Monday, December 3, 2012

Sculptered Carpets, The Good & Bad

     Sculptured carpet is a design of carpeting that is characterized by a mixture of high and low pile fibers arranged according to a specific pattern. The appeal of this type of carpet is in the visual presentation. Sculptured carpets can be an effective means of adding interest to a room by providing a layered effect to the floor covering. It is considered to be an excellent means of increasing the visual interest of the floor covering without the use of different colors to create a pattern.
      However, a concern with sculpted carpets over non sculpted carpets is the wear tendency in high use areas of the home. Because of the high/low aspect of this carpet, wear patterns tend to become more prevalent in high use areas. This is due to the walking and dragging of feet on the carpet which impacts the less supported taller fibers. Therefore, avoiding the use of this type carpet in high traffic areas should be considered. Examples of high traffic areas are dens, TV or play rooms, stairs and halls. Also, once the carpet is installed, regular vacuuming and periodic professional cleaning are important. By doing this, you will increase the longevity and maintain the beauty of this type of carpet.
     As mentioned earlier, sculpted carpets can be used to enhance the look of the flooring without using a lot of color that may clash with other furnishings in the room. However, it would be prudent to avoid them in high use areas. And once installed, vacuum regularly and periodically have them professionally cleaned.

For Additional information on carpet care, visit our website at

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Wool Carpets, The Good and Bad

Wool carpets remain a favorite for their warmth, luxurious feel and durability. A good quality wool carpet is typically more expensive than other fibers. However, if maintained properly, the wool carpet, due to its durability, can save you money over its lifetime. However, if not maintained properly or if staining concerns is a part of your life, wool may not be the best choice.

For homeowner’s who either vacuum their carpets regularly or have them vacuumed regularly, wool will last longer than other fibers and would be a good investment. The reason that vacuuming is so important is that through normal home living, grit gets into the carpet fibers. If this grit is not removed by regular vacuuming, it will act like sand paper on the carpet fibers, damage them and create premature wear patterns. Therefore, if regular vacuuming of your carpets may be difficult to achieve, it might be prudent to invest in a less expensive type of carpet.

If spills and staining are not a big concern, wool once again is an excellent choice. Wool has natural oils inherent in it which have a tendency to repel liquids. Therefore, if you can get to spills quickly, the wool provides good stain resistant qualities. However, if a spill is left unattended, it seeps past the natural oils in the wool, absorbs into the fibers and has a high probability of becoming a permanent stain. Therefore, if your main concern is staining (from kids, pets, etc.), then synthetic carpets would most likely serve you best. They come in all "levels" of stain-resistance, from very basic synthetic fibers, to those treated with Teflon and other solutions.

So, if you have good maintenance of your carpets and have the ability to address spills quickly, then wool, over its life, is your most cost effective choice. However, it either of the above concerns is an issue, then your money might be better spent on a synthetic carpet.
For more information on care and cleaning of carpets, visit our website at

Friday, July 27, 2012

Benefits of Carpet & Rug Pads

     You've paid hundreds or even thousands for that new carpeting or rug--and now the "experts" are recommending that you spend even more to buy a pad to put underneath it. Believe them and get a good pad. It will save you money in the long run.
     For both carpets and rugs, a good pad not only increases the comfort but it extends the life of your carpet or rug. It reduces wear and tear plus pile crushing by absorbing the pressure exerted on the carpet or rug. It also allows for deeper vacuuming because it raises the rug or carpet off of the floor. This allows the air to flow through it more easily, making it possible to remove more dirt from the rug or carpet

     There are also other benefits associated with rugs. Pads are a safety issue. No matter where the rug is placed (on carpet or hardwood or etc), a pad keeps the rug in place to prevent slips and pulls. It provides protection - Very important! A pad prevents dye transfer, marring, staining, and scratching to the floor or carpeting beneath.
     Note: Rug pads are specific to the type of flooring underneath - if you have carpeting under your rug, make sure you purchase a rug pad made specifically for carpeting. The same goes for hard floorings. Don't use a pad for carpet for a hardwood floor - they are not made the same and will not give the comfort and protection your floor needs.

What kind of pads to get.
     The most popular type is rebond pads which are made from scraps of high density foam. Pads come in different weights. The Carpet Cushion Council recommends a pad of 6 pounds at a minimum. However this is a minimum recommendation and a pad of 8 pounds will provide longer wear. There are also pads that have a scrim on top to prevent liquids from soaking into the pad. These pads also have anti-microbial aspects that inhibit the breeding of bacteria and associated smells. This type of padding is very good for homes with pets and small children.

For more information about carpet care, rug care or upholstery care, visit our website.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Dry Cleaning Upholstery

I have a fabric that has a label stating "Dry-Clean Only.”
The fact is that very few fabrics actually require dry cleaning.
     The goal of voluntary care labeling of furniture is laudable, however very few tags that recommend “dry cleaning only” reflect a true need for that type of cleaning. Contrary to the manufacturer’s label guidelines, most fabrics clean easily and safely with water-based cleaning solutions performed by qualified professional upholstery cleaners. My suspicion is that by putting “Dry Clean Only” on the furniture, the manufacturer removes the chance of a homeowner trying to clean it themselves, creating problems and then coming after the manufacturer to fix the problem.
     The reasons that fabrics may require dry cleaning are: Colorfastness, texture change, dimensional stability, or finish damage. However, a qualified professional upholstery cleaner should be able to identify when dry cleaning is necessary.
     The reality is dry cleaning with solvents will never clean a fabric as well as water-based methods of cleaning. The reason is that water-based solutions are most effective when removing water-based spills, but dry cleaning solvents are only effective on oily soils and spots. Most furniture, when subjected to “normal use”, is exposed to more water-based soils and spills than ones that are oily in nature. Also, oils from skin, hair and animals are removed more efficiently with a water based cleaning utilizing the appropriate preconditioning agents.
      If dry cleaning is required: The use of dry cleaning solvents present both health and fire hazards. Therefore, organic vapor respirators, solvent-resistant gloves and aprons, and protective eyewear are required to do the work. The work area must have adequate ventilation to remove the fumes, and under no circumstances should building occupants or pets be anywhere in or around the rooms where this cleaning is being done.

For more information, visit our website

Monday, May 21, 2012

Grey or black lines along the wall

You probably do not want to know this, but it is not a defect in your carpet. It is called soil filtration and is a concentration of dirt that has collected on the carpet fibers

Soil Filtration is caused by air flow from positive and negative pressure within a building. For example, when warm air rises or your heating and air conditioning system come on, pressure change occurs within a room. Air will then try to flow either in or out of the room. Based on the construction of the home, this can happen along the wall edges. As the air moves over the carpet fibers, they serve as a filter and grab the dirt in the air. The result is the dark or gray line on your carpet along the walls.
Have you ever noticed a grayish or dark line at the doorway of a room, especially for a room where the door is shut most of the time? Once again, soil filtration as described above. When there is a slight pressure difference between two rooms, air will try to flow from the room with the higher pressure to the other room through the largest available holes. With the door shut, the undercut of the door is generally the largest available hole. Therefore, as the air passes between the door undercut and the carpeting, the carpet acts like a filter taking out dirt and dust particles from the air. Over a period of time, the carpet will darken as the dirt accumulates.

Because soil filtration is a concentration of dirt particles, cleaning it can be very difficult and in many situations not cleanable at all.For more information visit our website at

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The biggest Vacuuming Goofs

The last blog provided tips on what to look for when buying a vacuum cleaner. Now, here are some of the biggest goofs.
1. Not Changing the Bags: When your bag or bin (for bagless vacuums) is 1/2 full, suction power is reduced by at least 50%. This means you need more strokes over an area to clean it and it is making the motor work harder. It is best to change the bag or empty the bin when 1/3 to 1/2 full.
2. Using the Brush on Bare Floors: A powered brush is critical for deep-cleaning carpets. But the revolving bristles can scatter debris while scratching the finish on hardwood and the plastic wear layer on laminate floors. Most of the newer vacuums let you switch off the brush when needed. If your vacuum cleaner is not able to switch off the beater bar, it would be good to get a vacuum for bare floors that does not have a beater bar.
3. Vacuuming Hard, Sharp Objects: Nails, screws, coins and even paper clips can rip bags and damage the machine. Either pick them up or sweep them up with a broom before vacuuming.
4. Sucking Up Water or Wet Messes: Had a flood? Avoid the risk of electrocution by leaving your upright or canister in the closet. Use a wet-dry vacuum with a ground-fault interrupter for standing water or even damp debris.
5. Tossing It When It Loses Suction: Full bags are not the only reason a vacuum's suction can suffer. Check the hose to see if it is clogged. If the hose is clear, check the filters found on bagged and bagless vacuums. Also, if the brush roll barely turns, check it and the drive belt for tangled string or hair.
6. Assuming the Motor has Blown: Many models have a thermal switch that cuts current to the motor if it begins to overheat. If your vacuum shuts off during use, check for a full bag or bin or a dirty filter. The switch should reset itself, though some models have a reset button for that purpose.
For additional information visit our website

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Vacuum Cleaner Selection Tips

Vacuuming carpet and rugs is very important to help them last longer and look their best at all times. Often, we are asked “What is the best vacuum to get?” For carpets and rugs, it is important to make sure your vacuum has a beater bar brush to loosen up the dirt during vacuuming. Besides that, there are many different types and prices for vacuums and the November 2011 Consumer Reports has a nice article and ratings for vacuum cleaners. The following is taken from that issue of Consumer Reports.

Here’s what to consider when shopping for a vacuum.

Select a type carefully

Upright vacuums do better overall on carpets, though canisters are easier to maneuver, especially on stairs. Bagless vacuums save you the cost of bags, but like bagged models they still require filters. Emptying a bagless vacuum is also a dustier process, a concern if you have asthma or allergies.

Check the features.

Edge-cleaning tools help at corners and baseboards. Suction control protects drapes and a brush on/off switch safeguards bare floors and prevents scattered dust and debris. Most recommended models by consumer reports have all three. Top canisters also have a motor-driven head for better carpet cleaning. Consumer Reports also found that some regular filters contained dust as well as pricier HEPA filters.

Give it a spin

Even if you order your vacuum online, visit a store first. Push, pull, turn and lift any models you’re considering.

The bottom line is, you may have the most expensive, fanciest vacuum, but if it is heavy, awkward to use or move around and you do not use it. It is a horrible vacuum. The reality is that the best model for you (whether cheap or very expensive) is the one you will use.

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