Carpet Cleaning Schedule

 

Did You Know…  You must have your carpets professionally cleaned on a regular basis or you will void your carpet warranty?

 

To promote Consumer Carpet Cleaning Awareness I’ve just finished a brand new article that answers the common homeowner question…

Should I Buy New Carpet or Have My Old Carpets Cleaned?

 

Alan Fletcher – Author and Consumer Advocate

 

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Carpet Condition Test – Clean or Replace your Carpet?

Should I replace my carpet or have it cleaned?

©2011 Alan J. Fletcher – Author of “The Complete Carpet Buying Guide”

Some carpets are designed to last for 3 years and some for 30, but sooner or later your carpet will have outlived its usefulness and will need to be replaced. Here is a quick test to help you determine if your old carpet is still worthy of another professional cleaning or if it’s time to start thinking about buying new carpet.

Is your carpet matted down?

One of the first signs of carpet death is when the pile starts to mat down in the main walkways. If your carpet is made of PET Polyester or Polyester and is matting down then it’s likely that your carpet is on its way out. Polyester fibers are well known for matting down and crushing because they are not very resilient. Once the tuft falls over and lays down it won’t ever return to its original upright position. In this situation having your carpet professionally cleaned will likely not give your carpet any renewed life.

However, if your carpet is made from Nylon or Sorona® then you may be able to remedy the matting problem with a professional cleaning.  Nylon is well known as the most resilient fiber and has the ability to regain its like-new appearance after being professionally cleaned. Sorona®, also known as Smartstrand®, PTT or Triexta is more resilient than polyester and can regain some of its like-new appearance after a thorough cleaning.

Have Berber Carpets?

If you have a looped Berber carpet made from Olefin and the once upright loops are now laying down flat as a pancake then it’s likely that your old carpet has seen better days. While Olefin is a very durable fiber, it is not very resilient and therefore prone to matting. Olefin is cheap to manufacture and is inherently oily by nature so it tends to attract dirt and is hard to keep clean. Many homeowners report that oily spots or stains reappear soon after being cleaned. If your Berber carpet is made from Olefin and is more than three years old, is matted down and looking dingy, then spending money on a professional cleaning may not yield beneficial results. It may be time to consider replacing your carpet.

Berber styles made from Nylon are much more desirable because they resist matting, are stain resistant and have a much longer lifespan. The only downside is the cost because Nylon is much more expensive to manufacture than Olefin. Expect to pay $20 to $40 per yard for a good quality nylon Berber carpet. If your Berber carpet is less than 10 years old and is made from Nylon, a professional cleaning can easily rejuvenate your old carpet and provide you with many more years of service.

Is your carpet permanently stained?

No carpet is stain proof and even the most expensive carpets can be ruined by staining. All carpets sold today have some form of anti-stain treatment either applied or infused. All topically applied anti-stain treatments can wash off or wear off over time.  Scotchgard® is a well known anti-stain treatment product that is topically applied and can be reapplied as necessary. Most carpet cleaning companies provide this service for a nominal fee. Stainmaster® carpets have an anti-stain system that is infused into the fiber and does not wash or wear off.

Professional carpet cleaners can remove most household stains but in some cases there is little hope. Carpet manufacturers have a list of certain types of stains that are not covered under their warranty including mustard, teas, bleaches, acne medications, plant fertilizers, drain cleaners, and plant food – to name a few.

If your carpet has permanent stains or damage caused from vomit, urine, feces, mold, mildew or other biological substances then your carpet may be a health hazard and should be replaced. Consult with your professional carpet cleaner if you need an expert opinion or advice.

Is your carpet more than 10 years old?

Most carpet and padding sold today is designed to last about 10 years. This is considered to be a medium grade or quality level that most homeowners select. Prices range from $20 to $35 per square yard installed with a rebond pad.  If your existing carpet is more than 10 years old and you have issues like ripples or wrinkles, color loss or fading, matting or crushing of the pile or a lack of padding support in halls, main walkways and on stairs, then your carpet and padding may be nearing the end of its intended lifespan.  Lower quality carpet may reveal these end-of-life warning signs much sooner and spending hundreds having your carpet professionally cleaned won’t make a worn out carpet or padding come back to life.

Is your padding worn out?

When you buy carpet it is very important that you buy the correct padding to go under it. Padding is considered the heartbeat of your carpet and once it fails to provide enough support; your carpet will start to wear out much faster. So when you are ready to buy new carpet, be sure to choose a good quality padding that is able to provide sufficient support and has a lifespan equal to the carpet you select.

If you find that your existing padding is worn out but your old carpet still looks like new, you might be able to just replace the old padding to give your old carpet several more years of added life. This is not a common thing to do and you should consult with your professional carpet cleaner to see if this might be a viable option for you.

Are You Getting Ready to Buy New Carpet?

When it’s finally time for you to start looking for the perfect new carpet, there are many important factors that you must consider to determine what grade of carpet can meet your needs, goals, lifestyle and budget. You should learn how a carpet is constructed including fiber type, face-weight, pile density and tuft twist to name a few. Choosing the wrong grade of carpet or padding can void the manufacturer’s warranty and be a very costly mistake.

The price of new carpet has increased dramatically over the past decade and there are plenty of common carpet scams and pitfalls you need to learn how to avoid. Visit my website for more free carpet buying information and check out my Preferred Carpet Dealer Directory to see which carpet dealers I recommend near you. Get a free coupon for up to $100 off and learn how to buy new carpet like a pro! In my Carpet Buying Guide, I reveal over 100 years of combined family carpet buying knowledge and experience to help you choose new carpet wisely, avoid common carpet scams and how to negotiate your absolute best carpet deal.

Available for instant download at AbcCarpets.com or ask for a free complimentary copy from your professional carpet cleaner.

Ask your Professional Carpet Cleaner for a free complimentary copy of my Complete Carpet Buying Guide now available on CD to read or print right from your home computer! It’s jam-packed with money-saving information and honest carpet buying advice not available anywhere else at any price! Visit my website at http://www.AbcCarpets.com to learn more!

Alan J. Fletcher – Carpet Expert and Consumer Advocate

Carpet Condition Test – Should You Clean or Replace your Carpet?

How To Choose Carpet Like A Pro

Looking to buy new carpet? Regardless of what you might read online or hear from retail carpet salespeople, choosing the right carpet is not an easy task. The average homeowner doesn’t know very much about carpet and especially what makes one carpet better than another.

In order for a carpet salesperson to be able to help a homeowner effectively choose the right grade of carpet, a lot of very specific questions need to be asked and answered and then if the salesperson is qualified, can they accurately recommend a suitable carpet to the consumer. 

Unfortunately, darn few carpet salespeople have sufficient product knowledge to be qualified to advise homeowners. Those who I find are qualified are usually related to a well established family-owned floor covering business.

It always amazes me when I look through the help wanted ads and see “no experience necssary” for a carpet sales position. Corporately owned carpet retailers often use Monster.com to attract and hire salespeople. It’s obvious that the employer is more concerned about finding candidates with high sales closing rates than product knowledge or industry experience. 

What does that mean for you the consumer? Your needs and goals are not their main concern, they just want to get the sale no matter what they have to say or do to get it. Here’s the requirements from a  recent help wanted I found for a nationally owned carpet chain:

Education and Experience Requirements for Flooring Sales:

  • High school diploma
  • 1-2 years retail sales experience and/or customer service experience
  • Requires evenings and partial weekends
  • Professional, neat, clean-cut appearance
  • Product knowledge preferred

Product knowledge is preferred, but not necessary? Is this the salesperson you want advising you? It sounds like they would be willing to hire just about anyone. The reason is, there are not very many qualified carpet and flooring salespeople out there!

You might want to bypass the need for a carpet salesperson’s advice, but  you will need to do your own carpet research. Then you can use your own knowledge  to choose the right carpet that will meet your needs and goals and still be within your budget. I can help you accomplish that.

Start by taking my free Carpet Foot Traffic Test to see what grade of carpet will work best in your home.  http://www.homecarpetshopping.com/carpet_foot_traffic_test.htm 

When you’re done taking my foot traffic test,  continue on to my website and read my free articles to learn all about how to buy carpet wisely and avoid getting ripped off. Feel free to email me if you have any carpet questions and be sure to check out my Preferred Carpet Dealers at AbcCarpets.com

Alan Fletcher

Carpet Expert and Consumer Advocate

Website: AbcCarpets.com

email: Alan@abccarpets.com

$199, $99, $39, $37 and now FREE Carpet Installation?

I don’t like to mention names of business that I have a negative opinion of or complaint about, but Homeowners out shopping for light bulbs, potting soil or hand tools might also notice a sign or banner advertising free carpet installation. It used to be $199 and then it dropped to $99. Now it’s free. Why do you suppose that is? Big box stores want to entice you to buy carpet from them and it would seem that they are willing to give you a fantastic deal on installation to do so. But is it really a good deal for the consumer?

The problem is, there are several very good reasons why they are giving away carpet installation. One reason is because they have so many complaints posted on the internet from unsatisfied homeowners claiming poor carpet installations. I did a simple search for carpet complaints on the internet and it revealed plenty of horror stories from angry homeowners. Check it out for yourself.

Let me ask you… If you get free installation for a whole house full of carpet and the installer does a lousy job, what recourse do you have? Maybe they will try to fix it. Maybe they will say it’s a carpet defect. Maybe they will refund your money…  You didn’t pay anything for installation? What is their financial liability in the event they cannot satisfy you?  

Big box retailers used to hire their own carpet installers, but they had a real hard time finding qualified installaers. They decided contract out all carpet installations to independent flooring installation companies. This limits their liability since they now have nothing to do with the installers directly. If something goes wrong, they refer you back to the installation company.

What is free installation worth? Do you want to spend thousands on new carpet and then pay nothing for the most important aspect of the job? It doesn’t make much sense to me and I have been in the carpet business over 30 years. Any carpet you buy must be installed properly or it will wear out prematurely.

It was free, what did you expect for nothing?

Let me ask you… Would you let an independent auto mechanic repair your engine or transmission for just the cost of the parts? How far do you think you could drive before you might break down? Would you feel comfortable taking a long trip in your car if you didn’t have to pay the cost of repairs? And what happens when you do break down?  There is no free lunch, in the carpet business you get what you pay for. Don’t fall for sneaky sales tactics.

You see, if you buy carpet from a home improvement warehouse and you have a problem with your carpet, you have to contact the carpet manufacturer to seek a remedy. If you have a complaint about the carpet installation, you have to contact the installation company to have it fixed. Just because you paid your money to the big box retailer doesn’t mean they will be there to help you when you have a complaint. They may just tell you to contact the carpet maker or the installation company to seek a remedy. They will say that they did not manufacture nor install the carpet and you need to go through the appropriate channels if you have a complaint.

What a sweet deal for those big box retailers! Just collect all the money upfront and never have to worry about complaints. They even use an independent company to do all their in-home measuring, and they charge you a fee for that.

Let me also inform you that their basic carpet installation is defined in a very narrow way and if your home requires anything beyond their definition of “basic” then you will be required to pay quite a bit extra for those services. I hear the prices they charge for anything beyond the basic installation are incredibly high and could easily run into the hundreds.

Thanks for reading. Visit my website for more of my carpet opinions and advice:

http://www.abccarpets.com

Alan