Thursday, January 17, 2013

Is Your Carpet Covered Under Warranty?

Lately I've been fielding questions from customers about maintaing the warranty on their carpet. This is often an overlooked subject and deserves some attention. If you have priced new flooring for your home or have recently had new flooring installed, I'm sure you know that carpet is not cheap. As with any major product purchase, you can expect your carpet to come with a warranty. Just as with any other product, there are certain conditions that must be met to uphold the warranty of your new carpet. Let's take a look at some of the steps you must take to ensure you do not void the warranty on that lovely, new carpet you just had installed.

There is some preventative maintenance that must be done to uphold your carpet's warranty. Just like you have to regularly change the oil in your car, you must have regular maintenance performed to keep up the warranty on your carpet. Most carpet manufacturers require periodic professional hot water extraction or steam cleaning of the carpet to uphold the warranty. For example, Shaw Industries Group specifies that "Professional cleaning of your carpet is required at least once every 24 months if not more frequently depending on conditions and use." Note how the term "professional" is used. Professional carpet cleaning companies will use a process that may sound similar to DIY carpet cleaning machines, but the professional's process often removes much more water than retail carpet cleaning units. If too much moisture is left in the carpet, it could cause premature breakdown of the carpet backing. Also, for DIY jobs,  it can be a common mistake to mix the cleaning solution at a stronger ratio for heavier soiling. While this may seem like sound logic, it can often leave behind a residue that will attract more dirt and cause more soiling of the carpet. For the DIY-er, this can be the root of much frustration.

Some carpet warranties state that to uphold the warranty, spills must be cleaned up immediately. Time is everything when dealing with spills on your carpets. The more time that passes, the more likely a spot is to turn in to a permanent stain. When cleaning up spills, remember to blot the spot. Scrubbing, wiping, or any other technique other than blotting is not recommended as it is not as effective and may even have adverse effects on your carpet.

When spot cleaning, the choice of cleaning agents is also a very important topic. Too often, I see carpets where the customer has used a harsh chemical product in an attempt to remove a spot. The result is a discoloration where the chemical has contacted the carpet fibers. Unfortunately, the discoloration is often permanent. and serves a nice reminder of what harsh chemicals can do to your flooring. The recommended cleaning chemical for spotting carpets on your own is a mild dishwashing detergent. A light amount applied with a clean, damp cloth and worked in to the carpet will often do wonders for stains. To rinse the detergent from the spot, use another clean, wet cloth to blot the spot. Frequently turn the cloth to a clean side and continue blotting until there is no transfer from the spot to the cloth. Once thoroughly rinsed, the carpet should be back to looking fantastic.

Hopefully these tips can help you maintain your carpeted flooring and keep it looking its best for years to come. If you have questions regarding the warranty on your carpet, it would be best to contact your flooring installer, the store you purchased the carpet from, or the manufacturer. As always, if you have any questions regarding this post, please feel free to call or email me.

Here's a quick summary of some key points for you:

  • Most carpet warranties require professional cleaning at least every 24 months.
  • If cleaning your carpets yourself, be sure to mix chemicals properly and rinse the carpet thoroughly.
  • The quicker you can clean a spill on your carpet, the better chance you have of removing the spot. 
  • Blot the spot! 
  • Only use water or a mild dishwashing detergent to spot clean carpets on your own.
  • After cleaning your own carpets be sure to rinse them well to remove the detergent.

Thanks for reading!

ServiceMaster by Bell, Inc.
877-214-1664   814-764-3232

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