Carpet in heavily traveled areas receives the most wear. For better appearance and longer carpet life, try to reduce the amount of traffic on these areas, or you may use small rugs in front of heavily-used chairs or furniture. Remove and clean these rugs while vacuuming the primary carpet or rug. Occasional moving of furniture and reversing of area rugs also is recommended. Although some change will eventually occur in the texture of your carpet, reducing the wear in paths and in front of furniture will retard this change.
The tufting machine is set to insert the prescribed number of face yarns in the back. As the carpet or rug is made, the face yarns will stand erect. After the carpet or rug is placed on the floor and is subjected to use, there will be considerable pressure placed on the individual face yarns. If the density is high enough, the surrounding tufts help to hold each other erect; however, if the density is too low, there is less support from the adjacent tufts and some of the tufts may be pushed over. With some tufts standing, and others crushed, the cornrow appearance is created. This is not considered a manufacturing defect.
Cornrowing develops in the traffic areas or those areas subjected to more foot action, such as in front of chairs and television sets. Vacuuming alone will not raise the fallen yarns. Specially-designed carpet rakes will lift the yarns, but this may not be permanent.
Crushing is the loss of pile thickness as a result of foot traffic. Crushing is not considered a manufacturing defect unless specifically cited in the manufacturer's warranty. Regular vacuuming may help reduce crushing resulting from traffic. Manufacturers' definitions of crushing may vary.
Depressions or Indentations
The weight of heavy pieces of furniture can cause indentations in carpet. Some depressions may be permanent. Use furniture glides or cups under the legs of heavy pieces, or move your furniture a few inches backward or sideways so that the weight is not concentrated in one place. To remedy depressions, work the carpet pile back into place with your fingertips or the edge of a spoon, and then, dampen the area and heat with a hair dryer, working the fibers with the fingers or a spoon.
Fading or Color Loss
Give your carpet the normal protection from direct sunlight that you give any colored fabric. Emissions from heating systems or chemicals, such as pesticides, household cleaning agents, and other household items, can also result in color loss.
Filtration soil may appear as dark or grayish lines on carpet along walls, stairways, and under doors. It is caused by airflow over and through carpet, allowing fine soils to settle on the carpet surface. It can often be attributed to an improperly balanced ventilation system. In most instances, the volume of air entering a room exceeds the HVAC systems capacity to remove air from the structure. Excess air volume will seek exit sources in gaps along walls and stairways. Prevent the airflow through carpet and carpet edges by sealing openings through the carpet and under doors and baseboards. Keeping the air in the home clean and using good filtration on the HVAC and vacuum cleaners can help to alleviate this situation. Filtration soils may require special cleaning treatment for effective removal. Contact a carpet cleaning professional for assistance.
Fluffing and Shedding
The balls of fluff, or loose fibers, found on carpet or in the vacuum cleaner bag are the normal result of fiber left in the carpet from the manufacturing process. Removing these loose fibers does not affect the carpet life or appearance. Because of their large size, these fibers are too large to become airborne or respirable. With proper vacuuming, using a quality vacuum cleaner, most shedding gradually disappears within the first year after installation.
Manufacturers' definitions of matting may vary. Matting is usually the result of untwisting of the yarn and intermingling of the yarn tips as a result of foot traffic. Matting may be caused by various factors, including improperly specified cushion, cushion failure, or improper maintenance. Matting is not considered a manufacturing defect unless specifically cited in the manufacturer's warranty.
Moth and Beetle Control
Most wool and wool-blend carpet made in the United States is permanently treated to prevent moth damage. Carpet and rugs made of man-made (synthetic) fibers are naturally resistant to insects. Synthetic carpet fiber is not a food source, and is resistant to beetles, commonly called carpet beetles. However, beetles already in the home may lay eggs in the carpet pile and hatch in eight to fifteen days. For assistance in removing beetles or other insects, contact a professional pest control specialist.
During and immediately following the installation of your new carpet there may be a slight odor. The odor may result from the removal of your old carpet and cushion or from the new carpet, cushion, adhesives, or seaming tape. Ventilation with fresh air is recommended. Ideally, windows and doors should be opened, and the HVAC system should be operated at maximum capacity for 48 to 72 hours.
Ripples and Buckles
Ripples and Buckles in carpet are most often caused by the failure to adequately stretch the carpet using a power stretcher, the use of an inappropriate or failed cushion, or excessive temperature and/or humidity. Ripples can be a combination of any of the above deficiencies. If ripples or buckles develop, consult your carpet retailer. Generally, the problem can be corrected by a qualified carpet installer restretching the carpet with a power stretcher.
Roll crush usually occurs in areas of the pile yarn that have flattened because of the weight of the carpet roll. Areas of roll crush, or flattened pile yarn, are usually widthwise bands that may appear darker or lighter. Roll crush is not a manufacturing defect. Most roll crush occurs as a result of stacking a large number of rolls on top of one another. Roll crush may occur when carpet is stored at heights of three (3) or more rolls, or during shipping when rolls are loaded several rolls high.
Rolls of carpet will sometimes exhibit some degree of roll crush immediately after the roll has been unwrapped. In most cases, this minor roll crush will disappear after the yarn has been allowed sufficient time to "blossom" as it adjusts to ambient conditions. All but the most stubborn crush marks in carpet with nylon pile yarn usually can be removed with steam or hot water extraction cleaning.
Shading or Pile Reversal
Shading is not a change in color, but a change in pile direction,(pile reversal) that sometimes appears randomly in a carpet or rug. If you look at the shaded area in one direction, it will appear darker, but from another direction, it will appear lighter in color. Solid color, cut-pile carpet may show shading more than patterned styles and textured surfaces. Shading is not considered a manufacturing defect. Pile reversal can also be classified as shading and is sometimes called "watermarking" or "pooling." This condition is usually permanent and has no known cause and no known remedy.
Maintain the beauty of your carpet by cleaning it regularly before it becomes excessively soiled. While stain- and soil-resist-treated carpet is now easier to clean, lighter colors still may appear to soil more easily than darker tones and may require more frequent cleaning. Medium and darker colors, tweeds, and textures may be better choices in a home's high traffic areas.
Dirty, airborne particles may be deposited on carpet, causing dulling. Dulling is caused by the deposits of all types of soil. For example, a delicate rose color may gradually become a neutral taupe because of soil; and light blue may take on a dull, gray-green hue. Red clay soil also can cause a pronounced change in some colors. In spite of such phenomena, the original color of a carpet is not lost, it is still present under the soil. Oily soil may be very difficult to remove after it has been on the carpet for a long time, and may be actually absorbed into the fiber, causing it to have a yellow cast. Frequent cleanings are important to avoid this difficulty. Entry mats that trap soil at exterior entrances, combined with routine cleaning, provide extra protection for all floor coverings.
Occasionally, a yarn tuft will rise above the pile surface of a carpet. Just snip off these tufts to the level of the other tufts. DO NOT PULL THEM OUT. If this persists in a localized area, contact your carpet retailer. The situation can usually be corrected by a qualified carpet installer.
Almost all of the carpet manufactured today has finishes that make it more stain- and soil-resistant. Although stain-resist carpet is easier to maintain, it still requires care. Remove spots as soon as something is spilled or tracked on the carpet. If spills or soil are allowed to remain, they may become permanent. Call the phone number (carpet or fiber manufacturer) normally on the carpet warranty to obtain specific information about cleaning the carpet.
Topical treatments include soil retardants, stain repellents, anti-static treatments, antimicrobials, and deodorizers. The use of after-market, topical treatments without the expressed approval of the carpet manufacturer prior to application may void applicable warranties.
Most carpet manufacturers may offer a "wear" warranty of various time lengths. According to these warranties, "wear" is defined as the loss of pile weight or pile fiber (usually ten percent) due to abrasive wear only. What appears to be wear, or pile fiber loss, may actually be matting, crushing, or permanent fiber damage caused by soiling, rather than loss of fiber. There is seldom actual loss of pile fiber. (See also Matting, Crushing.)
Yellowing in light-colored carpet can be caused by a variety of outside influences, such as pollutants from heating fuels, changes in alkalinity, cleaning solutions, and atmospheric or environmental contaminants. All carpet yellowing may not be removable; however, the use of acetic acid (white vinegar), citrus acid, or tartaric acid is often successful in reversing yellowing. In some cases, the use of an alkaline detergent solution prior to the use of these acid rinses may cause permanent yellowing. A solution of one part white vinegar mixed with one part water is recommended for consumer use. If yellowing persists or is widespread, contact a carpet cleaning professional.
Today's carpet fibers are designed to hide soil and reflect light, and have the ability to resist soiling and stains. The effect of soil in carpet is not as visible as it is on hard surface flooring where soil remains on the surface and is easily seen. The ability of today's carpet fibers to hide soiling is a positive feature for most consumers. However, the lack of apparent soiling does not eliminate the necessity of regular cleaning.Most dry soil has razor-like edges that abrade carpet fibers causing light to reflect differently and giving carpet a dull appearance. Soil can damage the fibers permanently if allowed to remain in the pile.
A regular maintenance program extends the life and the initial appearance of your carpet. Specific care information may be available from your carpet dealer or from a toll free number provided by the carpet manufacturer or fiber producer.
A good practice is to vacuum often the areas that receive the most traffic, such as hallways, stairs, exterior entry ways, and paths in the home where there is constant wear. Vacuum the entire carpeted area a minimum of twice per week.
Removing loose soil while it remains on the surface is important so that it is not worked into the carpet pile by foot traffic. Removing embedded soil is more difficult and time consuming than removing surface soil.
To remove surface soil, push the vacuum forward several feet with the pile direction of the carpet in a slow, deliberate motion and then reverse direction. Embedded soil is best removed by moving the vacuum cleaner in a slow, deliberate motion. Repeat strokes as necessary based on the traffic pattern and soiled level of the carpet.
Vacuum Cleaner Selection-For maximum effectiveness, use a vacuum cleaner that has adjustable and rotating brushes that are able to loosen ground-in soil, and a strong enough airflow to penetrate to the backing, extracting all particles. The vacuum cleaner should have an enclosed, high filtration bag that limits particles from recirculating into the air.
For the best cleaning results, no matter which type vacuum cleaner you purchase, inspect it periodically to be sure it is functioning properly.
Keep brushes clean and replace them when worn. Keep vacuum hoses and attachments free of obstructions that restrict airflow. Inspect the vacuum head for rough edges or bent metal that may damage your carpet.
Inspect belts frequently to make certain they are working properly. Always keep a spare belt for replacement as needed. Follow the vacuum cleaner manufacturer's instructions, and change the vacuum bag when it becomes more than half full. As the bag becomes full, efficiency is reduced.
Owners of even the best-trained pets will occasionally encounter pet accidents. Often, the urine is not discovered until long after the accident. The types of damage from pet stains can be diverse and are dependent upon the makeup of the urine. Urine content will change over the pet's life because of the pet's diet, medications, age, health, sex, and reproductive cycles. Because of these variations, some urine stains may not be removable.
To treat urine-damaged areas:
Blot damp areas as soon as the urine is detected, with plain white paper toweling.
Apply a solution of 1/4 teaspoon of a liquid dishwashing detergent (non-bleach and non-lanolin) with one cup of lukewarm water. Do not use automatic dishwashing detergent or laundry detergent.
Absorb the moisture with paper towel, rinse with warm water and repeat the application of detergent. Continue rinsing and blotting with the detergent solution and water as long as there is a transfer to the toweling or improvement in the spot.
Follow the detergent application with a solution of one cup white vinegar to two cups water, and blot dry.
Apply a half-inch layer of paper towels to the affected area, and weigh down with a flat, heavy, non-fading object. Continue to change paper towels until completely dry.
Urine can affect the dyes used in carpet, although not all occurrences will result in a permanent stain. Success is dependent upon the content of the urine, the dyes and finish used, and the time elapsed after the deposit. Some urine spots may be immediately noticeable, while others may take weeks or months for a reaction. The dyes may change color immediately after contact with urine.
When urine spots develop slowly and are noticed after much time has elapsed, the dyes and carpet fibers may be permanently damaged. In beige carpet, blue dyes are attacked by pet urine, leaving behind the red and yellow dyes with a resulting stain appearing red, yellow, or orange.
Pet urine, left unattended, can damage carpet in several ways. Moisture can weaken the layers of the carpet, allowing separation or delamination of the backing material. Seam areas can be particularly damaged and can separate.
Another problem, especially with cats, is odor. Unless the cat urine can be completely removed, complete odor removal is unlikely. A number of products are available to combat odor, but may simply mask the odor, and, in times of high humidity, the odor may reappear. Recently, enzymes, available at pet stores and veterinary offices, have been developed that are more effective; but they may be better used by a carpet cleaning professional. If odor cannot be removed, the damaged area of the carpet can be replaced with a piece from reserved scrap. If carpet replacement is necessary, then replacement of cushion and even subflooring may also be necessary.
Some carpet manufacturers have developed backings that resist spills and even prevent the spillage from penetrating the carpet into the carpet cushion and, perhaps, the subfloor. Check with your carpet dealer about these products.
Spot Removal Steps
Act Quickly! Most carpet available today has been treated with a stain-resist treatment, so many spills can be removed if immediate action is taken. The longer the delay, the higher the probability of a spill becoming a permanent stain. Remember, staining is influenced by many factors, and no carpet is completely stain proof.
Blot liquids with a dry, white, absorbent cloth or white (no printing) paper towels.
Do not scrub the area! Scrubbing can cause pile distortion in the affected area. Continue to use a dry cloth or paper towels until the area is completely dry. For semi-solids, gently scrape up with a rounded spoon. Solids should be broken up and vacuumed until completely removed.
If the spot can be identified, locate the substance in the spot removal computer and follow the directions carefully.
Pretest any spot removal agent in an inconspicuous area to make certain the solution will not damage the fiber or the dye. After applying several drops to the testing area, hold a white cloth on the wet area for 10 seconds. Examine the carpet and cloth for color transfer, color change, or damage to the carpet. If a change occurs, another cleaning solution should be selected.
Apply a small amount of the selected cleaning solution to a white cloth, allow to sit for about 10 minutes and work in gently.
Work from the edges of the spill to the center to prevent the spill from spreading. Do not scrub! Blot, absorbing as much as possible, and repeat if necessary.
Continue using the first cleaning solution as long as there is a transfer of the spill to the cloth. It is not necessary to use all of the cleaning solutions if the first solution removes the spill. Be patient! Complete removal of the spill may require repeating the same step several times.
After the spill has been completely removed, rinse the affected area thoroughly with cold water, and blot with a dry cloth until all of the solution has been removed. Some cleaning solutions will cause rapid soiling if the solution is not completely removed. Apply a one-half inch layer of white paper towels to the affected area, and weigh down with a flat, heavy object. Continue to change paper towels as needed.
A dry, absorbent, cleaning compound may be used as a substitute to accelerate drying time.