Friday, November 29, 2013

What is wool fiber - How does it work . carpet and upholsterry cleaning

Wool filament up close

Wool: The Wonder Fiber

Wool has some unique properties that make it one of nature's most amazing fibers. Firstly, wool is resistant to fire. It will burn if it's held to an intense fire, but when it's removed from the flame, it will self-extinguish. The reason is that each and every wool fiber contains moisture. It's also an incredibly flexible and durable fiber; one fiber can be bent back more than 20,000 times without breaking and is said to be comparatively stronger than steel [source:American Sheep Industry Association]. To put this in perspective, a cotton fiber can only be bent 3,000 times before it breaks. Its natural elasticity makes it resistant to tearing as well. Wool fibers can be stretched as much as 50 percent of their original length when it's wet and about 30 percent when dry [source: American Sheep Industry Association].
Wool is also a pretty smart insulator. Think of it like a thermos for your body -- it can keep you warm or cool depending on your needs. It keeps you warm without overheating your body and in the Sahara Desert, Bedouins wear thin wool to keep them cool in the searing heat. The secret to both of these facts are the tiny pockets of air within each wool fiber that provide both insulation and breathability (we'll get into this little more on the next page). If that's not enough, it's also resistant to mold and mildew. It's no wonder humans domesticated the sheep in 8000 B.C.
Wool is also able to soak up as much as 30 percent of its own weight in moisture without feeling wet, which is one of the reasons it can still keep you warm even in the rain [source: American Sheep Industry Association]. The fibers have a natural crimp that helps to wick moisture away from the body. Getting this moisture off your bare skin is a key element to keeping warm in wet conditions. 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Vacuum your carpet reduces the carpets life - carpet cleaning

Reducing Vacuuming Ruins Carpets

“Uglying out”
For some time, building service contractors have been sounding the alarm about their mounting concerns related to reducing cleaning frequencies, sometimes known as skip cleaning. During the recession many companies and schools, in an effort to cut costs, skimped on cleaning, especially vacuuming. As the economy shows signs of rebounding, now is the time to increase vacuuming frequencies back to pre-recession levels, before irreversible damage is done. 

Science explains why those who are responsible for the indoor environment — contractors, building managers and occupants — do have something to worry about. As skip-cleaning schedules become more prevalent, especially as proper and consistent vacuuming frequencies are reduced, the indoor environment suffers. Reducing the vacuum frequencies from five days to every other day or less may, on the surface, seem like an easy way to save a dollar and trim a budget. However, the unintended consequence of such a decision lays hidden in the carpet pile. As the frequencies are reduced so are the carpet’s appearance and its life. 

Commercial carpet is a textile, similar to pantyhose. The most popular commercial carpet is made of synthetic fibers such as nylon, olefin or polyester. In fact, nylon is most often specified by architects and designers for commercial installations. It is frequently referred to as the durable fiber. Synthetic fibers don’t usually wear out (except on stairs); instead, they “ugly out.”

Uglying out is when a carpet shows visible signs of graying in traffic areas, heavily walked-on areas, and pivot points (points where turns are made, grinding dirt, soil and grit into the carpet). Graying occurs when the fibers are crushed, matted down or flattened out. The carpet fibers also may be abraded or scratched. 

Fiber has come a long way since nylon was invented in the 1930s. According to the Carpet & Rug Institute, “Today’s carpets are designed to hide dirt and resist soiling and staining. But that’s no excuse to skip regular vacuuming. Soil can damage fibers if it remains in the pile.” 
Carpet may be more stain-resistant and resilient than in the past, but it is still susceptible to matting, crushing or flattening. And as carpet flattens out, it can also become more porous, abraded or damaged. All are factors of uglying out brought on by improper maintenance.

Wear and abrasion ruins carpet

Just like other textiles — for instance, a favorite pair of broken in blue jeans faded with washings and worn knees — carpet will show wear over time and without proper maintenance. A combination of factors will cause premature wear, including embedded soil in the carpet. Infrequent vacuuming and poor matting are the main reasons carpets show signs of premature wear. Major traffic lanes need to be vacuumed daily. 

Shoes track in most of the dirt, grit and soil that end up in carpets. Other factors also contributing to soiling include dust, airborne pollutants and food or drink spills. 

When vacuuming is skipped, dirt, grit and soil become embedded in the carpet. It will be harder to remove them later. Embedded soil particles are abrasive like sandpaper. Dirt and grit damage the carpet fiber by rubbing, or abrading, the carpet fiber. Imagine repeatedly rubbing sandpaper over glass. Quickly the glass becomes scratched, dull and faded. With repeated abrasion, the scratched glass is weakened. Abrasive soil does the same thing to carpet fiber. The fiber becomes pitted and scratched creating a dull, faded appearance; the carpet looks worn. Regular vacuuming prevents the deep abrasion that ruins carpets.

Dulling is caused by all types of soils and will actually change the original carpet color’s appearance. A light blue carpet can take on a gray-green tint, and rose carpet can appear more taupe. The original color isn’t lost; it’s hidden under a layer of soil. It’s important to note some carpet may actually absorb the soil causing the carpet color to permanently change. Frequently this happens with oily soils. Oily soils can be absorbed and the carpet will take on a yellow cast. Entry mats can trap soil, and combined with routine vacuuming, this problem can be avoided. 

The pile underneath the carpet fibers will break down if the dirt is left in. It also creates a breeding ground for dust mites and bacteria. 
Frequent vacuuming not only keeps the carpet cleaner, it significantly reduces wear and tear especially in traffic areas. 

Reducing frequencies will ultimately cost facilities more money in the future. Janitors will have to make additional passes to remove soil in heavily embedded areas and eventually the carpet will require an expensive deep or restorative cleaning. Or worse, ultimately the carpet pre-maturely wears out and requires replacement.

Reduced frequencies may have met the short-term budget needs of the present, but they shouldn’t compromise the future. It’s easier to skip some tasks over others, but reduced vacuuming isn’t one of them. To ensure longer life and maintain appearance, carpet requires regular vacuuming. Facility managers and building owners should never underestimate the effect frequent vacuuming has on carpet. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Why dose my carpet and rugs wear out? Common carpet cleaning concerns

Troubleshooting Common Carpet Issues

Information for Maintaining Carpet Appearance


Carpet in heavily traveled areas receives the most wear. For better appearance and longer carpet life, try to reduce the amount of traffic on these areas or use small rugs in front of heavily used chairs or furniture. Remove and clean these rugs while vacuuming the primary carpet or rug. You should occasionally move furniture and reverse area rugs. Although some change will eventually occur in the texture of your carpet, reducing the wear on paths and in front of furniture will slow this change.


Crushing is the loss of pile thickness because of foot traffic. Crushing is not considered a manufacturing defect unless it is specifically cited in the manufacturer’s warranty. Regular vacuuming may help reduce crushing that results from traffic. Manufacturers’ definitions of crushing may vary.


The weight of heavy pieces of furniture can cause indentations in carpet. Some depressions may be permanent. Use furniture glides or cups under the legs of heavy pieces, or move your furniture a few inches backward or sideways so that the weight is not concentrated in one place. To remedy depressions, work the carpet pile back into place with your fingertips or the edge of a spoon, then, dampen the area and heat it with a hair dryer, working the fibers with your fingers or a spoon.


Give your carpet the normal protection from direct sunlight that you would give to any colored fabric. Emissions from heating systems or chemicals, such as pesticides, household cleaning agents and other household items, can also result in color loss.


Filtration soil may appear as dark or grayish lines on carpet along walls, stairways and under doors. It is caused by airflow over and through carpet, allowing fine soils to settle on the surface. It is often caused by an improperly balanced ventilation system, when the volume of air entering a room exceeds the system’s capacity to remove air from the room. Excess air then seeks exit sources in gaps along walls and stairways. Prevent the airflow through carpet and carpet edges by sealing openings through the carpet and under doors and baseboards. Keeping the air in the area clean and using good filtration in your heating and cooling systems and vacuum cleaners can help. Filtration soils may require special cleaning treatment for effective removal. Contact a carpet-cleaning professional for assistance.


The balls of fluff, or loose fibers, found on carpet or in the vacuum cleaner bag are the normal result of fiber left in the carpet from the manufacturing process. Removing these loose fibers does not affect carpet life or appearance. Because of their large size, these fibers are too big to become airborne or to be breathed in. With proper vacuuming and using a quality vacuum cleaner, most shedding gradually disappears within the first year after installation.


Manufacturers’ definitions of matting may vary. Matting is usually the result of the untwisting of the yarn and the intermingling of the yarn tips through foot traffic. Matting may be caused by various factors, including an improperly specified cushion, cushion failure, or improper maintenance. Matting is not considered a manufacturing defect unless it is specifically cited in the manufacturer’s warranty.


Most wool and wool-blend carpet made in the United States is permanently treated to prevent moth damage. Carpet and rugs of manufactured (synthetic) fibers are naturally resistant to insects, because such fibers are not a food source and are resistant to beetles, commonly called carpet beetles. However, beetles already in the home may lay eggs in the carpet pile and hatch in 8 to 15 days. Pet owners also may find fleas on their carpet. Fleas will not damage the carpet and will die there, unless they find another animal to sustain them.  Frequent vacuuming aids in the control of fleas on carpet; just be sure to change the vacuum bag often. For assistance in removing beetles or other insects, contact a professional pest control specialist.


During and immediately following the installation of your new carpet, there may be a slight odor, which may result from the removal of your old carpet and cushion or from the new carpet, cushion, adhesives or seaming tape. Ventilation with fresh air is recommended. Ideally, windows and doors should be opened, and the HVAC system should be operated at maximum capacity for 48 to 72 hours.


Maintain the beauty of your carpet by cleaning it regularly before it becomes excessively soiled. Dirty, airborne particles may be deposited on carpet, causing dulling.  Dulling is caused by the deposits of all types of soil.  For example, a delicate rose color may gradually become a neutral taupe because of soil, while light blue may take on a dull, gray-green hue. Red clay soil also can cause a pronounced change in some colors.  In spite of such phenomena, the original color of a carpet is not lost; it is still present under the soil. Oily soil may be very difficult to remove after it has been on the carpet for a long time, and it may be actually absorbed into the fiber, causing the carpet to have a yellow cast.  Frequent cleanings are important to avoid this problem.  Entry mats at doorways trap soil, and combined with routine cleaning and vacuuming, provide extra protection for all floor coverings.


Occasionally, a yarn tuft will rise above the pile surface of a carpet. Just snip off these tufts to the level of the other tufts. DO NOT PULL THEM OUT. If this problem persists in a localized area, contact your flooring contractor or manufacturer’s representative.


Almost all carpet manufactured today has finishes that make it more stain- and soil-resistant, but no carpet is entirely stainproof. It still requires care. Remove spots and spills promptly. If spills or soils are allowed to remain, they may become permanent. Call the phone number normally found on the carpet warranty to obtain specific information about cleaning the carpet.


Topical treatments include soil retardants, stain repellents, anti-static treatments and deodorizers. The use of after-market, topical treatments without the express approval of the carpet manufacturer prior to application may void applicable warranties.


Most carpet manufacturers offer “wear” warranties of various time lengths. According to these warranties, “wear” is defined as the loss of pile weight or pile fiber (usually 10 percent) due to abrasive loss of fiber by weight. What appears to be wear, or pile fiber loss, may actually be matting, crushing or permanent fiber damage caused by soiling rather than loss of fiber. There is seldom actual loss of pile fiber. (See also Matting, Crushing.)


Wrinkles, ripples and buckles in carpet are most often caused by a failure to stretch the carpet correctly using a power stretcher, the use of an incorrect or failed cushion, or excessive temperature and/or humidity. Ripples can be caused by a combination of any of the above. If ripples or buckles develop, consult your carpet retailer. Generally, the problem can be corrected by a qualified carpet installer who re-installs the carpet with a power stretcher.