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Carpet Characteristics

This section covers many topics including manufacturing defects, appearance change, matting, crushing, color change, odor, corn rowing, ridging, ripples, buckling, roll pile crush, depressions, shedding, filtration soiling, texture change, footprints, sidematch, highlighting, shading, sprouting, tuft loss, installation-related problems, watermarking, pooling, soiling, staining, yellowing of carpet.

Appearance Change. Carpet appearance, especially in traffic areas, will change gradually after it is placed into service. Appearance can Appearance Change - All carpet gradually begins to change in appearance once it has been placed into service. Unless a specific warranty has been issued for appearance change, changes in appearance changes have nothing to do with wear warranties. Appearance can be affected by foot traffic, soiling, staining, sunlight, moisture, and other environmental influences.

Cornrowing/Ridging. Cornrowing or slight rowing across the carpet width is characterized by ridges which may be more visible in traffic areas. This condition is considered characteristic of certain carpet styles and/or constructions.

Crushing. All carpet will crush to some degree. Crushing is influenced by traffic level and carpet care. Regular vacuuming and regular cleaning can reduce the degree of crushing All carpet will crush to some degree. Crushing is influenced by traffic level and carpet care. Regular vacuuming and regular cleaning can reduce the degree of crushing that will occur.

Depressions. The weight of heavy furniture may leave indentations in your carpet. Some depressions may be permanent. Use furniture glides or cups under the legs of your furniture or regularly move your furniture forwards, backwards or sideways so that the weight is not concentrated in one area.

Dye/texture variation. All textile fabrics have some degree of variability. It is normal for carpet to have dye or textural variations from display samples from dye lot to dye lot. Generally, display samples are used for many years. Over time, color, texture, and feel may change with use, due to environmental influences and handling.

Fading/Color Change. It is normal for carpet to change color with use. Under certain conditions, color retention is affected by the presence of sunlight, humidity, heat, and oxides and other gasses in the environment. Color appearance can change in traffic areas and as a result of improper carpet care. Carpet color can also be affected by harsh cleaning agents, improper cleaning procedures, faulty maintenance equipment or techniques, or exposure to household chemicals.

Filtration Soiling. Filtration soiling may appear as dark or grayish lines on carpet along walls, under doors, around vents, or on stairs. It is caused by airflow over and through the carpet that allows fine soil particles to collect on the carpet surface. Filtration soiling often can be attributed to an improperly balanced ventilation system.

Footprints. All carpet will exhibit footprints or depressions caused by foot steps. Some textures may reveal less shading caused by footprints but all carpet will exhibit footprints to some degree.

Highlighting And Shading. Highlighting and shading are differences in light refection between surface areas and are not defects. Some carpet constructions exhibit more footprints, vacuum/sweeper marks, highlighting, or shading than others.

Installation Related Problems. Installation related problems such as delamination at the seams, kicker damage, color change due to improper heating during seaming, tufts coming up, improper stretching or failure to use a power stretcher, etc., are the responsibility of the installer or retailer/contractor.

Locally Caused Soiling Or Staining. Stain resistance does not mean that carpet won’t soil. Locally caused staining or carpet soiling is not a defect in material or workmanship. Some staining may be covered by fiber manufacturers’ warranties and claims under their warranties should be submitted to the fiber producer. Make sure you read and understand the content of these warrantees.

Matting Or Crushing. Texture change known as “matting” will occur in all carpet. Matting is usually the result of the untwisting of the yarn and intermingling of the yarn tips and is the result of foot traffic. Matting may be caused by various factors including heavy traffic, inadequate carpet care, improperly specified cushion, or cushion failure. Matting is not considered a manufacturing defect unless covered by a separate manufacturers warranty. Carefully read and understand these warrantees, manufacturers definition of matting may vary.

Odor. During and immediately following the installation of your new carpet there may be a slight odor. The odor may result from the removal of your old carpet and cushion or from the new carpet, cushion, adhesive (if used), or seaming tape. Ventilation with fresh air is recommended. Ideally, windows and doors should be opened, and the ventilation system should be operated at maximum speed for 48 - 72 hours.

Pet Damage. Pets and pet urine can cause a variety of problems with carpet. From seam separation to delamination of the backings to staining, odor, and color loss. Most carpet manufacturers consider damage caused by pets to be abuse and may void certain warranties.

Rippling And Buckling. Excessive humidity or damp weather may cause a temporary rippling in your carpet. Ripples will disappear in a drier atmosphere. If ripples continue, contact your carpet retailer to have the carpet restretched. Inadequate cushion or failure to use a power stretcher during installation also may be contributing factors to rippling and buckling.

Roll Pile Crush. Some types of carpet may show a crushing of the pile when first installed due to the weight of the carpet roll depressing the pile during warehousing or shipping. Vacuuming will assist in roll pile crush recovery.

Visible Seams. There is no such thing as an invisible seam. An experienced professional can walk into any home and identify the location of the seams within seconds. While some carpet styles hide the seams more easily than others, the seams can always be located by an experienced professional. Even the carpet industry definition of a seam, "the line formed by joining the edge of two pieces of carpet, indicates a visible "line". Many consumers feel that all seams should be invisible but this is often unrealistic. many times a seam is more visible immediately following installation due to the stretch which is placed on the carpet. This stretch allows the carpet backing to line up with the seam tape causing the seams to peak. This peaking will subside as the carpet relaxes.

The question that must be addressed is whether the seam was installed properly. Several points should be examined. Was a straight edge used or does the seam form a straight line? Is there any overlap between the two edges? Are the two edges butted adequately? Are there random tufts lodged between the butted edges?

Shedding. Shedding is a normal characteristic of staple fibers and should decrease with vacuuming over a period of time.

Slight Dye Or Textural Variations. It is normal for carpet to have dye or textural variations from original display samples or from dye lot to dye lot. Such variations are not a basis for a claim.

Slight Sidematch. Claims will not be considered for sidematch of the same dye lot if the variation is rated 4-5 or better based on the AATCC Gray Scale Rating. (The AATCC Gray Scale Rating is a nationally recognized comparison system to determine the extent of color differences.) Where correction is required, manufacturer may employ on site color adjustment procedures.

Sprouting Or Tuft Loss. Occasional sprouting or tuft loss is a normal condition carpet and is not the basis for a claim. The manufacturer reserves the right to replace missing tufts.

Watermarking Or Pooling. Watermarking or pooling is a color change effect which arises from the reversal or bending of the carpet pile fibers so that light is either absorbed or reflected from the pile. This is a common condition and is not related to carpet construction or fiber type and is not the basis for a claim.

Yellowing (Carpet). Carpet yellowing can be caused by a variety of outside influences, such as pollutants from heating fuels, changes in alkalinity, cleaning solutions, and atmospheric or environmental contaminants. For assistance in solving yellowing situations contact a carpet cleaning professional.

Yellowing (Resilient). Yellowing of resilient flooring can be identified under a variety of situations with a variety of overlays. Currently there is no known cause for this condition. Since yellowing of resilient can be generated under a variety of situations, claims will not be considered by carpet manufacturers.

Did you know?

Some normal carpet characteristics may be appear to be carpet defects to some consumers. Knowing the difference between normal carpet characteristics and carpet defects could eliminate misunderstandings related to your carpet installation.

THIS ARTICLE IS PROVIDED 'AS IS' WITH NO WARRANTY OF ANY KIND. THE AUTHOR, THE SITE OWNER AND ITS AFFILIATES ASSUME NO LIABILITY FOR ERRORS OR OMISSIONS CONTAINED THEREIN OR FOR ANY USE OF THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS DOCUMENT. The article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional advice.