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.