Archive for the ‘Carpet Care’ Category

Carpet Problems: The Difference Between Crushing and Matting

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

Crushing and matting are two common problems that are easy to confuse. Crushing is the flattening down of face yarns through normal use, especially with cut pile carpets. Carpeted traffic areas like hallways typically show crushing. An area directly in front of furniture, such as a chair facing the TV, will crush. When the carpet is vacuumed, the pile should stand up again. It is normal for the tip of the tuft to open. This is called blossoming or blooming.

Matting is more noticeable. It occurs when the tips of cut pile yarns untwist and fray, then get tangled with neighboring tufts. If the tufts untwist one-third of their length or more, and if the affected carpet is widespread and not a confined area subject to unusual usage, the carpet is generally considered defective if it is less than a year old.

Matting and untwisting happen because the heat-set of the yarn is weak. Plied yarns are put through a process that crimps the yarns, twists them, and then (more…)

Carpet Pilling: Common Causes and Solutions

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

Carpet pilling is a condition directly related to carpet shedding. Sometimes the vacuum cleaner cannot keep up with the amount of fluff coming from the pile. The brushes are unable to completely pull the fuzz from the carpet pile. The fluff collects on the surface of the carpet. With walking, the fuzz rolls up into little balls called pills. Soon the carpet looks like an old sweater.

If the vacuum isn’t working properly to remove shedding, your carpet will pill. Check to make sure the belt is on correctly. Is the vacuum bag more than half full? Empty it. Is the brush set at the right height? Proper height adjustment allows the brushes to remove the fuzz without overly beating the pile.

If the vacuum is working efficiently and the carpet is pilling, call your retailer. He may need to call for a carpet inspector to determine the cause of the pilling. Sometimes an unused piece of scrap can be sent to a testing laboratory to see if it’s made correctly.

If the carpet is okay, the pills can be removed by (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…)

What’s the Best Way to Clean Carpet?

Thursday, January 9th, 2014

empty living room

Q: What’s the best way to clean carpet?

A truck mounted hot water extraction system, also known as steam cleaning, is probably the best way to clean carpet. As I wrote about earlier, most major carpet producers require regular extraction cleaning if you want to keep your carpet warranties in effect.

The vacuums in these units are so strong that over 90 percent of the water (and the suspended soils) is removed during cleaning. Some cleaners use a drying agent in the rinse water and high-speed carpet fans to increase drying times. When carpets dry quickly, there is less chance that (more…)

Emergency Carpet Care: Carpet Stain Removal Tips

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

Your dog threw up on your carpet. What do you do now? While no carpet is stain proof, all of today’s synthetic carpet fibers are stain resistant. Here’s what to do to keep a spot from becoming a permanent stain.

If your carpet warranty includes spotting instructions, now is the time to find them. Many warranties include instructions for removing specific types of spots. Follow the instructions exactly. If you can’t find the paperwork, try going to the manufacturer’s website. These instructions are often found online.

If you didn’t purchase the carpet in your home or don’t know who made it, try the following: (more…)

Carpet Care: Professional Carpet Cleaning Methods

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

Professional cleaners use four methods to clean residential carpeting: Shampoo, Dry Foam, Dry Clean and Hot Water Extraction. They seem similar to the do-it-yourself methods, but the equipment and chemicals professionals use are so much more efficient and thorough than rental equipment there is just no comparison. Plus, a professional brings specialized training and an understanding of your expensive carpeting. Certified Carpet Cleaners often perform a walk-through, or “audit,” of your carpet before they begin the work. They will check for weak seams, look for unusual stains, evaluate the wear patterns in the various rooms, possibly check your vacuum, and generally evaluate the overall installation.

Professional cleaners know you clean your carpets to keep them looking good and to maintain their warranties. They know that deep- cleaning carpets also protects your health. Carpet is actually a huge filter in your home. It traps not only dirt, but allergens like pet dander and pollen. It also holds dust mites. Professional cleaners know how to remove these contaminants. (more…)

Pet Stains on Carpet and Carpet Warranties

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

pet stains | carpet expert Glenn Revere

Studies show that more households have pets than children. So pet urine stains are a big problem. Many carpets have warranties that include pet stain coverage, but many have exclusions when it comes to specific problems. Most warranties state that urine will not stain the carpet fiber. Generally speaking, you should be able to remove urine from your carpet with no leftover stain. But what happens when pets “pee” everywhere in a room and the urine fades (removes) the color? Will your warranty cover this complaint?

I recently looked at a carpet installation with this very problem. The carpet was installed in four isolated bedrooms. An old dog and cat had urinated literally everywhere — along the baseboards, against furniture, and in all the open areas. The older the animal, the stronger (more acidic) the urine becomes. The urine (which contains uric acid) had broken down the carpet dye and left pink/pale orange spots everywhere. There were hundreds of spots, and a (more…)

Carpet Care: Is it Time to Get Your Carpets Cleaned?

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

Take a long look at your carpet when you think about cleaning it. Check the color. Does it look dull or gray? Look at the face pile. Are the tufts stuck together? Is soil visible? Is the nap badly crushed? Are there spots you couldn’t get out? Professional cleaning should take care of all these problems.

There are reasons why the mills want their carpets cleaned on a regular basis. Cleaning extends the life of the carpet. Light colors or high-traffic areas need regular attention. You should not wait until the traffic areas are so dirty that they look like a path through the woods. Soil and spots are harder to remove once they’ve been in the fabric a long time. And spots that would have come out fairly easily when relatively fresh-set are sometimes impossible to remove after several months have passed. So don’t wait—call your carpet cleaner as needed to keep your carpet looking good for the longest possible time.

To learn more about carpet buying, carpet care, carpet styles, carpet warranties and more, please subscribe to this blog and check out my book, All About Carpets: Everything You Need to Know. (more…)

Carpet Care: Why Professional Carpet Cleaning Is Important

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

Most carpet warranties today require a cleaning every 12 to 24 months in order to keep the warranty in effect. This is no different from a car manufacturer requiring you to change the oil every so many miles or so many months. Some warranties specify the type of cleaning, too. Most mills require professional hot-water extraction cleaning. If you put in a claim, you must show your cleaning receipt.

Professional cleaners will have chemicals and equipment that are not available to the average homeowner. They will also have specialized training and a lot of experience dealing with different types of soiled carpeting. And the results are usually a lot better than doing it yourself. Sure, there are a lot of horror stories about this cleaner who soaked a carpet so badly that it was wet for three days, or that cleaner who left so much residue in the carpet that it was dirty again in three weeks. But these stories are like the evening news. You only hear about the bad stuff. The good stuff seldom makes the news. Carpet cleaners are like everyone else. Most are good. Some are truly excellent at their craft. Using a professional cleaner to help maintain your expensive carpeting is just plain smart. (more…)