Monday, June 15th, 2015

Image of Scratched Wood Flooring

Wood floors scratch. That is a fact of life. All wood floors are stained and then a protective finish is applied over the stain. Unfinished wood floors are stained after installation. Then the protective coat is applied. Once installed, factory finished wood floors are ready to use. While these finishes are hard, they are not scratch-proof. And you’ll notice the scratches more with darker colors and less with lighter colors.
I recently inspected a factory finished solid bamboo floor. The consumers, who had self-installed the wood in a hallway and bedroom, complained to the retailer that the walnut finish scratches too easily.
This older home was located in the dusty backcountry. The family sold turkey and chicken eggs from their front yard.
The couple had purchased and installed a light colored bamboo flooring for the living and family rooms a few years ago. They love the look of the hard surface. When they decided to replace the carpet in the hallway and bedroom, they discovered that this particular bamboo floor is no longer available. So after much searching, they decided to buy and install the dark wood floor that I was commissioned to examine.
I noticed many installation related problems, including the fact that they “floated” the floor rather than attaching it to the subfloor, as was required. However, none of the installation problems had anything to do with the scratching.
The floor was badly scratched through the finish in the bedroom near a dresser and the floor of the bed. The consumer stated that the dresser legs have felt pads to protect the floor. The bed rollers are a hard plastic. She further stated that they were “very careful” when they put the furniture back once the installation was finished so that they would not scratch the wood.
I took an uninstalled board out of a box to examine the finish. An improperly cured factory finish will peel off. Sometimes a thumbnail scraped across the board scratches it. Sometimes a plastic putty knife will damage the finish. Sometimes painters tape will pull off the finish. I was unable to scratch the finish of this board using any of these methods.
I noticed that the scratches went through the finish into the light colored wood below the stain. From the location and shapes of the scratches, it was obvious to me that soothing had been dragged across the floor. Careful observation made its apparent that the felt pads under the dresser were full of grit and sand. The plastic wheels on the bed were also damaged by grit.
It was obvious to me that there was nothing wrong with the finish of this solid bamboo floor. The type of deep scratching that I observed amounted to abuse. Any wood floor would scratch under similar conditions.
You must be especially careful to protect darker wood finishes against scratching. I have even seen toenails from a large, active dog badly scratch a dark wood floor.

How to Find the Best Vacuum Cleaner

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

There are a lot of variables to selecting the “right” vacuum. You can’t buy a vacuum based on price alone. So, how do you find a vacuum that works well with your carpet?

The independent Carpet and Rug Institute tests all types of vacuums. The CRI does not accept money from vacuum manufacturers. Their only aim is to independently help you find the correct vacuum for your needs. You can go to their home page at www.carpet-rug.org. Then click on Residential Customers, then Cleaning and Maintenance, then Seal of Approval Products, and select Vacuums. The Institute has a long list of approved, efficient machines with links to the manufacturers’ websites.

In general, the Institute has found that upright vacuums outperform tank-type or canisters, even when (more…)

Carpet Care: Is It Possible to Vacuum Too Much?

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

Q: Is it possible to vacuum too much?

Answer: I’m often asked if a carpet can be vacuumed too much. Today’s synthetic fabrics are made to be vacuumed. Many maintain their appearance only by vacuuming. Normally, most vacuums work well with most kinds of fabrics, but some heavy duty machines teamed with delicate fibers such as wool or soft, fine nylon can cause problems. Strong motors and stiff brushes can distort cut-pile patterns and make Berber-type looped fabrics look fuzzy or stringy. A vacuum brush that is soft to medium in stiffness is the safest for most carpets. If your vacuum has adjustable brushes, it is also better to set the brushes higher rather than lower. You should feel little resistance against the carpet when you vacuum. Some manufacturers suggest that it is better for the brushes to barely touch the pile. This prevents you from beating the carpet to death. (more…)

Carpet Care: How Often Should I Vacuum?

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

I often get asked by clients and friends: How often should I vacuum? Well, here’s the answer.

It is recommended that under average household conditions (four people, one pet), a carpet should be vacuumed at least twice a week — once lightly, once thoroughly.

A light vacuuming means two to three forward and back overlapping passes of the machine in each of the high-traffic areas, with one pass in the low traffic areas.

Regular vacuuming is probably the single most helpful thing a person can do to (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…)

Pergo Laminate Flooring Buckling, Warping and Seeping Moisture

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

I was recently excited to receive an email from a gentleman in the U.K. who had apparently read my book and found what I had to say helpful. He had a few interesting questions that I think might be helpful to the others: (more…)

What is the Best Time of Year for Carpet Deals?

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

carpet deals

The best time of year for scoring carpet deals is: early spring or early fall.

The big yearly U.S. wholesale flooring market, called Surfaces, is held at the end of every January in Las Vegas. All the buyers for the flooring stores go there to see the newest styles and the latest fibers. They order their product lines, make special market purchases, and make purchasing commitments for the coming year. Any savings or reductions found at Surfaces are passed along to consumers as major specials.

By early spring, the new carpets have been shipped by the mills and the retailers are ready to “move some rugs.” The housing market begins to move again after the winter doldrums. Springtime is also fix-up time after (more…)

Carpet Tips: What’s the Best Living Room Carpet?

Thursday, February 13th, 2014

frieze carpet | carpet expert Glenn Revere

Q: What type of carpet is best for high-traffic areas, like living rooms and hallways?

The family room, halls, and steps are the main traffic areas in any home. It makes sense to put the sturdiest carpet and pad in these areas. The investment is well worth it. A heavy frieze, tightly twisted short cut-pile, or Berber will hold up under a lot of traffic. And remember, when a carpet (more…)

Carpet Buying: Is There a “Footprint Free” Carpet?

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

footprint free carpet | carpet expert Glenn Revere

What happens when you pay for a horse but get a mule? Or in this case, you thought you bought a “footprint free” carpet but as soon as it was installed you knew you had been taken?

I was recently hired by a woman who was in this situation. She explained that she had asked her salesperson for a carpet that doesn’t show footprints. The salesperson showed her a sample of a carpet that the salesperson said would not show footprints or traffic patterns. My client bought the carpet. The day it was installed she saw that it certainly showed footprints. She called the store the next day. The store had just gone out of business! The doors were closed!

My client spent months tracking down the store owner. She finally found him. He arranged for the carpet mill to send an inspector to (more…)

Carpet Shedding: How Much Shedding is Normal?

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

Shedding is common to all new carpet, especially cut-pile carpet. Some fuzz is produced by the shearing process and remains in the pile. Both continuous filament and staple yarns shed fuzz and fluff when new. You must vacuum out this excess fiber. It takes anywhere from two weeks to three months to remove most of the fuzz. It may appear that a lot of fiber is disappearing into the vacuum bag, but compared to the overall weight of the carpet face yarn, it isn’t much at all.

One advantage of carpet made with continuous filament yarn is that once the initial fuzz is gone, the fabric stops shedding entirely. Staple yarns always shed, at least a little. Cheaper plush carpets sometimes are made with short staple-spun yarns that can shed a lot throughout the life of the carpet. Sometimes shedding is not normal. If the filaments that are spun together (more…)