Archive for the ‘Carpet Problems & Solutions’ Category

Carpet Problems and Solutions: Carpet High Lines

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

carpet high lines | Glenn Revere

Carpeting is made using one of two methods: tufting or weaving. Almost all of the residential carpet sold today is made by tufting. Tufting machines are basically giant sewing machines. Instead of a single needle, 800-1,000 computer controlled needles stitch carpet yarns across a backing material to form the carpet. The needles are set to control the height of the carpet pile. Sometimes a single needle stitches a row of yarn that is too long. Cut pile carpets are carefully sheared after tufting in order to assure a smooth, even pile surface. Even so, a high row or high line can show up after a carpet is installed. If the high row is bent over and buried in the carpet pile, the line may take days or weeks to appear after the carpet has been repeatedly vacuumed. Tufting high lines always run lengthwise. (more…)

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…)

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…)

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…)

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…)

All About Carpet Filtration Soiling: What to Do

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

If you have ever seen a carpet darken along a wall or stair edges where no one walks, you have noticed filtration soiling. When the ventilation system moves air through a house, the carpet acts as an air filter. Air flow deposits fine soil and dust along carpeted walls, stair edges, under frequently closed doors, and even subfloor joints. You may see black dots in the carpet around room edges. This is where knee kicker teeth have broken the secondary backing, air flows through these holes, and dust collects. Sometimes little-moved drapery hems touching the carpet or furniture skirts slow airflow enough to allow fine soil to outline the fabric onto the carpet. Filtration soiling is a function of the way the house is built. (more…)

Widthwise Lines in Carpet: Shift Marks

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

photo of carpet shift marks | Glenn Revere

Beautiful carpeting is made on very complicated machinery. When more parts make up a machine, more things can go wrong with the manufacturing process. The carpet mills know this. They have extensive inspection and quality control departments whose function is to find defective carpet and keep it from arriving at your home. In spite of these controls, mistakes happen.

Carpeting can contain various types of streaks, either lengthwise or widthwise in direction. There are many causes for these streaks. I recently looked at some carpet that had widthwise lines/streaks throughout the installation. The complaint for this newly installed carpet was listed as “uneven dye.” It was not noticed until the day after installation. I was asked by the mill to determine the cause of this problem. I arrived at my conclusion by using a process of elimination. (more…)

Carpet Problems: Carpet Delamination Causes

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

Carpet delamination means the secondary backing separates from the primary backing and air gets between the two layers. This condition can be manufacturing, installation, maintenance or consumer related. The minimum standard for lamination strength is 2.5 pounds. Sometimes the latex compound formula has the wrong proportions. Then the glue will not cure properly. If it is too moist, the glue is weak. If it is too dry, normal traffic in your home turns the compound to powder; then the carpet will wrinkle and delaminate.

Thin latex makes the carpet feel soft before it delaminates. Getting a carpet too wet by improper cleaning or flooding also breaks down the latex. Spilling nail polish remover, oil, or other contaminants will cause delamination in small areas. Unsealed seams can cause a carpet to separate and delaminate along these cut edges. (more…)

Common Carpet Defects: Carpet Pattern Bowing

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

All kinds of lines appear in carpets. You can see some as soon as the carpet is rolled out; some don’t show up for several days or weeks. Some run lengthwise, others widthwise. Some can be removed, others can’t. Below is information on pattern bowing. I also suggest you read my previous posts on high lines and low lines in carpet, shear streaks, stop marks, shift marks and oil streaks.

Pattern bowing is only noticeable with printed or woven patterned carpet and loop patterned carpet. There are several causes for a crooked pattern, but the end result is that the pattern does not run straight when you look across or down the room. (more…)