Only IICRC Certified Firms Permitted to Work on Warranted Products During the Connections Convention on September 25, Carey Mitchell, Technical Director of Shaw Industries, announced a new company-wide mandate allowing the use of only those firms certified by the Institute… Read More →
Comfort, beauty, warmth—no other household purchase better communicates the style and tone of your home. Carpet is an investment that will last a long time. Proper installation and regular maintenance are essential in enhancing your carpet’s performance. The Carpet &… Read More →
Only IICRC Certified Firms Permitted to Work on Warranted Products
During the Connections Convention on September 25, Carey Mitchell, Technical Director of Shaw Industries, announced a new company wide mandate allowing the use of only those firms certified by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification (IICRC) to service carpet covered by their warranties.
The requirement stems from an on going effort by Shaw Industries, the number one carpet manufacturer in the world, to improve the quality of service providers throughout the industry. For years, unqualified personnel have caused problems for carpet owners who expected a high level of professionalism and care in cleaning their carpet and rugs.
“Shaw's mandate is a step in the right direction/or the industry as well as consumers.”
Said IICRC President, Carey Vermeulen.
“With a uniform, standardized approach to qualifying professionals, firms will be able to differentiate themselves from those businesses lacking necessary skills and training. Consumers from throughout North America and abroad will be able to identify and locate qualified service professionals holding the IICRC Certified Firm designation.”
The commitment follows a Shaw announcement last April supporting the use of CRI-Seal of Approval chemicals and equipment for use in cleaning and maintaining carpet and rugs. More and more professional cleaners are participating in certification programs, such as those approved by the IICRC.
The new Shaw mandate for IICRC Certified Firms will apply only to the residential market. Documentation will ensure that consumers will be directed only toward IICRC-Certified Firms for professional cleaning of residential carpet under the terms of their new warranty. The new policy will be effective January 1, 2008, giving qualified businesses ample time to apply for IICRC-Certified Firm status.
For information on certification programs offered by the IICRC please visit www.iicrc.org.
The friction created by rubbing two materials together generates static electricity. The act of walking across a carpet results in friction between two materials – carpet face fibers and shoe sole materials.
There are numerous variables that affect the amount of static that is generated. These variables include differences in environments, humans, shoe soles, generic fiber types, carpet constructions, carpet backing materials, carpet cushions, and even the type of base floor on which the carpet is installed. The static performance of a carpet may be altered in service as a result of wear, soiling, cleaning, temperature, relative humidity, etc. Changes in any of these variables can alter the amount of static electricity that is generated in carpet and, therefore, the degree of shock. However, studies have revealed that static electricity does not become a problem with most people until the relative humidity drops below 40 percent.
Carpet is available today with built-in static inhibitors. These control elements include specific fiber blends and specially engineered coated fibers, each of which, when used properly, limits the amount of static accumulation.
When static shock is predicted to be a problem, it is advisable to specify a permanent built-in static control system. Carpet that has been properly tested by American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists Test Method 134 and does not yield voltages in excess of 5.0 kV (kilovolts), provides acceptable static performance in residential end uses.
AATCC Test Method 134: Electrostatic Propensity of Carpets is a laboratory simulation that assesses the static-generating tendency developed when a person walks across a carpet area. As previously mentioned, static generation is dependent upon humidity conditions; therefore, testing is performed at 20% ± 2% relative humidity.
For general commercial environments, 3.5 kV is the acceptable maximum value not to exceed. For more critical environments involving data processing operations, etc., more stringent requirements may be desirable. Generally, 2.0 kV is an accepted upper limit for static generation of carpets to be used in these areas. In highly critical environments, such as the handling of semiconductors, the typical “antistatic” carpet may not provide sufficient static protection and must be augmented by other means. One should keep in mind that most, if not all, personal office computers have built-in protection systems to shield components from damage or disruption from electrostatic discharges.
Controlling Static in Existing Installations
For existing carpet installations, static electricity problems can best be reduced by maintaining a proper balance of relative humidity. If for some reason the relative humidity cannot be controlled at the proper balance, there are several non-permanent antistatic products that can be supplied and/or applied by professional cleaners. These products significantly reduce the occurrence of static electricity to levels that are below the level of human sensitivity. Caution should be considered before using a topically applied product, however, because some products can cause carpet to soil at a much faster rate than normal.
All pile yarn carpet is subject to pile reversal; however, it is most likely to be observed in smooth surfaced, densely constructed, plush type qualities. This phenomenon is difficult, if not impossible, to predict or prevent.Pile reversal creates a permanent change in the carpet’s appearance caused by the difference in the way light reflects off the sides and tip of a yarn as the pile lays in different directions.
Shaded areas appear light from one direction and dark from another direction.
After a period of use, carpet may look as though water has spilled on sections of the carpet, hence, the term “water marking.” Other
terms also commonly used to describe pile reversal are “pooling,” “shading,” and “highlighting.”
Why the carpet pile, which lays uniformly in one direction when installed, changes direction permanently, is often a mystery. In many installations, the pile reversal direction is predictable from the pattern of foot traffic. Carpet pile is pushed away from turning traffic and toward the sides of a corridor. Shading lines can cross carpet seams even when the manufactured direction of the joined pieces of carpet differ. In other situations, location factors, such as an uneven sub-floor, are thought to be possible causes for this phenomenon.
Pile reversal is not a manufacturing defect and does not affect the durability of the carpet. Pile reversal is not due to the materials used to produce the carpet, the manufacturing process, or any combination of these factors. Watermarking or shading may develop on a carpet made with any fiber(s) or manufacturing process. Once the condition has developed, it cannot be permanently removed.
When pile reversal takes place, there is little which can be done to return the carpet to its original appearance. Brushing or vacuuming may create some degree of temporary appearance change; however, this change is only at the top portion of the tuft. The pile will return to the reversed position after it is again subjected to foot traffic.
The visual impact of pile reversal depends on the nature of the carpet. Loop pile carpets or cut pile carpets with matte yarns have a low light reflecting quality. Boldly patterned carpets tend to help hide patterns of reflected light caused by pile reversal. If the pile collapse is moderate, shading may not be visible even though pile reversal has occurred.
It is not possible to assure that pile reversal will not develop in any carpet.
CRI Technical Bulletin
Pile Reversal – Watermarking Shading (03/00)
For more information, visit carpet-rug.org.
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 width-wise 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. This rarely occurs at the manufacturing level since rolls are stored one (1) roll in height. Some carpet retailers store rolls at heights of three (3) or more rolls. 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. 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 “blossom” or undergo moisture regain. All but the most stubborn crush marks in carpet with nylon yarn systems usually can be removed with steam or hot water extraction cleaning.
CRI Technical Bulletin
Roll Crush (95)
For more information, visit carpet-rug.org.
Wrinkles, which can be unsightly as well as create trip hazards, accelerate carpet wear, and cause the carpet to delaminate are rarely a result of manufacturing. Experience shows that proper installation techniques greatly reduce the potential for wrinkling.
Steps that can be taken during installation to prevent carpet from becoming loose are:
First, the carpet should be acclimated to the environment in which it is to be installed. Cold, stiff car pet cannot be properly stretched, and it will eventually become warm, relax, and loose, regardless of how tightly it was originally stretched.
Second, carpet installed via the stretch-in installation method MUST be power stretched 1 to 1½% over bot h the length and width of the carpet (CRI-105 1995*, Section 9.14).
It is mandatory that the carpet be power stretched using power stretchers with extendable poles, not kicked with a knee kicker. Knee kickers are useful installation tools designed for positioning carpet, not for stretching. Power stretchers with tail pins or spikes, most often referred to as a “stinger” are not to be used because they may damage the face yarns, the primary and secondary backings, the cushion, and possibly even the floor.
Third, use the correct carpet cushion. Cushion that is too thick and too soft (low density) will allow excessive flexing of the carpet causing it to lose its stretch. CRI recommends cushion be no thicker than 7/16 inch for residential applications.
Fourth, the tack strip must be adequate to hold the applied stretch. For distances over 30 feet, use architectural strip with three rows of tacks. Position the strip no more than 3/8 inch from the wall or other vertical surfaces.
Finally, always refer to and follow manufacturer’s installation instructions and/or the CRI-105 Standard for Installation of Residential Carpet.
The severity of the potential bubbling or wrinkling can often be influenced by changes in temperature and humidity. In addition, carpet that is loose may also wrinkle and buckle when wet cleaned; however, it will often times return to its original position upon drying.
To correct loose carpet problems, refer to the CRI Technical Bulletin for restretching carpet.
CRI Technical Bulletin
Carpet Wrinkles (“Buckles” or “Bubbles”) (99)
For more information, visit carpet-rug.org.
Jute, Sisal, Seagrass, COIR, Hemp, names associated with floor coverings made from raw plant material. Ranging from mats to wall to wall, some with backings, some not, this type of material is in a very raw state. Therefore, an understanding of how they react to every day soiling and how they respond to cleaning is very helpful.
One of the unique characteristics of this type of floor covering material is the tendency to develop mysterious dark spots when cleaned, regardless of the method used. Generally bringing a “worn” Sisal back to it’s original state is a lost cause. Also, Sisal stains very easily. One of the best things to do is have it protected with a solvent based fabric protector to resist against water spots that result from any type of spillage. In addition to developing dark spots, Sisal may also “lighten” when cleaned. The best way to clean plant material is with a low moisture approach.
The bottom line is that these products are not very spillage, traffic or cleaning friendly. However, you can’t beat the look.
Place this type of floor covering in a non-traffic, non-spillage area to prevent over use. Have a light, maintenance cleaning done about once a year to remove surface soils, pollen, asphalt, exhaust and other foreign matter that finds its way into our homes.
A final note about Sisal is that some wool carpets come in a “Sisal style.” These products are made to look like sisal, but are actually an entirely different material.
IMPORTANT NOTICE:Due to the natural characteristics of these types of materials our company requires a written consent before proceeding with cleaning.
Dark grayish lines under doors, around baseboards, and along edges of stairs are symptoms of an aggravating problem — Filtration Soiling.
The cause of the problem is really quite simple: Dust, smog, and other airborne pollutants accumulate where concentrated airflow is directed over or through the carpet’s pile. The carpet ‘filters’ out these pollutants and gradually becomes discolored.
This condition may appear over a period of only weeks, or it may take months or even years to become visible. The severity of the problem will be proportional to the volume of airflow and the relative dirtiness of the air. And of course, it is most visible on lighter colored carpets, particularly off-whites.
No. Filtration soiling is not an indication of low quality carpet, or of a defect in the carpet or its components. It can appear on any carpet regardless of price, style, quality, construction, or face fiber.
As described above, filtration soiling is caused by environmental pollution. It cannot be caused by anything done at the time the carpet or its fibers are made. And, while fluorochemical soil retardants may make it easier to correct, no fiber modification or topical finish can prevent filtration soiling from appearing.
In most cases, the airflow is created by heating and air conditioning systems, thermal expansion and contraction of the air, or the natural convection currents in the home. It may also be caused by wind blowing through a home via windows which regularly remain open.
Can I correct it?
Filtration soiling is usually at least partially correctable by professional cleaning. However, many of these pollutants are introduced to the fiber on a molecular level, much smaller than soil from other sources. Some of these soils, auto emissions for example, are oily in nature, and are attracted to synthetic carpet fibers. These factors can make complete removal of filtration soiling quite difficult, sometimes impossible.
The professional carpet cleaner should be aware that filtration soiling rarely responds to normal cleaning procedures. Dry solvents, such as l.l.l. tricholoreothane, mineral spirits, or citrus solvents, followed by rinsing with a mildly alkaline detergent solution, are some of the best remedies. We have many other products new on the market that can greatly enhance the problem.
What can be done to prevent it?
Unfortunately, not much. But leaving inside doors open as much as possible will help prevent filtration soil lines from appearing in doorways.
Keeping the air inside the structure as clean as possible by regularly cleaning and replacing heater and air conditioner filters is another good preventative measure.
Information based on materials supplied by Fibercare Services, Chino, California.
Comfort, beauty, warmth no other household purchase better communicates the style and tone of your home. Carpet is an investment that will last a long time. Proper installation and regular maintenance are essential in enhancing your carpet’s performance. The Carpet & Rug Institute has compiled the following useful information to help you preserve your investment.
A quality installation is critical to the performance of your carpet and will protect your indoor air quality. When having your carpet installed, the Carpet and Rug Institute advises obtaining the services of an installation contractor who adheres to the Standard for Installation of Commercial Carpet, CRI 104, for all aspects of the installation.
Have a clear understanding of the services the retailer will provide and be aware of those that you must handle. For example, there may be an additional charge to move your furniture. Discuss with the retailer who will remove the existing carpet and cushion and be responsible for disposal. Placement of seams is important. Ask that seams be placed in less visible areas. Request that the installer follow the instructions from the carpet manufacturer and/or those set forth in the Standard for Installation of Residential Carpet, accepted by the industry. Don’t expect seams to be invisible.
Before the installers arrive, complete other remodeling projects intended in the room, such as painting and wallpapering. Vacuum the old carpet to avoid the possibility of airborne dust and dirt. After the carpet and cushion are removed, vacuum the sub-floor.
When Carpet is Delivered
Check its texture, color, and style; make sure there are no visible defects before installation. Be sure the installer will adhere to the Standard for Installation of Residential Carpet, CRI 105. Among other things, it requires for proper installation that carpet must be power-stretched to minimize wrinkling and rippling. Seam edges must be sealed with appropriate adhesive to prevent delamination and edge ravel. Buying your carpet from an authorized “Seal of Approval” retailer will ensure a professional installation.
New, thicker carpet may prevent doors from swinging clear and free. The installer will remove the doors and re-hang them if possible. If the doors do not clear, arrange to have them trimmed. It is your responsibility to provide an adequate supply of fresh air during installation. Open windows and doors, use an exhaust fan, or operate the fan of your heating or air conditioning system.
Vacuum your carpet to remove loose fibers. You may notice a slight new carpet smell, which should dissipate quickly. Ventilate the area for 48 to 72 hours. If you are unusually sensitive to odors or allergy prone, you may want to avoid the installation area during this period. If you have any questions about this, contact your retailer.
In the months following installation, you may notice these characteristics
SHEDDING—the shedding of loose fibers is normal and should subside with regular vacuuming.
SPROUTING—if a single tuft extends beyond the carpet’s surface, simply clip it off. Do not pull it out.
PILE REVERSAL OR SHADING—a color change that seems to occur in various parts of the carpet, caused by light being reflected in different ways, as pile fibers are bent in different directions. This is not a defect but a characteristic of plush carpet.
WRINKLING—if ripples persist, call your retailer. It may be necessary to professionally re-stretch the carpet.
Common sense recommendations for installing new carpet
Install a carpet that indicates that the product type has been tested and meets the low TVOC emissions criteria.
When the carpet is to be glued down (not usually in residential applications), ask the installer to use an adhesive label indicating that it has been tested and meets the low TVOC emissions criteria.
Vacuum the old carpet prior to removal and the floor after the old carpet and cushion has been removed to minimize airborne dust and other particulates.
Ventilate with fresh air (open windows, operate a fan, and/or run the fan of the heat/air system continuously) during the removal of the old carpet and the installation of the new carpet, and for 48 to 72 hours after installation.
Use a professional installer and confirm that the minimum industry accepted installation standards are followed.
Those who consider themselves unusually sensitive or prone to allergic reactions may wish to leave the premises while the old carpet is being removed and the new carpet installed, and for 48 to 72 hours afterward.
A professional hot water rinse will help eliminate some allergy problems that new carpet may cause for allergy prone people.
In general, follow the same common sense ventilation precautions used when painting, wallpapering, or renovating any area of the home.