When properly cared for, carpet is a great flooring option. It provides a warm feel to the facility and can significantly improve indoor air quality. However, if carpet is not cared for properly, it can quickly cause problems. By becoming familiar with some common carpet care problems, you can prevent these problems from happening and keep your carpet looking better for longer. Here are four common carpet care problems and how to address them:
1. Rapid Resoiling – This is a very common carpet care problem that is has not been properly cleaned. When interim carpet cleaning methods are used (such as bonnet cleaning), both the soils and any chemical used should be completely removed from the carpet. These soils and chemicals often contain surfactants, which act as soil magnets when left in the carpet. The residue from cleaning attracts more dirt from foot traffic and makes the carpet become soiled much faster. If you have residue build-up in your carpet causing rapid resoiling, use a hot water extractor, preferably with water approaching boiling temperatures (212 oF). The hot water is more effective at removing both soils and chemical residue.
2. Bulges, Buckles, or Ripples – This can be caused by two different things: either there was too much moisture left in the carpet, or the carpet was improperly installed and there was an adhesive failure. If the problem is moisture, extract the carpet and focus on moisture removal by using less water and passing more slowly over the carpet or making multiple passes. If the problem is adhesive failure, carpet installers may need to come in to stretch the carpet until the bulges dissipate.
3. Tears & Rips – Particularly in heavy traffic areas, tears or rips may develop over time. This is usually inevitable over the life of a carpet, and once these tears develop there is no way to properly repair them. The key to preventing this problem is proper maintenance. By properly cleaning the carpet and keeping embedded soils to a minimum, you can greatly extend the life of your carpet. Vacuum often, use interim cleaning methods like encapsulation cleaning, and use hot water extraction when possible to keep the carpet clean and to help it last longer. However, over time areas with heavy traffic will become worn down and eventually develop tears and rips and the carpet will need to be replaced.
4. Mold – This is a preventable issue that can become very problematic if it happens in your carpet. Mold in carpet can be caused by moisture from several sources: exterior moisture, leaks from walls or the subfloor, or from carpet extraction. It is important after extracting a carpet to dry it as quickly and thoroughly as possible to prevent any possible mold growth. Use fans to promote air flow and faster drying after extraction to eliminate any excess moisture. Once the mold has started to grow, it can be difficult to properly eliminate. Disturbing mold can cause it to become airborne, where it becomes an even bigger problem. The best solution is to contact professionals to remove the mold.
While many of these carpet care problems are easily remedied, care must still be taken to properly care for your carpet to prevent them from happening, because once they do they are often difficult to repair.