Carpet Cleaning 101 : Learn About Carpets First

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Carpet is a giant filter. In fact in homes that air quality was tested homes that were carpeted fared better. This may be surprising to many but if you think about it it makes perfect sense. If dirt is free and there is movement of the air these currents will pick up and make the soil molecules airborne. That is why carpet cleaning is so important not only to the general maintenance of the carpet but also as a major factor in keeping the air quality of the home healthy.

Did you know that most carpeting manufactures require carpet cleaning every 12 to 18 months to maintain the warranty? It is true, read your fine print. So that is another reason why carpet cleaning is so important.

The first thing a professional carpet cleaner determines is the type of fiber that he or she is dealing with in the carpet. Carpet cleaning hinges not only on fiber type but also the manufacturing process behind it. Many people are not aware of what type of carpet they have in their home or office. So how do you test the fiber that you’re dealing with prior to carpet cleaning?

It may sound strange but the easiest and usually most accurate is a test called the burn test. So a couple of fibers are removed from an area that would not be missed. This would typically be found within a closet or underneath the stairs. When performing the burn test your observing three things: flame, odor, and ash. There are seven fiber types. These types are wool, silk, cotton, nylon, polyester, acrylic, and olefin or polypropylene. Each has its own burn characteristic. By identifying the type of fiber you have in the carpet determine what type of cleaning that you will perform as well as the types of products it will be used to get the best results in the carpet cleaning process.

Once the burn test is complete and the carpet fiber has been identified it is time to move on to the type of carpet manufacturing present in the home. There are many different types such as woven carpet, tufted carpet- which is the most common, fusion bonded-think carpet tiles and needle punch.  These all are to be taken into consideration by the professional carpet cleaner prior to cleaning. For example with tufted carpet it’s either composed of a cut pile or a loop with a needle punched face yarns sandwiched between a primary backing adhesive and a secondary backing. Over wetting during cleaning can release the backing materials from this bond. This is called the delamination and this is a bad thing. Also if Jute-which is a cellulosic material- is used for the backing if allowed to take to want to try it may shrink or brown. Again, if this is happening during your carpet cleaning, this is a bad thing.

In addition to determining the type of fiber and the type of manufacturing process the carpet went through you also have to figure out what type of soil you’re dealing with during the carpet cleaning. Knowledge of the soil type and the manner in which the soil adhere to the carpet plus soil removal methods are paramount in the carpet cleaning process.

So if you think that carpet cleaning is a straightforward process it’s not. There’s a lot of science and technical know-how behind the process of professional carpet cleaning. At Systematic Cleaning and Restoration we take carpet cleaning very seriously and our technicians are I ICRC certified in the cleaning process. Your carpets are a valuable investment. Don’t you think it’s important to hire the right people to keep them clean, your air quality at its highest level, and to get the most life out of this flooring material? Carpet cleaning is a very wise man once said “it’s not all squirt and suck”.

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