Category Archives: Good Advice

Good advice on buying considerations for carpets, on wear characteristics and general aspects of carpets, rugs and upholstery

What Causes Wall-To-Wall Carpeting to Buckle or Ripple

Having wall-to-wall carpeting offers distinct benefits, but sometimes walking on it can become hazardous and its appearance can deteriorate due to buckling or rippling. The reasons for ripples across the floor can range from improper installation to excess humidity to long term wear.

To understand why ripples happen, it is good to understand how carpets are fabricated. Most residential carpet is manufactured by inserting yarn into a backing material to form the face material. The yarn/face material and primary backing is then back coated with a synthetic latex adhesive to lock the fibers in place. Finally, a secondary backing is applied to provide dimensional stability. (See diagram).

Improper installation methods almost always guarantee carpet rippling and can range from the installer not using a power stretcher or only power stretching in one direction. Also, padding with improper thickness or density for the carpet can also cause rippling. Therefore, make sure to purchase the proper carpet pad for your carpet and to use a qualified carpet layer for installation.

Excessive water from humidity or improper steam cleaning can break down the latex adhesive and cause premature rippling. Stretching the carpet can help the appearance but the carpet has probably been damaged and buckling will more than likely return. Replacement might be your best option.

Finally, buckling occurs overtime because the carpet stretches due to regular foot traffic and wear. Every carpet reaches an age when it must be replaced because the secondary backing and latex start to breakdown. Stretching the carpet can remove the ripples for a period of time but these areas will still be prone to buckling over time.

For more information, visit my website at www.graysoncleans.com

The Good & Bad of Wool Carpet

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. If staining is a concern (from kids, pets and parties), then synthetic carpets would most likely serve you better. 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, visit my website at www.graysoncleans.com

The benefits of carpet padding

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 can be a safety issue. No matter where the rug is placed (on carpet or hardwood or etc), a pad can keep 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 carpet pad 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, visit my website at www.graysoncleans.com

Why Vacuuming is So Important

When people ask me what is the best thing to do to take care of their carpets (or rugs), I tell them frequent vacuuming. Based on a Proctor and Gamble Company analysis of carpet soiling in the US, about 79% of dirt in a carpet is dry particulate. The composition of this dirt is about 55% from “Tracked-In” gritty particles (like sand and fine dirt), 12% from animal fiber from people, pets and fabrics and another 12% from fibers, indoor plants, and tracked in organic material.

Because most of this dirt is brought in from outside of the home, you should vacuum at least a minimum of 2 times per week.

To really understand the importance of vacuuming, watch this video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MNiMsB-4qtI&t=4s

For more information on taking care of your carpets and upholstery, visit my website at www.graysoncleans.com

Fabric Protectors

Whenever you buy new furniture, carpets or rugs or you have just had them cleaned and they look great, you might want to consider putting fabric protection on them. Especially if there is a high probability of spills occurring. For example, if you have young children or teenagers, have grandchildren who visit regularly, have pets (especially new pets or very old pets) or you like to entertain, consider protecting your upholstery, rugs and carpets.

Protectant copyThe reason fabric protectors are beneficial is that for spills, the liquid will bead up on the material allowing you time to address the spill before it soaks into the material. This repellent characteristic also keeps dirt from sticking to the fibers which improves vacuuming. The end result is that it helps the upholstery, carpets or rugs last longer. Plus, if you are not able to get to the spill in time to remove it, removal is made easier for a professional to clean.

Fabric protectors have progressed to a point where they can protect against both oil and water based stains. But be careful, there are many different fabric protectors out there and some work very well and some do not work at all. Also, make sure you hire a company that knows what they are doing to apply the fabric protection. For example, applying scotchgard protection to a sisal rug is not advisable. Sisal rugs do not like water and Scotchgard uses water as the application medium. The result could be a discolored sisal rug. This is not to scare you away from using fabric protectors but to advise you to use a reputable company to protect your belongings.

For more information, visit my website at www.graysoncleans.com

Soil Filtration

Have you ever noticed a grayish or dark line along the walls on your carpets?  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 wallSoil Filtration is caused by positive and negative pressure within a room. What happens is, when pressure change occurs within a room from either the effect of warm air rising or your air conditioner or heater pumping air into a room, air tries to flow either in or out of the room.  In the places with the dark lines, air is flowing in or out underneath the walls and the carpet along the wall edges serve as a filter. The carpet collects the dirt that is in the air and as a result the dark lines are created.

soil filtration doorHave you ever noticed a grayish or dark line underneath the door of a room? Once again, soil filtration. It is quite common for dirt and dust to accumulate under doors when they are shut. The supply air vent blowing air into the room creates positive pressure in the closed room. The air in the room will want to leave the room through the easiest paths. With the door shut, the undercut of the door is generally the largest and easiest hole for the air to escape. Therefore, as the air passes between the door undercut and the carpeting, the carpet will act like an air filter and grab the dirt that is in the air. The result (like described above) is a dark line appearing just under the door. The best way to prevent doorway dirt filtration is to leave the door cracked so air escapes along the edges and not under the door.

Because soil filtration is a concentration of dirt particles that has occurred over time, cleaning it is extremely tough and will return after cleaning unless you can stop the air flow in these areas.

For more information, visit my website at www.graysoncleans.com

Carpet Buying Considerations

Pilling carpet pic     A carpet purchase is a substantial investment and I am sure you would like to get the best return on that investment. Based on my experience in the carpet care business, unless you have rental properties, I would not recommend getting cheap carpet. My advice for a homeowner would be a decision between a good mid-grade carpet and a high quality carpet. However, to make the proper decision, it is good to look at and evaluate your life situation.

There are two big considerations with the first being the ability to vacuuming ladyvacuum regularly and frequently. Vacuuming is very important to remove the dry particulate dirt. This dirt, if not removed through vacuuming, can act like sand paper on the carpet fibers and degrade the carpet. The result, a high grade carpet will ugly out before its time if you are not able to vacuum regularly and frequently. This also means that you will have to replace the carpet sooner than later. If this is the case, a more cost effective solution might be a mid-grade carpet. However, if you are able to maintain the carpet through regular vacuuming, a high grade carpet with a high fiber content could save you money because it will last much longer.

Accidents do happen
Accidents do happen

The other consideration is the chance for accidents from both pets and people. If there are small children, young pets that are not house trained or old pets who are prone to accidents, you might want to consider a mid-grade carpet until the children grow up. There is nothing worse than buying a nice high quality carpet and having a permanent stain occur.

In conclusion, if you are able to regularly vacuum and respond to any accidents quickly, a high quality carpet with a high fiber content should be a good investment. It will last longer than a mid-grade carpet and in most cases be a cost savings over a lesser grade carpet. However, if your life style does not allow the conditions above, you might consider a mid-grade carpet.

If you would like more information, visit my website at www.graysoncleans.com

The Carpet & Upholstery Cleaner Difference

The requirements for excellent cleaning in the cleaning industry are Cleaner w-chairas follows. The company needs to spend the time required to do the job correctly and they need to use top quality products and equipment. Their technicians must have the knowledge to identify types of carpet or upholstery material and should have the knowledge to know the limitations and requirements to clean each type correctly. And, the technicians should have the experience needed to insure the carpet or upholstery does not get damaged during cleaning.

With that said, not all cleaning companies follow those guidelines. Remember – All businesses are “For Profit”! So, when companies use low prices to get your business, realize that they are going to cut corners to make a profit. As a result, they will reduce the quality of proper cleaning through one or all of the following.

1) They allocate less time for the job, which forces the cleaning crew to rush and not properly clean your fabrics.

2) They use inexpensive cleaning chemicals to reduce the cost which prevents optimum cleaning results.

3) They use inexperienced, under paid labor who may not know how to properly deal with fabrics or challenges. This inexperience becomes a real problem when there are stains or the fabrics are non-traditional. If they are not addressed correctly, the stains will remain and might become permanent. Also, if the technicians do not understand the type of carpet or upholstery encountered, actual damage can occur.

The morale of the story is “The cheaper the price, the more a company reduces the cost to perform the job”, which affects the quality of cleaning. The Grayson Smith Company always allows enough time to do the job right. We use the safest and best products. Plus, the owners actually do the work, experts with a vested interest in making sure the best possible cleaning is provided.

For more information on the company, visit our website at www.graysoncleans.com

Vacuum Cleaner Selection Tips

In past articles, I have stressed how important it is to vacuum your carpets and rugs regularly. Since that is something we harp on, I am consistently asked “What is the best vacuum to get?” I do not have a specific brand to recommend but here are some tips on what to look for or consider when buying a vacuum.

Beater Bar Brush

For carpets and rugs, this is important. The beater bar brush is needed to loosen up the dirt during vacuuming.

vacuum cleanerUpright vacuum or a canister vacuum

Upright vacuums do a better overall job on carpets, though canister vacuums are easier to maneuver, especially on stairs. Also, top of the line canisters typically have a motor-driven Vacuum Cannisterhead for better carpet cleaning.

Bagless vacuums verses bagged vacuums

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.

Other features to consider.

vacuum draperies, lady Edge-cleaning tools help at corners and baseboards. If you will use your vacuum to vacuum draperies, make sure it has a suction control feature in order to protect the drapes. If you will use your vacuum for both bare floors and carpets, get one with a brush on/off switch. This will help safeguard from scratching bare floors and prevents scattered dust and debris.

Most Important, give it a spin before buying.

vacuuming ladyEven 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.

For more information, visit my website at www.graysoncleans.com

Do your wool carpets and/or rugs shed when you vacuum?

Wool carpets and rugs are very durable but have you noticed that the fibers are getting picked up by your vacuum. Are you worried that the carpet or rug is degrading? Don’t worry. This is a natural characteristic of wool carpets and rugs.

Some pilling and shedding can occur with all wool carpets and rugs. This is a natural characteristic of wool because wool carpets and rugs are made from short “staple” fibers. A staple fiber is a short length of fiber generally ranging from 4 to 8 inches long which is then spun into a yarn comprised of these short lengths. As we all know, wool is sheared from sheep. The result is short lengths of fiber which is then woven into a yarn. Because the yarn is made up of millions of short fibers, there are millions and millions of ends of these fibers in the carpet. Kind of like split ends in a person’s hair. It is impossible to remove all of these loose ends in the construction process. The result is these ends come out or shed when vacuuming.

Once again, no need to worry. Wool carpets will not wear out from the loss of fiber. Just like any carpet/rug type, they can “ugly out” from use and abuse but they won’t fall apart.  Also, the thicker the carpet yarn, the more likely you are to see shedding. Once again, no need to panic. The shedding should diminish with time but it will never go away completely. There will always be some fiber in the vacuum canister. Remember, this is normal.

For more information on carpet, rug and upholstery care, visit my website at  www.graysoncleans.com.