Making a decision on what type or whose carpet to buy is difficult. With many manufacturers pushing their latest and greatest choosing the right commercial carpet or flooring is many times left up to an interior design firm. Designers may be great with color schemes, suggestions for eco friendly furnishings, office layout and aesthetic appeal but when it comes down to functionality, ease & cost of maintenance and use life this may be best left to an experienced building maintenance consultant.
Eco Interior Maintenance has built a reputation taking care of all types of interior furnishings and floor coverings. Each usually have their own set of manufacturers recommended maintenance guidelines or cleaning specifications. If these are not followed…Ops.. there goes the warranty. This can be an expensive lesson to learn for any facilities director, building owner or office/general manager.
Here is a great resource to review if you intend to buy commercial carpet soon. Even if you have a design firm or product specifier, know what questions to ask before you sign on the dotted line. This news letter was written by a friend of mine Lew Migliore who owns LGM Enterprises in Dalton GA. He is one of the leading forensic flooring problem solving/inspectors in the county. Upload this report to learn more or call us here at Eco Interior Maintenance.
As an Certified Carpet Inspector roll crush is one of the most frequent issues I am asked to go out and correct. It is noticeable immediately after or during installation. if it does not disappear in the first 2 weeks it can be professionally addressed. 98% of the time it can be fixed by steaming and pile lifting the carpet pile. It can happen to broadloom carpets or carpet tiles. If you notice roll crush talk to the person who sold you the carpet soon after installation.
According to The Carpet &Rug Institute:
“Roll crush usually appears across the width of the carpet as areas of the pile yarn that have flattened due to the weight of the roll. Areas of crush may appear darker or lighter and usually are identified as widthwise bands. Roll crush is not considered a manufacturing defect. Most roll crush occurs as a result of stacking a large number of rolls on top of one another. Roll crush also may occur during shipping where rolls are loaded several rolls high.
Roll crush sometimes can be alleviated in carpet using steam or hot water extraction cleaning. Often it can be removed using a spray bottle and misting the area with water. Let it stand for five minutes and agitate with rug rake or by vacuuming. Most rolls of carpet will exhibit some degree of roll crush immediately after the roll has been unwrapped. In most cases, minor roll crush will disappear after the yarn has been allowed sufficient time to recover.”
Any carpet or rug new or old can experience roll crush if stored for excessive periods of time in an unconditioned space under pressure from things that are stacked on top of it. This can not be confused with water marking, shading or pile reversal that are topics of other ECO Blogs to come.
“No matter if it is commercial or residential installation it pays to make sure that after you purchase your carpet you read over these guidelines and make sure that your installer knows what they are.”
The installer sometimes is subcontracted by the retailer. Many carpet dealers have in house installers. No matter if it is commercial or residential installation it pays to make sure that after you purchase your carpet you read over these guidelines and make sure that your installer knows what they are. This can save you a lot of time and aggravation.
How do these things happen?
normal wear and tear
adhesive failure or improper adhesive application and set up
Bad carpet seams and failing transition strips and can many times be repaired. So can wrinkled or wavy stretch in over pad carpet. Power stretching can often fix this. In general double glue down and glue down installations are more difficult when it comes down to repairng bubbling or wrinkled carpet issues.
Carpet Manufacturers also have manufacturing defects that can cause the need for a repair. It is important to catch these issues in the first year. Depending on the warranty and maintenance frequency, waiting to let the dealer or manufacturer know that you think there may be something wrong with your carpet may not be in your best interest.
Carpet backing can break down due to age, traffic or water damage. Generally speaking water does not effect carpets dimensional stability unless it has natural fibers in the backing or has been subjected to a water damage for an extended amount of time.
Stains and burns can often be easily repaired using a cookie cutter. This replacement cut out tool can be used with more success when you have cut pile carpet vs. loop style carpet. If the carpet has a pattern or if it has a texture repairs may be more difficult.
Carpet repairs may not always be perfect but if safety and use life are important to you… it may be the way to go. For more information call Eco Interior Maintenance. 410-647-2800
If you want to know how to get carpets really clean…. you first need to understand what a clean carpet is.
Clean = Free of Unwanted Matter.
To get carpets really clean you need to remove unwanted matter. What is unwanted matter? Unwanted matter is anything foreign to the carpets original construction. For instance outdoor soil, skin dander, dust, bacteria, lint, food and drink spills all fall under this category.
Carpet plays the role of an air filter: carpet traps dust, pollen and other particles, taking them out of the respiratory zone until they can be removed easily by vacuuming. Visit www.carpet-rug.org to learn more.
So what does this mean? It means that when you clean your carpet, just because it appears clean, it does not necessarily mean it is clean. For instance, spots that quickly reappear often do so because either they were not fully removed or because excess detergent residue remains in the carpet. This sticky residue will attract dirt. Causing new carpet consumers and often even sales people to say “hold off cleaning your carpets as long as you can.. because after you do, they get dirty faster”.
“In general ifyour carpets or rugs are cleaned professionally or cleaned by closely following do-it-yourself directions, carpet can not be over-cleaned. Problems only arise when too much moisture or cleaning detergent is left in the carpets “
Odors in carpets from pets ,water damage, mildew or general use can often mean that foreign substances like spoiled milk, bacteria, mold or mildew is present in your carpet or padding. These odors sometimes can be difficult to remove or even find. Many use black lights to reveal pet urine accidents. Odors usually come from “Biofilms” (sticky microbe friendly habitats) that support rapid microbial growth. Excessive moisture left in carpet (more than 12 hrs) or even high humidity over an extended time may add to your odor issues.
No matter what type of cleaning products or systems you use it is important to remove as much settled cleaning detergent residues, moisture and soil as possible followed by drying the carpet quickly. Professional or home fans or HVAC can accelerate this process.
-Doug Bradford, CR, LEED AP, SCI- Eco Interior Maintenance CEO
Are walk off mats helpful? Preventative Maintenance
Walk off mats protect interiors of commercial buildings, help preserve floor covering warranties and help insure against costly slip/fall claims. Strategically placed interior and exterior walk off mats are essential to a complete commercial building maintenance program. If maintained properly, these mats can add years to the use life to your interior hard and soft floor coverings.
Dry particulates are any floor coverings nemesis. Almost half of the soil in a building is made of sand, quartz, dolomite, clay, feldspar and limestone. A single grain of sand has 32 cutting edges and equates to 120 grit sand paper. The constant abrasion from particulate soil prematurely wears carpet fibers, causing light to reflect differently, i.e. dull appearance. Hard Floor surfaces do not hold onto this particulate like a textile, however, particulate soil will dull your freshly polished Italian marble and even the hard stones like granite.
80% of soils trapped in carpets and spread onto hard surfaces is brought in from outside. Studies show 1,000 people entering a building for 20 days can bring in 24 pounds of soil. The correct size, type and placement of walk off mats can reduce this up to 90%, or about 20.6 lbs of this soil. A good rule of thumb is a minimum of 12 paces on the mat for them to be effective. Outside or exterior entrance mats are more aggressive at removing the dry soils and tend to be heavy duty. These can be power washed by building staff.
Once inside the building the challenge is not over. Interior mats are necessary. Many times these are placed down during inclement whether (rain & snow) to prevent costly slip & fall accidents. Soil can be tracked throughout your office space. In addition to your own staff, foot traffic from clients, tradesmen, couriers and vendors inherently move these soils throughout your interior spaces. Placing additional interior mats at service elevators, kitchen entrances/exits and inside mailrooms will continue to help trap additional dry particulate soils. These mats will also trap soluble soils such as food, drink and grease. Interior mats are generally more pleasant to look at and can be maintained by a professional company such as Eco Interior. Clients can customize these mats to color size and add logos or slogans.
All mats should be vacuumed at least daily, possibly more depending on the season and outside building conditions. Mats should be placed on a meticulous deep cleaning (water extraction) schedule as well. Do not let “unsightly & neglected” walk off mats damper the visual appearance of your building entrance lobby or freshly renovated café area? We will gladly recommend, purchase and maintain your customized walk off mats saving valuable asset replacement dollars. Call 410-647-2800 for more information.
Removing pet odor can be a tricky task to tackle. First of all, you do not often know where the odor is coming from. The accident may have happened months ago, but you just started smelling it yesterday. Humidity or water extraction cleaning carpet can sometimes intensify the smell. Secondly, you may not know what the source of the odor is. Third you may not know how much damage is under the surface.
No matter if the urine is from a cat, dog, child, roommate or pet pig, treatment can vary. Urine residues should first be rinsed free as best as possible before treatment. If pet odor is if it is not completely removed either physically or by cleaning solutions the pet or other pets may add to the problem by marking their spot again.
Pet stores and some grocery stores carry a variety of different types of enzymatic cleaners. A good one is Natures Miracle. These type of cleaning agents work by breaking down the protein in urine and sometimes mask odor with a fragrance. Fragrances do not usually work but can be a temporary fix until the odor source is addressed. Sometimes it is tough to tell if the odor is gone if a strong masking agent is used.
Disinfectants are usually not very effective on pet odors. They may kill germs on hard surfaces but do not usually work well on urine in carpet. Using bleach is typically not recommended on any textile. Hydrogen peroxide odor cleaning products can be effective but still you need to have some professional training on how to use them. Many do-it -yourself articles recommend use baking soda and vinegar mixtures but then can make a big mess and usually do not remedy the odor issues.
Many times odors can penetrate into carpet padding and sub-floors (wood & concrete). Remove and replace contaminated pad. It is usually a cheaper, time saving path to follow. Wood and concrete surfaces are very porous and tend to absorb moisture creating perfect environments for the multiplication of the bacteria that causes odor. If you can thoroughly clean and dry these hard surfaces many professionals will suggest sealing the wood or concrete after treatment.
There are also other types of products that work well on removing pet odor. These are typically associated with neutralizing malodors and can reactivate and continue working if moisture is reintroduced. Most of these type products require treatment of all surfaces that could have been contaminated, including the pad, wood & concrete floor subsurface or carpet/rug. Professional products are available from industrial cleaning suppliers like Interlink Supply and require some training to use.
Many of our customers are confused when it comes down to replacing carpet…
Choosing the right carpet for your home or commercial facility is no easy task for the average consumer. After spending almost 3 decades cleaning the fuzzy stuff I can certainly give you some pointers. It is easy to get some bad or misleading information by carpet sales people, wholesalers or marketing propaganda. You may not know until months after the installation if you made the right choice.
Be wary of believing everything you hear, see or read when it comes to picking your carpet. After all, do interior decorators or retail sales people get to install and use each product. No!! They have to rely on marketing material, videos, the manufacture’s testing and peer recommendations. So it is very important to know how the manufacturer, retailer or installer will stand behind the product they specify or choose for you.
Here are a couple of things you should know before you pull the trigger and purchase:
How often do I have to clean? Anyone who says that you do not have to clean it often is not giving you a straight answer. There are many variables associated here. (How many people in home, pets, traffic areas, climate, color, style, etc.)
Clean at least every 18 months just for the health of your indoor environment. Cleaning does not shorten the life of carpet when done professionally.
Is the carpet style you like easier or harder to clean than others? Shag(see picture) vs. cut pile
Who will be installing my carpet? Retail company or a subcontractor? A bad installation may be a headache for you later.
Any light solid color carpet will show spots and stains easier. (May look great new, but most likely will need to be cleaned more often)
Stain protection or pet stain protection does not mean you will not have odors or stains if left untreated.
Carpet density will help if you do not want to see footprints or traffic lanes. Higher density carpets are usually more expensive. Higher density means there are more carpet tufts per square inch helping to maintain resiliency (carpet tufts that spring back /do not lay on their side or mat down).
Different types of fibers have different types of characteristics. How does each fiber perform? See links below.
Natural and Synthetic fibers need to be cleaned using different cleaning solutions. Know what you are buying. Especially if you plan to clean it yourself!
What are the manufacturers warranties, retail store warranties and installation warranties. Many stores now offer performance satisfaction guarantees or they will replace the carpet within a certain period of time. (most carpet issues appear in the first year).
HOME: Here is a great link for basic things you should know before you spend hard earned dollars on carpet for your home by the World Floor Covering Association.
Protecting carpet during construction is an absolute necessity. Too often carpet is installed during the construction phase. Why does this happen? It is simple…
delivery mix ups & rushed jobs
use during construction
We live in a world where after a decision is made everything “must be ready yesterday”. The trades really do not have time to do the job completely according to spec. How can a corner be cut with minimum risk? It’s the world we live in.
Years ago when I first started cleaning carpets I used to see rolled paper, plank boards, plywood or particle board set over a freshly installed carpet in commercial facilities. Carpet runners were common place. You would also see plastic, but it was loose or taped down. Of course the duck tape caused issues but some solvent and a piece of carpet could remove that easily…at least until sticky tape lines reappeared after a few months. Today there are different issues.
Quick and easy products used to protect carpet after installation from spills, traffic or construction debris are typically thin plastic rolls with a mastic or quick release adhesive on the back. This protective application of plastic is meant to easily stay in place after it is rolled out. It does a good job at this initially, but if it is installed too soon (on a direct glue down), it is left in place too long or experiences heavy traffic (typically associated with moving furniture etc)….it can transfer the mastic to the carpet making it tacky or sticky or cause fume fading (color loss of carpet fibers). Both of these issues are difficult and sometimes impossible to correct. Often the warranty is voided immediately when the manufacturer finds out.
It is important to know what you are placing on a carpet when your intention is protecting carpet during construction. Many carpet manufacturers do not recommend the use of plastic films used for carpet protection. Not knowing what the manufacture recommends could cost you extra time and money.
A quick note on removing ink from upholstery from Sean Mooney, ECO’s Senior Account Manager.
Removing ink from upholstery can be difficult. There are many variables that exist that will either assist in its removal or make these stains more permanent. Often when a professional gets to the ink spot many people have already tried to remove it with various types of stain removers. This often spreads the ink, makes it more difficult to remove, or even can make it permanent .
Some of the factors that may help when removing ink are:
The type of fabric it is.
Fabric protectors that have been applied before the spill. (ex. Teflon®, Scotchgard®)
If ink is printer toner…vacuum up first & do not apply water.
Spot clean from the outside of stain towards the center so you do not spread it.
When using solvents/spotting agents rinse immediately using an extraction machine.
This worn out carpet looks worse than what I just got rid of!!
The plain fact is that the manufacturers only consider your new floor covering to be worn out carpet or a wear issue if it has 10% or more loss of face fiber. If your carpet had 10% or more loss of face fiber it is quite probable that you would see holes in it. So using the words “worn out carpet” may not get you anywhere if your carpet is starting to look older than the carpet you just replaced.
There are a number of things that can cause your carpet to look worn out.
Pooling, Shading & Watermarking
Matting & Crushing
Heavy Soiling or Poor Maintenance
Tight Traffic/Pivot Areas
Each one of these is seen regularly by carpet inspectors. So what causes these things to happen and whose fault is it? The answer is… It Depends.
Often carpet is specified incorrectly. Many time a budget dictates the choice. The color may be too light or the style may be wrong for the use. Fiber characteristics for synthetic or natural carpets are different. Nylon, polyester, olefin/polypropylene and wool fibers react differently. Some are more resilient (stand back up after walked on) than others. Some hide soil better. Some carpets have appearance problems that are not a manufacturers defect. Other issues can be related to the installation (retailers fault) or manufacturing process.
When consumers talk about carpet they should be speaking about its expected “Performance”. In fact when purchasing carpet it is the first thing you should ask the sales person. How well should I expect this carpet to perform for this use? You may want the carpet in your second bedroom to be different than in your living room. Is a level loop better than a cut pile carpet? Depends on the use and the face fiber. Educate yourself first . Call an owner of a local carpet cleaning company. Call a Senior Carpet Inspector. What cleans up the best in your opinion?
Other Questions you may want to ask the sales person may include:
What is the density/face weight of the carpet?
Can you see the backing by easily spreading the fibers apart using your fingers?
How soft does the carpet feel?
Is there a pattern in the carpet?
What does the warranty cover?
What is the normal use life of the carpet?
Carpet rarely wears out.. it uglies out. Some sooner than others. So do your homework first before you chose that builders upgrade, big box store sale item or super store sellout. Know what to say to a retailer when you voice your opinion about your new carpet performance.
If you feel that your carpet is not performing….First you need to report it to the retailer/builder within the first year of use. No later than 12 months after the installation date. Then you need to have pictures and documentation of the first time you noticed the problem. Finally you need to follow all maintenance guidelines. Hope this blog helps.