More on Carpet Cleaning and Warranties

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Last week I saw another case of a carpet not being covered by a warranty where in fact I believe there was a problem. Again this was a case where the carpet was not cleaned within the carpet mill’s care recommendations of between 12-18 months. Now lets remeber if the carpet looks visibly soiled it must be cleaned immediately-NO WAITING. By the criteria  laid out by any carpet warranty A CARPET MUST BE CLEANED WHEN IT BECOMES VISIBLY SOILED.

Most soil in a carpet is dry particulate matter and can be vacuumed out. The majority of the rest of the soil in a carpet is either food or oily soils like-tars, oils, gums, greases, resins and fats. Most residential carpets come with a flurochemical treatment like Scotchgard, Teflon or a proprietary product of the carpet mills’. This flurochemical treatment resists oily soils and typically the oily soil will adhere to the dust etc in the carpet and be vacuumed out. Once the flurochemical treatment is worn off the carpet can become soiled very quickly. It is always a good idea to top up the “Scotchgard” on the traffic lanes of your carpet after they have been cleaned. Some carpets have a strong affinity for oily soils. Polyester and Olefin face fibers in particular attarct oily soils to themselves. It is important to know what kind of carpet face fiber you have and to use a carpet cleaner who knows the characteristics of this face fiber. One way to find an educated carpet cleaner is to go the the IICRC website at

I know a lot of people feel that carpets should not have to be cleaned that often. However there are a couple of very interesting facts that may not have been considered by those people who share that opinion. First off most carpet fibers have been engineered to be made in shapes that actually hide soil in the face of the carpet by the way light is reflected by the fiber. Secondly most of the soil in a carpet is gritty and abrasive yet still too small to be seen by the human eye.

I had to fail a polyester frieze carpet the other day because it had been 22 months since she had bought it to the time of the first cleaning. The traffick lanes were munched up, probably by a combination of soil and the agressiveness of her Dyson vacuum. However if I thought it was just the Dyson had caused the damage then I would have failed the carpet. In this case I could not do it, she had failed to keep up with the care recommendations it was plain and simple.

If any body has any questions about how to keep their carpets clean or how to have them cleaned feel free to email me at

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.