Common Carpet Problems and Solutions to Fix Them
Are you looking for solutions to common carpet problems? Many homes and offices still have wall to wall carpet today. It’s soft to walk on, helps acoustics in the room and generally looks nice. However, from time to time there is going to be issues with the carpet that will be hard to solve. So here is a list of common carpet issues with what usually causes them and how to fix them.
This is one of the most common issues we see. Filtration soiling is the black lines around baseboards and edges of stairs. This is caused by air being forced through the carpet up into the wall cavity when there is a change in air pressure. The change in air pressure could be when your air conditioner comes on/off, or simply every time you open and close doors or windows. The temporary solution is to clean the lines with an alkaline cleaner to remove them. However they will return if the problem is not fixed permanently. To permanently fix the issue you will need to roll back the carpet in the areas affected and caulk the area where the floor and wall intersect and then reinstall the carpet. If you have the problem located close to a return going to your air conditioner then make sure to seal on the joints inside the return area. This way all air going into the unit has to go through your filter.
Soil wicking occurs after the carpet has been wet either from cleaning, spills, or water damage. It is generally a brownish discoloration on the tips of the carpet fibers. It usually occurs in areas of heavy soiling or where the carpet has taken too long to dry. Generally just cleaning the area and insuring that it dries quickly will remove the soil and insure it does not return.
Traffic lanes are generally seen in heavily traveled areas of the home. Any area that is walked on a lot is subject to the traffic lanes showing up after a while and especially with lower quality carpet. Examples are long hallways, coming out of a bathroom, areas around the bed, coming out of the kitchen, etc. The fiber will become scratched and abraded, matted, or the tips will bloom. You can clean the carpet and remove some of the discoloration but the longer it goes on the more noticeable it will be. This is not a correctable issue and is not a warranty issue with the carpet either.
Shading, Pooling and Carpet Nap Reversal
In this situation carpet can look like it is different colored but not in a straight line. I can look like a water mark. It is caused by fibers that are lying opposite directions on each side of the “watermark”. This can be the result of an installation defect but not necessarily. There is no solution to this and carpet manufacturers universally do not warranty this issue.
Water staining is a lighter area on the carpet that is surrounded by a darker ring, typically something was spilled in the area or some product was used to remove a spill. The soil that was in the area was pushed to the edge of the liquid where it wicked to the tips of the fibers as it dried. This is correctable with a cleaning of the area and quickly drying the area.
Over the years as a cleaner this situation has come up a lot. Some constant light source throws a shadow on the carpet and it looks like a spot. I have tried extremely hard in the past to clean shadows and it just doesn’t work and when you figure it out you feel kind of silly. Make sure what you are looking at is a spot and not a shadow.
Wear will make your carpet look old and worn out. There might even be a loss to the pile of the carpet. Cleaning will not fix this. The solution is to replace the carpet.