Pulled loose loop pile tufts

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I saw a couple of inspections back to back last week that had to do with pulled loops. Both inspections have dogs.

The first inspection was in a brand new home in a small town. This subdivision like most new developments in central Ontario encourage hardwood floors on the main level of the home. This customer knowing her two larger dogs would scratch the heck out of hardwood decided to go with carpet on the main floor and tile on the hallway. She asked for “dog friendly” carpet. The builder then put in loop pile olefin berber. I have never heard of this style of carpet being dog friendly. Of course there are about a dozen pulls on the main floor carpet.

The next day I see a similar inspection in a family room of a large suburban home. The carpet has already been replaced because of loose loops. The retailer, installer and mill rep all believe its damage from her dog. Of course when I get to the house at supper time the “dog is not home”. The lady says to me “trust me his nails are not long”. A simple analysis of the situation should show retailers that paw nails will snag loops on carpet. Yet the retailers are selling loop pile carpet to these prospects. I just don’t understand.

Having to inspect competitor’s clientel

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I had a unique situation this past week. I arrive at the site of an apartment building condominium. The carpeted hallways have an orange discolouration at the ends of the hallways. The carpet has been down for 8 years. The perimeter of every wall in the corridors has a discoloration about 1-2 inches wide that looks like soil filtration. The traffic lanes looked horrible. I mean the carpets looked like they haven’t been cleaned in years.

Anyways during the inspection it becomes clear to me that the carpet warranty will not be in effect here because of maintenance related issues. I tried my best not to embarass the cleaning contractor in front of the property manager. However the cleaning contractor did say a few things that were obviously not true and forced me to comment on them in my inspection report.

Anyways what was unique  about the situation was that I was called an inspector who was not “independent”. It was incredible. Here I have a guy who is looking at the same carpet I was and he somehow did not think that it was heavily soiled. He even wrote a letter to the claims analyst  of the carpet mill volunteering his services to find out the true cause of the carpet’s discoloration.

The point I am getting at I guess is that what passes for clean to one person sure doesn’t for another.

Point behind this post. As a carpet inspector when I arrive and look at the carpet and see that it is visibly soiled with black traffic lanes the warranty has been voided. Carpets are supposed to be cleaned before they look visibly soiled.

The end result of this inspection was that the property manager acknowledged there was a problem with oxides of nitrogen discolouring the carpet.

New CRI Standard for Carpet Installation

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I have been away and have some catching up to do. When you do go on vacation you don’t miss work, seems like you just defer it.

I saw several small commercial carpet inspections in the past week. It became very obvious to me that most installers have no clue there is a new standard for carpet installation. The Standard came into effect on Oct 1, 2010.

The biggest change in the standard is on the subject of seam sealing. In the old standard CRI 104  you were allowed to seam seal or edge seal one cut edge of carpet and then butt  the other cut edge of the other carpet panel into the first panel. The new standard states that both cut edges must be sealed and then a third bead of seam sealer attaches the two cut edges.

I spoke to Rosemary Schooley at the Floorcovering Institute of Ontario and have asked her to do a blast to all their members letting them know of the new standard. I did this because nobody is making any effort in informing the carpet installers. I find it very surprising that the carpet mills have not made a concerted effort in informing the installers.

This new standard is going to be around for a while. I really don’t forsee any changes in the new upcoming IICRC S600 Standard for Carpet Installation.

Seam sealing is an extremely important part of carpet installation yet may installers don’t bother at all or just hastily put a bit of sealer on an edge. To make a seam correctly you are supposed to apply an approved edge sealer or seam sealer. First and foremost you must cut the edge of the carpet. You do this by using a row finder and the correct row cutter. You should cut one side of the panel flush left and the other side flush right. Apply sealer to both cut edges. The seam sealer  is to be applied in an ample amount with an appropriate applicator. You are then supposed to run your fingers over the edge to close the cut seam. After this is complete you apply a third bead of seam sealer between the two panels and join them.

Top cutting seams or cutting through the secondary is not an acceptable means of cutting carpet edges.

Anyways, I saw five commercial jobs this week and most of the installers said that the carpet was stiff and hard to work with. All I can say to that is–yes it can be that way. But the carpet mill is not going to replace the carpet for that reason. Even on the residential side I had about ten inspections and at least three were about zippering seams. I spoke to one installer (he ended up being the store owner) who told me that he didn’t bother sealing the seams because he knew he was going to replace the carpet anyways??

No wonder the carpet industry continues to lose market share.

Seam sealer added later

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Again this week I saw two situations of installers just not getting it when it comes to seam/edge sealing.

First one was from an installer who was repairing a seam that had a depression along it that was likely caused by too hot of a seaming iron.  The guys who had tried to fix the seam the first time had dismantled the seam, redid the seam and then left a tractor with the customer and asked her to run the tractor over the seam all weekend. Needless to say the customer was not impressed. The last installer went in there and said he could not match up the pattern. It was a high /low loop and the pattern was just less than an inch long. The installer said he could not powerstretch the carpet a half inch to help line up the patterns. I found this quite unbelieveable, especially when there were no elongated holes in the secondary backing that always exist when the carpet is adequately stretched. The same installer told me the seam he constructed was excellent and that he sealed the seams from the bottom with a glue gun!

Second one is from a delamination claim on a commercial install. There was more sealer on the concrete than on the seam. The old Standard said you could butter one cut edge and then butt the other edge into it. The new Standard states that you must seal both cut edges and then add a third bead of sealer to bind the two cut edges together. When I mentioned this to the retailer he was shocked that the new standard says that and that no manufacturer had told them of the new Standard For Carpet Installation.

I guess he has a point, who else would tell the retailers and installers that there is a new standard but the manufacturers? However is it the manufacturers responsibility to tell everyone of the new Standard? Of course it isn’t! I guess this is the tip of the iceberg for us inspectors over the next couple of years.

Shading on a woven face on face

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I was commissioned to look at a woven face on face or tops and bottoms as they are referred to.I don’t want any clues on the mill but it is American made and the face fiber is polypropylene. The commissioning party is asking me to inspect a high line. They also stated that the shading problem has been explained away.

I arrive at the home and the only thing the customer wants to talk about is the shading. The customer stated that there were many bands across the width of the carpet when the carpet was originally rolled out in the home. These were likely pressure bands and are actually very common, they are usually repairable on wool and nylon but pretty tough to fix on olefin. Anyways the majority of the bands were no longer discernible. There were variations in the carpet pile showing some areas as dark and some areas are light. This is a cut pile carpet that is NOT made from staple yarns–YOU WILL GET SOME SHADING! I try and show this to the customer by rubbing the pile with my feet and hands. They were not listening. Instead I have the lady customer (in her 60’s) telling me  numerous times that the carpet looks like “shit” and that the sample of the carpet at the retailer is false advertising.

I am of course rattled by their tirades. I am shaking and nervous. I am definitely not in any condition to shear the high line in front of the customer when I know the area will likely show some new shading.

For some reasons the customers think that being rude with me was going to help their case?!? Anyways I guess the moral of the story is that cut pile BCF yarns will usually not be trackless and will show some kind of shading .

Carpet inspections I see that boggle my mind

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I see a lot of carpets. I continue to learn each time I am out there. This one defies logic. I went out to see a carpet that was down in two main panels of a bedroom that had just been renovated. The end user had chosen a white wool wilton weave with a viscose blend. It was 75% wool 25% viscose. The renovation contractor decided to install half the carpet in the bedroom while he continued to demolish the bathroom. He then installed the other panel of carpet and seamed them together. Well needless to say there was a colour difference between the two panels. The carpet that was laid down while construction continued was grayer in colour. The contractor called in a company he uses to clean the carpet.  They hot water extracted the carpet twice, once by portable and another time by truckmounted unit. They had no success. I was then called in to inspect. I ended up calling the carpet cleaning company who did the cleaning and quizzed them on how they cleaned the carpet. They told me they presprayed with an enzyme and extracted. I investigated further and found out that this was indeed  dry clean only. My conclusion on my report blamed the Contractor and end user for putting the carpet down during construction. I also pointed some blame at the carpet cleaning contractor for improper cleaning. The carpet cleaning company freaked. They stated that they can clean any carpet by hot water extraction. I pointed out it was dry clean only and likely because there was viscose in the pile which shrinks severely. They said they did not know that. When I pointed out that their was not enough emphasis on dry particulate removal by extra careful vacuuming they said that they vacuumed regularly. I pointed out that they used an enzyme on wool they said it was good for wool(?!?).

It was a double header, a contractor who puts an extremely expensive ($25K) bedrooom carpet down and then works in the area adjacent and a carpet cleaner who thinks he can extract any carpet. Even a woven carpet with funny looking yarns in it.


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