Category Archives: Carpet

Causes of Common Laminate Flooring Problems

Causes of Common Laminate Flooring Problems

Image credit: Wikipedia

As an inexpensive alternative to wood or stone, laminate flooring has recently grown in popularity. It requires less professional expertise to install than other flooring types, and it can save time, maintenance, and overhead costs for businesses and homeowners alike. But maintaining a laminate floor comes with its own set of potential problems. This guide provides an overview of common laminate problems, along with possible explanations, and links to sites with helpful repair / maintenance tips.

NOTE:

If you’re looking for information on installing laminate flooring, you can check out the following links:

Creaking, Popping, and Cracking Sounds

Creaking or cracking sounds are usually the result of the laminate flexing under pressure.  A soft crackling noise may be heard occasionally as the laminate presses against the foam layer beneath it. However, if sounds are persistently audible over most of the floor, the laminate may have been incorrectly installed, or a number of precautions may have been overlooked.  The following video provides an example of a noisy laminate floor that may be in need of repair:

Here are some reasons that noises may occur:

  • Lack of proper on-site acclimation: The humidity and temperature of an installation site can drastically change laminate panels, causing them to expand or warp, especially if the panels have not had time to respond to a site’s conditions.
  • No expansion gap: As a preventative measure, a 6-10mm  gap should lie around the perimeter of a room with laminate flooring, allowing for some  expansion due to changes in the indoor climate.
  • Un-level sub-floor: It’s essential that the floor beneath the laminate has been adequately leveled; failure to take this precaution creates weak points in the flooring, forcing certain sections to flex beyond their capacities, and putting undue pressure on the joints between panels.

If you have a persistently noisy laminate floor, there’s a chance that it was not properly installed, and sections of the floor may need to be re-installed or repaired to fix the problem.

Bubbling and Curling

image credit: thefloordetective.com

  • Irregularities:Bubbling and curling are most frequently caused by irregularities in tension, moisture levels, and temperature.  Luckily, this problem can usually be fixed without professional help. You can find a helpful guide for fixing bubbles in laminate flooring here.
  • Problems with panel connections: It’s also possible that sections of the floor were not properly aligned when they were connected, or that something is wedged between two or more panels, causing an uneven surface. You may be able to disassemble a section of the floor yourself, to fix the problem, but it’s still advisable to contact a flooring professional if you did not install the laminate yourself.

For more flooring help, contact us. We serve all of Sonoma County’s flooring needs.


Carpet Care and Maintenance (Cont.)

Carpet Care and Maintenance

Long Term Care – Deep Cleaning

While vacuuming on a regular basis is essential, consider deep cleaning carpet at least once every twelve to eighteen months.  A professional cleaner may be called or you may wish to do it yourself.  If the choice is to personally clean the carpet, review the manufacturer’s recommendations so that the method used does not void the warranty.

Dry Method – Either absorbent compound, absorbent pad or dry foam method.  These methods are minimum-moisture systems that may be applicable for certain types of floor coverings.

Wet Method – Either shampoo cleaning or hot water extraction method. It is extremely important to not over-wet the carpet.  Over wetting can result in staining materials bleeding through from the backing.  Over wetting may also promote the growth of mold and mildew on the backing or cushion and may result in wrinkling of the carpet.  It is necessary to remove furniture or place plastic or aluminum foil under and around the furniture legs to prevent rust or stains.  Let the carpet dry completely before walking on it. Fans, open windows and moderate room temperatures will speed up the drying process.  The carpet and cushion should be thoroughly dried within 12-24 hours in order to avoid the possible growth of mold and mildew. Be sure that the room is well ventilated with fresh air during and immediately after the cleaning process.

Carpet Care and Maintenance

If your carpet is properly cared for on a regular basis, both soil and wear will be reduced.  Vacuuming won’t wear out a carpet but soil will.  If not removed, dirt and grit will become embedded in the pile resulting in matting and ‘graying’ of the color.  It is essential to vacuum often and on a regular basis using a top quality vacuum cleaner with an efficient dust catching filter to prolong the life of the carpet.  The vacuum cleaner used can help improve indoor air quality while a low quality vacuum may increase the amount of airborne particles.

The following information is take from the Carpet and Rug Institute’s ‘Carpet Owner’s Manual.’

How to Vacuum Your Carpet

Let’s take the light traffic areas first.  You should vacuum non-traffic areas at least once a week.  Areas subject to light traffic should be vacuumed twice weekly with up to 3 passes of the vacuum.  Moderate to heavy traffic areas will require more of your attention and more thorough cleaning or vacuuming.  Thorough meaning at least 5 passes over these areas with your vacuum from 2-5 times per week. Vacuuming slowly can allow the beating and suction action of the vacuum to thoroughly remove embedded particles. Developing frequent and thorough vacuuming habits will help you maintain the beautiful appearance of your carpet and postpone the need for professional cleaning services to restore the color and texture of your carpet.

Carpet and Your Health

Many of the flooring staff at Tri County Floors have been in the flooring business for over 20 years and, therefore, have been exposed to flooring products for the same time.  We, like you, are concerned about our health and that of our families and so have followed very closely the debate concerning carpeting and its emissions.

A Rational Look at an Emotional Issue

Indoor air quality (IAQ) is important becauswe we spend more time indoors than ever before. Indoor air typically contains pollutants including chemicals called Volatile Organic Chemicals (VOC’s). They originate from a variety of sources such as building materials, cooking, heating systems, furnishings, cleaning, etc.  Fortunately, they are typically found in extremely small quantities; usually parts-per-billion.  The vast majority of VOC’s are not harmful at the extremely low levels commonly found in homes.  Some VOC’s are responsible for many of the the things we find pleasant: the fragrance of a rose, the smell of a juicy steak, perfume, etc.

A few individuals have attributed adverse health effects to exposure to chemicals from new carpet.  The reported symptoms range from mild irritation to the controversial diagnosis of multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), recently renamed by the World Health Organization to Idiopathic Environmental Intolerance (IEI).  No evidence based on credible science and medicine has linked health effects to VOC’s from new carpet.

IAQ publicity was stepped up in 1988 when carpet received attention during renovations in the headquarters building of the US Environmental Protection Agency.  A few employees reported symptoms typical of those common in problem building situations such as eye and respiratory irritation, headache, nausea, lethargy and fatigue.  They blamed a specific chemical, 4-phenylcyclohexene (4-PC), which is responsible for carpet’s characteristic odor.  Considerable research since 1988 has shown this allegation to be unfounded.

The media ignored the fact that the building had a long history of indoor air quality problems and employee complaints. Subsequent studies by the EPA scientists and independent researchers showed the problems were caused by extremely poor ventilation, heavy infestation of fungi on many surfaces and heavy accumulation of dirt and fungi in the air handling system due to poor maintenance.  Carpet’s only role was that its odor provided a focal point.  This was a classic case of a building with IAQ problems.

Carpet Stain Protection

Have you ever walked across a carpet only to receive a shock when reaching for the doorknob?  The reason for the shock is the buildup of static electricity in the synthetic fibers of the yarn.  It is the same electro-static buildup which works as a dirt magnet in your carpet. And it is this dirt which causes wear and tear.  Treatments such as STAINMASTER™ and Scotchgard™ dissipate static charge eliminating the magnetic attraction of soil. These treatments prevent dirt from clinging to carpet fibers so your carpet becomes cleaner when vacuumed.

With products like Scotchgard™ protection is a topical, water-based solution, and, therefore, wet shampooing can do more harm than good because excess soapy residue often masks the carpet’s protective finish. So always steam clean your carpet.  Scotchgard™ Protector should be reapplied by a professional carpet cleaner after the second or third steam cleaning.

STAINMASTER™ (originally a DuPont™ product) was, at its introduction, a large step forward in carpet stain protection.  DuPont™ developed a method of treating their yarns while they were still hot and the yarn molecules had expanded. After treatment the yarn is cooled and the STAINMASTER™ anti-static molecules are locked into the yarn.  This proved an exceptional upgrade in stain resistance. Unlike Scotchgard™, the tighter bond between the yarn and protection allowed more cleanings without loss of stain-resistance. Under most circumstances a STAINMASTER™ carpet can received three shampooings before stain resistance is lost. Since most carpets will be shampooed about every year and a half, most stain resistance warranties are 5 years.

Scotchgard™ has developed Scotchgard™ Soil & Stain Release which is a further refinement in carpet protection designed specifically for nylon and nylon blend carpets.  In addition to soil protection, it offers additional resistance for specific staining problems and a 5 year warranty for common stains.

Recently, Mohawk created SmartStrand® with DuPont™ Sorona® renewably sourced polymer, the next generation of carpet fiber. Designed to fit the way you live, SmartStrand® with DuPont™ Sorona® combines better stain protection, better durability and better softness, all in one. It’s breakthrough innovation brought to you by Mohawk and DuPont, the trusted names in carpet and fiber for more than a century. Now, instead of worrying about your carpet, you can walk all over it— with a glass of red wine in hand.

When Choosing A Carpet

When choosing a carpet, three things need to be considered:

Traffic: Try to determine your families usage. Is it heavy, moderate, or light? Since carpet does not come with an odometer like a car, it is hard to quantify exactly how much traffic it receives. Young active growing families create more wear than a retire couple. Families with pets will require a more durable carpet than those without.

Stain Resistance: A carpet in a dining room will have different stain resistance requirements than one in a bedroom. Again, a young active family will probably generate more spills than a mature one. You need to consider these questions: Where is your carpet going to be installed? What products are going to be used over it?

Budget: Some carpets represent excellent pricing, but in a high traffic area may not result in the best value for your flooring dollar. When shopping for carpeting it is best to determine the type of traffic your family will generate, what are potential stain problems and what your budget allow. Determine what you can afford to spend, set yourself a budget and then find the best value based on your families requirements. You may also want to find out if the company you choose to buy from offers financing. We do! We are currently offering 0% financing, call us for details.

Introducing the next generation of carpet (Continued)

SmartStrand® with DuPont™ Sorona®. It’s just better.

Better for the Environment

Future sustainability of Mohawk’s natural resources is largely dependent on how they are managed today. For that reason, they believe eco-initiatives make great business sense: they work to benefit everyone. Mohawk continues its progressive thinking and service to our community through ongoing Mohawk GreenWorks projects.

SmartStrand® with DuPont™ Sorona® keeps the environment beautiful, both inside your home and out. Through an exclusive partnership with DuPont, SmartStrand® with DuPont™ Sorona® renewably sourced polymer is made using up to 37% renewable resources. Every seven yards used in a home saves enough energy and resources to equal one gallon of gas– a total savings of up to 10 million gallons in a year. You enjoy the comfort of a great carpet and of knowing you’ve played a role in preserving the environment, helping to reduce our dependence on oil.

Better stain protection, durability and softness. Better for the environment. With SmartStrand® with DuPont™ Sorona®, you’ll enjoy the choice that fits your life and takes the everyday fears out of owning carpet.

Introducing the next generation of carpet (Continued)

SmartStrand® with DuPont™ Sorona®. It’s just better.

Better Durability

Unlike most carpet fibers built with a straight up-and-down molecular design, SmartStrand® with DuPont™ Sorona® offers crush resistance and appearance  retention due to the unique ‘spring-like’ molecular structure of the polymer that ensures your carpet always bounces back.

To make Sorona® long-lasting, DuPont went all the way down to the molecular  level. The durability of SmartStrand® with DuPont™ Sorona® is built into its very DNA: the polymer features a unique, spring-like molecule that helps the carpet bounce back for better crush resistance and resiliency. Each fiber has been wear-tested with 20,000 footsteps, equal to a year of normal wear (or approximately 43.5 slumber parties with your child and ten of his closest friends). Plus, Mohawk now offers an extended warranty on wear and texture retention.

Better Softness

SmartStrand® with DuPont™ Sorona® passes the “barefoot” test with flying colors. Thousands of customers praise its stylish look and soft feel— and appreciate the clean, healthy environment that comes with a carpet free of topical stain-fighting chemicals.

Say SO LONG to static. SmartStrand® with DuPont™ Sorona® features built-in static resistance and is backed by a leading lifetime static warranty ensuring lower static levels and higher comfort for years to come.

Introducing the next generation of carpet

You’ve always enjoyed the look and feel of carpet. But there’s a little voice inside that wonders whether it will hold up to everything life has to offer. The spills and the stains. The endless footsteps of kids. Not to mention marks left by heavy furniture when it’s time to rearrange.  That’s why Mohawk created SmartStrand® with DuPont™ Sorona® renewably sourced polymer, the next generation of carpet fiber that delivers fashion without fear. Designed to fit the way you live, SmartStrand® with DuPont™ Sorona® combines better stain protection, better durability and better softness, all in one. It’s breakthrough innovation brought to you by Mohawk and DuPont, the trusted names in carpet and fiber for more than a century. Now, instead of worrying about your carpet, you can walk all over it— with a glass of red wine in hand. After all, it’s SmartStrand® with DuPont™ Sorona®. And it’s just better.

Better Stain Resistance

Unlike most carpets treated with topical stain guards, SmartStrand® with DuPont™ Sorona® features breakthrough stain protection built into every individual fiber. This permanent built-in resistance stands up to tough stains like mustard, hot coffee and red wine— even undiscovered stains that have set in for days. With Mohawk’s Floorcare Essentials™ or hot water and a mild detergent, most spills and soil spots come out with ease. SmartStrand® with DuPont™ Sorona’s® built-in stain protection will never walk or wear off, giving you the peace of mind that comes with Mohawk’s leading Lifetime Warranty.

SmartStrand® with DuPont™ Sorona® fibers provide permanently engineered-in protection throughout the entire core of the fiber. The leading nylon brands contain topically applied protection that is only on the surface, allowing it to wash off with routine cleaning or wear off with normal use.

Carpet Yarns and Fibers (continued)

Of the three most popular yarns Olefin is the least expensive to produce and can represent and excellent flooring value.  The dyeing process of olefin occurs while it is still in a liquid state, before it is extruded into filaments.  This means that the color saturates each filament giving it superb stain resistance and is very easy to clean.  Olefin is very resistant to alkali, solvents and acids and is fade resistant to the sun.

Olefin does not have the resilience or the ability to bounce back of other yarns and will mat or pack more quickly. Olefin is mostly used in level loop or very short tight commercial carpets where the loop structure and density of the yarn construction help offset matting.  The loop provides strength to the yarn and with its built in stain resistance and price make it a great value for an active family.

Polyester yarns are our next category. Polyester yarn can be dyed before the extrusion process, like olefin, or after the extrusion process.  If the yarn is dyed after the extrusion process the filaments are only coated with dye and it does not run through the body.  This dye process may not provide the same quality of stain and soil resistance as the prior dye process.  Polyester yarn has increased resilience over olefin and is used in Saxony plushes and velvets.

Nylon is the third synthetic yarn and is very popular today. Nylon filaments are dyed after the extrusion process as well. Most spills, when cleaned up quickly, will have little effect on color.  Nylon yarns have superb resilience and resistance to abrasion and matting.  Nylon is similar to wool in its feel, softness and texture. These combined with excellent resilience makes a great yarn.