Maintain the beauty and increase the life of your carpet
- Prevent dirt from collecting on your carpet.
- Use mats at all entrances and clean them frequently.
- Vacuum frequently. Make sure to vary the direction that you vacuum to avoid wear.
- Clean up food and drink spills as quickly as possible. Even tap water can cause discoloration if you allow it to set.
- Change traffic patterns. Rotate furniture, so that people have to alter their path throughout the room.
- To prevent fading, avoid long hours of direct sunlight on carpet by closing blinds or shades periodically. Select a lighter colored carpet in sun-drenched rooms to minimize fading.
- Place glides under heavy furniture to combat crushing. Rotate furniture to give carpet a rest.
- Animals: Vacuum often and use deodorizer on previous “accident” sites. Some animals will have repeat “accidents” because they are drawn to the smell.
- Replace air filters frequently on your heating and cooling system to prevent dust and other airborne particles from settling on your carpet.
Pittsburgh Carpet Installation: Carpet Seam Visibility
Seam visibility often depends on factors beyond the carpet installer’s control, including: Carpet color, style, construction, room orientation and room lighting
What Is Seam Peaking?
Seam peaking is a very slight rise, 1/16”or less, of carpet occurring at the seam. Seam peaking results from power stretching, a necessary part of proper carpet installation. Carpet backing is elastic and will readily stretch in any direction. The seaming tape used to join carpet is not elastic but designed to be rigid and hold the carpet edges firmly together. When carpet backing is stretched, tension aligns along the center of the backing. Where seaming tape is bonded to the underside of the backing, all the tension aligns through the tape in that area instead of through the backing. When this happens, the center of the thin tape lines up with the center of the thicker carpet backing, thereby lifting the tape upward approximately half the distance of the backing thickness. The thicker the backing, the more the seaming tape rises, and the greater the resulting seam “peak.” Wider seaming tape can reduce but not eliminate seam peaking.
Seams positioned across the prevailing light in a room and not oriented with the light source are more noticeable. Light at a low angle to the carpet surface will render seams more noticeable than light shining directly down. Strong daylight in an empty room will highlight carpet seams more than indirect or filtered light reflecting off room furnishings.
To illustrate this effect, take a sheet of plain white paper, fold it in half, then open it up and flatten it out with the creased side up. The crease forms a peak in the paper which when viewed from different angles is visible. One side of the crease receives more direct light and the other side casts more shadow. This is the same condition that causes carpet seams to be more or less visible when observed from different positions or under different lighting conditions.
Pittsburgh Carpet Installation: Wrinkled Carpet
According to the Carpet and Rug Institute and carpet manufacturers such as Shaw Industries, wrinkles, ripples or waves can appear in carpet after installation for a variety of reasons:
- Power stretching equipment was not used during original installation
- Improper power stretching techniques did not produce enough tension
- Carpet was installed at too cold a temperature
- Carpet backing is no longer attached to the tack strips
- Carpet backing is defective or has otherwise become damaged
- Heavy objects have been dragged or rolled across the carpet
The remedy for wrinkled carpeting (assuming the backing is not delaminated) is to re-stretch it using proper methods and equipment. In those areas to be re-stretched, it will be necessary to remove all furniture and objects, so that they do not interfere with the free movement of the carpet. Re-stretching clean carpet in good condition will not damage it or shorten its life, and with normal usage and maintenance, wrinkles should not re-occur.
Pittsburgh Carpet Installation: Shedding or Fluffing
It is normal for new carpet to shed or fluff. The first few times you vacuum, do not be shocked if the bag is full of loose fibers. This is attributed to several factors, including the cutting of the carpet itself. Some carpets are made from short fibers and stapled to the backing. In this process some fibers will be missed and not anchored down. Also, a final process on most carpets is sheering the tops of the fibers, even though an industrial vacuum follows the process, there are still fibers that are missed. These are only some things that attribute to shedding.
The amount of loose fibers, traffic level, type of vacuum, and vacuuming procedure all attribute to how long the carpet will shed. Generally the shedding will substantially slow down in the first few months and almost stop completely in 6 months.
After the carpet is professionally cleaned it may begin to shed again, but only for a short time. The agitation of the cleaning machine may loosen fibers that are actually held in place by oils and dirt in the carpeting. Loosening fibers will not affect the durability of your carpet. The more thorough and frequent the carpet is vacuumed, the less shedding will affect you and your home.
Pittsburgh Carpet Installation: Frayed Berber Carpet?
As time goes by, some owners notice that their Berber carpet begins to look frayed or fuzzy. This is caused not by the quality of the carpet, but by the vacuum cleaner’s beater brush.
Fraying and fuzziness can be prevented by:
- Using models without a beater-brush called a suction-only vacuum (normally found in canister-style models).
- Using a vacuum that has an adjustable brush, which can be lifted above the carpet pile.
On a final note, Berber carpets usually have more pronounced seam peaking than pile-cut carpets due to their thicker backings.
This is a perplexing problem to homeowners involving dust accumulation on carpet fibers in areas with a concentrated airflow such as air ducts and where the edge of carpet meets the wall baseboards. This condition is not dependent on the type of carpet that was selected. It also does not indicate a manufacturer’s defect.