Questions and Answers about Carpets and their cleaning

Questions and Answers about Carpets and their cleaning

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  1. What is the best cleaning method?There are five different methods approved by the IICRC: hot water extraction, dry compound, shampoo, dry foam, and bonnet. Currently, IICRC is conducting a scientific methods comparison. Many of the large manufacturers endorse one method over another, but each one or a combination of methods can be useful in a customized maintenance program if performed correctly. However, our company prefers the hot water extraction method due to its deep corrective cleaning nature and the low amount of residue left behind.
  2. What is the best spot cleaning product?There is a wide range of spot cleaning products available, each one for a specific type of spot or stain. First determine the source, then follow a stain chart see CRI.
  3. What is the most frequently overlooked part of a maintenance program?Proper walk-off mats, proper frequency, and funding.
  4. Who should I look for to design a maintenance program for my facility?A Commercial Textile Maintenance Specialist.
  5. What is a “Commercial Textile Maintenance Specialist”?A Commercial Textile Maintenance Specialist is a technically oriented, cross-trained technician who has committed him/her-self to acquire a comprehensive understanding of the benefits and liabilities associated with specification, construction, installation, restoration, and cleaning of a commercial textile. He/she performs all work according to the current industry standards and can design, develop, price, and implement a Commercial Textile Maintenance Program for any facility. His/her primary concern is for the health and safety of the occupants that reside or work in that indoor environment. It is a Commercial Textile Maintenance Specialist’s obligation to seek certification and continuing education programs and participate in trade associations to help insure optimum appearance levels and longevity of the client’s investment.
  6. What is a standard warranty?A standard warranty is usually 5-10 years. This most often protects against defects in the carpet construction. Often manufacturers will add in crush resistance and matting clauses. The word “wear” is defined as 10% or more loss of fibre. Most common warranty claims are related to the customer’s performance expectations and/or poor or incorrect maintenance procedures. It is a good idea to document and installation or construction defects within the first year and call the retailer.
  7. What is “vertical integration” in the carpet industry?Carpet manufacturers have chosen to combine the production of the carpet with the sales, installation, and cleaning to control all aspects of the carpet’s life to ensure customer satisfaction. This increases performance and perceived value.
  8. Extended or Performance Warranties  are they worth it?It depends on your particular needs. How long are you going to be in your facility? What type of carpet are you purchasing? Requirements for these warranties include using specific aligned or approved service providers and the manufacturer’s products. Most mills are providing 10 year performance guarantees and generally cover replacement carpet, but not the cost of installation or moving of furniture. Review the warranty carefully and determine its value for your facility.
  9. Who should I contract to clean my carpet?Warrington Carpet cleaners of course! Seriously, though, you should always use IICRC certified professionals.
  10. Do I need a stain and soil protectant applied after cleaning?Often, people assume that a protectant will prevent the carpet from staining and soiling, so they can clean the carpet less frequently. This is a big misconception. These products are only designed to place a protective coating over the fibres to reduce the chances of the fibres from becoming permanently stained.
  11. What is the difference between a “spot” and a “stain”?A “spot” is made up of soluble material and can be removed during normal cleaning. A “stain” is made up of materials that contain a dye, and might not be removed during normal cleaning.
  12. Is my carpet more susceptible to getting soiled sooner after I have had it cleaned?It depends on the process and the types of solutions used. If, for example, hot water extraction was used with a solution that leaves a dry, brittle residue  no. The solution is rinsed almost completely out with this method, and the residue is easily vacuumed up. Also, a dry, brittle residue will not continue to attract dirt once dry. If the carpet was shampooed, with a soapy solution that leaves a sticky residue  yes. The solution is left in the carpet and vacuumed when dry. The sticky residue clings to the fibres and continues to attract dirt, soiling the carpet again.
  13. Does asphalt walk-off affect the colour of my carpet?Yes. The blacktop sealer used to seal asphalt and asphalt itself can cause a yellowing of the carpet fibres if these products have not cured properly. It is recommended that sealing of asphalt not be conducted in the heat of summer.
  14. What is the correct type of cleaning solution?It depends on the fibre of the carpet. The manufacturer would be able to tell you the safe pH range for your carpet fibre. For example, the safe pH range for wool is 5.5-8.0; stain resistant nylon is under 10.0, but cotton will dissolve in a very low pH. You also want to make sure that the solution has a dry brittle residue that is easily vacuumed. Hint: If you pour a little into the bottom of a clean, clear glass cup and let it evaporate, you can examine the residue.

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