Since 1992 the Carpet and Rug Institute has pioneered setting limits on carpet’s emissions of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) to establish a higher standard for indoor air quality. The Carpet and Rug Institutes explains how this program developed on its blog:
The Green Label program developed out of consumer and governmental concerns about carpet’s effect on Indoor Air Quality (IAQ). The original standard, developed in cooperation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, measured four compounds against an established criterion, as well as total volatile organic compounds, or TVOC.
We have all heard that the carpet in our homes may contribute to asthma and allergies. What is the truth? Myth or reality?
The Carpet and Rug Institute recently conducted a Survey of Asthma & Allergy Doctors. The CRI reported:
“While many doctors are still recommending carpet removal to their allergy and asthma patients, they were very open to information about proper carpet care and maintenance as a viable alternative to taking carpet out.”
So before you rip out all the carpet in your home you might want to read the latest (May 19, 2008) and most comprehensive report on the subject that backs up the CRI’s position on carpet and asthma. (more…)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Get Fresh Carpet Cleaning meets the high standards of the WoolSafe® Organization to become the only WoolSafe® Approved Service Provider in Calgary and all of Western Canada.
WoolSafe® Approved Service Providers Mark
Need we say more?
Contact: CRI Communications Department, 706.428.2103
Dalton, GA. (May 18, 2009) – The Carpet and Rug Institute once again raises the bar on industry standards by enhancing the Seal of Approval Service Providers program, to encourage carpet cleaning companies to provide a higher level of customer service and satisfaction.
The Seal of Approval program tests and certifies superior performing carpet cleaning solutions, vacuums, deep cleaning extractors and recognizes professional carpet cleaners that exclusively use Seal of Approval products which meet residential carpet warranties. Companies certified as Seal of Approval Service Providers must continue to use cleaning products and equipment tested and certified under the program. Additionally, the enhanced Service Provider program asks that companies agree to uphold certain principles of customer satisfaction and comply with a “code of conduct.”
Image Courtesy of Mohawk
A couple of months ago I wrote an article about why Mohawk SmartStrand is Smart Choice.
Today, an exciting development was announced that will have a huge impact on the residential carpet industry and gives Dupont and Mohawk well deserved bragging rights.
In a very rare decision by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (whose role is to protect America’s consumers) Mohawk and DuPont have been successful in changing the classification of PTT fiber (DuPont’s Sorona polymer which is used to make Mohawk SmartStrand) as Triexta instead of Polyester.
Herman Miller Mirra Basic
A common problem with home offices and work spaces is the effect that the casters or wheels from office chairs have on the carpet interface. Can they both get along?
The repetitive rolling motion increases carpet wear over time. The movement can also in some cases cause delaminating of the carpet. Delamination is the separation of the secondary backing from the primary backing of the carpet which results in a bubbled or rippled appearance. This problem is not repairable. Replacement is the only option.
The Plastic Mat Option
Teragren Signature Naturals
Bamboo is extremely strong, long-lasting and just plain exotic. Not only gorgeous to look at, it’s also one of the most green and environmentally friendly flooring products on the market today. If that isn’t enough, it also compares favorably to hardwood flooring in price.
Bamboo – the renewable resource
Because it is a natural, renewable resource, bamboo flooring is considered by many to be the logical flooring choice of the future. Categorized as a grass and not a tree, bamboo just might be the world’s most sustainable resource. It is the fastest growing grass and can you can actually watch it grow. Bamboo reaches maturity quickly and is ready for harvesting in about 4 t0 5 years. Bamboo does not need to be replanted after harvesting because its vast root system continually sprouts new shoots. Bamboo accomplishes all of this on it’s own, without the need for machinery, pesticides and fertilizers. Bamboo is also used to control soil erosion and control rain run off. It’s hard to think of anything negative things to say about this remarkable resource.
Processing bamboo for flooring
This soiling is called filtration soiling because it comes from air passing through the carpet as it is attempting to get through the crack between the carpet and the baseboard or under a closed door. As the air passes through the edge of the carpet pile, this microscopic soiling is deposited there (hence the term filtration soiling). This occurs over a significant period of time and is not noticed until a build up has occurred.
This type of soiling is difficult to remove because the soil particles are so fine that they penetrate deep into the carpet pile, sometimes into the backing of the carpet.
Can it be removed? To a degree. With special products, agitation, heat and lot’s of time and effort, reasonable results can be achieved. However, it should be noted that this problem can also be accompanied by fume fading (discoloration caused by gases and contaminates) and so when removed, you will often notice some color degradation to the affected areas.
How many pounds of dirt can this rug hide?
I get asked frequently how often should I have my carpets cleaned? The truth is, there is no particular schedule other than maintaining your warranty valid (most carpet warranties specify every 12 to 18 months). Cleaning frequency really depends on the type of traffic you have on your carpet and how you maintain it. Maintenance goes a long way in extending the time between cleanings.
I cleaned a house with a light beige carpet a few weeks ago that had never being cleaned and was 13 years old. It looked great! The home belonged to a couple with no kids or pets and who had a excellent vacuuming regime. Some people can get by with professional cleanings every 2 to 3 years, while others need their carpets cleaned every 6 months or so. Appearance alone should not be the determining factor when deciding when to clean your carpet. Today’s carpets are engineered from the fiber up to hide soil. In fact, a tan, residential grade carpet can hide up to a pound of dirt per square foot before it becomes noticeably soiled!
Appearance, reduction of potentially unhealthy contamination that may accumulate in the carpet, and manufacturers requirements to maintain your warranty should all be factors that help you decide how often to clean your carpeting.
Image Courtesy of Lees
With Ultra25 4x protection, the long lasting liquid repellency of Ultra25 will repel most liquids, including juice, coffee and other spills, four times longer than other carpets with traditional stain protection, making clean up quick and easy.
The advertising promises:
“Protection like you’ve never seen before. Completely protects the carpet fibers from top to bottom, optimizing the life of your carpet and enhancing the ease of maintenance. Because beauty is never just skin deep!”
Does it live up to it’s promises? The answer is in the warranty: (more…)
Mohawk Smartstrand Blanco
Looking for new carpet? I recommend you put SmartStrand on your short list for many reasons.
Mohawk SmartStrand was released in 2005 and is made with DuPont Sorona polymer.
Now technically speaking this is a polyester fiber. What? Polyester you say, have you last your mind? No, this not the same type of builder grade polyester that we have learned to hate which easily mats, crushes and scratches.
The polymer is made by DuPont in pellet and the fiber and carpets are produced by Mohawk. DuPont’s trademark for the chemical type is 3GT, but the structure is chemically identical to PTT polymer. Shell/PTT PolyCanada also manufactures PTT which Mohawk uses as well.
DuPont has been making polymers for decades. Think Kevlar and Stainmaster which have become household names. We now have them to thank for Sorona which is naturally stain resistant. That means the protection will never wash off or wear-off. You will never have to reapply carpet protector after cleaning. The Achilles heel of nylon carpets is that the chemical stain resist proprieties will diminish over time and with recommended cleanings. SmartStrand with Sorona does not have this problem. Mohawk and Dupont are so convinced that PTT is superior to PET that they have made an application to the American Trade Commision (FTC) to re-classify it under a new name.
Lees Kyoto Modular
With the downturn in the economy, it makes good sense to protect your investment and extend the life of your carpet.
The overall price of commodities has increased 326% over the past four decades, yet the price of carpets has only increased 77.8% according to The Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI), the national trade association for the carpet and rug industry, Dalton, Georgia. Carpet is a tremendous value, but it is still one of the largest purchases you will make for your home or business.
How can you best protect this investment?
We hear a lot these days about VOCs. What are they?
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) explains:
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids. VOCs include a variety of chemicals, some of which may have short- and long-term adverse health effects. Concentrations of many VOCs are consistently higher indoors (up to ten times higher) than outdoors. VOCs are emitted by a wide array of products numbering in the thousands. Examples include: paints and lacquers, paint strippers, cleaning supplies, pesticides, building materials and furnishings, office equipment such as copiers and printers, correction fluids and carbonless copy paper, graphics and craft materials including glues and adhesives, permanent markers, and photographic solutions.
EPA’s Total Exposure Assessment Methodology (TEAM) studies found levels of about a dozen common organic pollutants to be 2 to 5 times higher inside homes than outside, regardless of whether the homes were located in rural or highly industrial areas. Additional TEAM studies indicate that while people are using products containing organic chemicals, they can expose themselves and others to very high pollutant levels, and elevated concentrations can persist in the air long after the activity is completed.
Allow me to relate a brief experience I had to set the stage for this article:
A previous client of the business I used to work for, found me after I started Get Fresh Carpet Cleaning in Calgary. She gets her carpets cleaned once a year and since they are white, they require allot of work to get them looking good again. I explained the benefits of the safe, green and residue free cleaning that I offer. She replied that she couldn’t care less about all that, as long as the carpets are clean!
Well, after I finished, she was thrilled to see the carpets actually looked better than before when I cleaned them a year prior with harsher chemicals! She commented that she was glad her carpets were left in a safe natural state, with no residue as her grand children come over there to play. She appreciates the benefits of safe and green cleaning, but… it also needed to be clean.
Many people share her sentiments. They would like or even prefer safe and green carpet cleaning, but in the end, the carpet still has to be clean, period. Many people ask me, does green really clean? (more…)
The majority of soil in carpet is dry, insoluble, particulate matter. An analysis by Proctor and Gamble Laboratories of carpet soiling samples representing a cross-section from throughout the United States reveals the following data on soil in carpet:
- Tracked-in, gritty particles make up approximately 55%.
- Animal fiber from people, pets and fabrics comprise about 12%.
- Another 12% is vegetable matter and fiber from fabrics, indoor plants, lawn trackings and paper products.
- These combine to account for 79% of the soil nestled in carpet fibers.
This soil composition varies with geographic location and use of the facility. This dry soil is often abrasive and can harm carpet fibers if not removed. Under the weight and movement of foot traffic, these particulate soils can scratch and cut carpet fibers, dulling the appearance of the carpet. Abrasive soil is the major cause of carpet wear.
What is the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) and how does it affect you?
While the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification (IICRC) sets the professional standards for cleaning and ethics, the CRI tests and approves carpet cleaning solutions and equipment.
The following is from their website:
What is the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification (IICRC) and how does it affect you when you need carpet or upholstery cleaning?
While the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) tests and approves carpet cleaning solutions and equipment, the IICRC is concerned about standards, ethics, training and certification.
The following is from their website:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Shaw Revises Warranties to Reflect Requirements for CRI Seal of Approval Products and IICRC Certification
Dalton, GA – Following the company’s announcement in June of 2005, Shaw has revised its residential carpet warranties to require the use of the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) Seal of Approval products for carpet cleaning supplies and equipment for carpet manufactured after January 1, 2007. Effective January 1, 2008, the company will also require the use of Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification (IICRC) Certified Firms for professional cleaning services.
The CRI Seal of Approval Program was established to test and certify the performance of products and equipment used in carpet cleaning. Years of research has shown that about half of the carpet spot removal and cleaning products in the marketplace do not clean any better than water, and may also leave soil-attracting residues. The results of the use of these products have been shown to be a major source of consumer dissatisfaction with carpet. The Carpet and Rug Institute program offers consumers a quick, easy way to locate products that work well and do not damage their significant investment in carpet.