You do not have to have a bad experience with your carpet if you know this secret!
Is your vacuum damaging your carpet?
Equipment choice is more important than you might think.
It may be a scary thought, but the vacuum you use to clean carpet in your homes and in office buildings may be destroying your valuable carpets.
This means taking special care of your carpet investment, especially considering the advancement of carpet manufacturing and “soft” fibers, proper care is increasingly important.
With new innovations in vacuums over the years, many do not work well with the delicate fibers on the market today.
Going back in history...the first vacuums with beater bars were by the Hoover Company marketed, “It beats as it sweeps as it cleans.”
Through time vacuums were being designed better, easier to maneuver, especially for wall-to-wall carpeting that became popular in the 1960s.
With health considerations coming on stronger...The introduction of HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Arrester) filters came into the mix and roller brushes were in time improved, making them more efficient at removing dust and allergens from the indoor environment.
High efficiency filters are different than HEPA in that claims for efficiency are usually 2.9 % lower. These vacuums are very suitable as the rating is usually 97% efficiency, 99-99.9% for true HEPA vacuum units.
Wall-to-wall carpeting manufacture started out being made of acrylic yarns. Thus having the appearance of wool. The advantage was cost and these fibers dyed easily, however did not have sufficient resiliency to recover their appearance or desired texture, allowing for ugglying out too soon, something even good maintenance couldn't reverse. Thus the need for better fiber.
This was soon to be remedied with nylon fibers and were in time replaced by nylon.
Nylon became the most common synthetic fiber and is still popular as a top quality fiber choice today.
Cost factors again being in play...moved manufacturers to develop other synthetic fiber types introducing fibers such as polyester and triexta. Lower in cost these fibers eventually began to replace nylon as the leading fiber in the residential market.
Thus consumer demand for soft-feel carpet has caused manufacturers to produce fine hair like denier fibers and bulked yarns to produce a very soft carpet. The most common soft-style carpet brands are styles like Shaw Caress (nylon) and Mohawk SmartStrand Ultra (triexta). These may be more advanced as of the writing of this article...however are still around.
Vacuums that are advertised as “no suction lost” or “extreme clean" are appealing to buyers, however don’t always work with the new carpet that is sold today. The roller brush must be the right one and air flow must be right. It's easier than you may think...read on.
These new, soft-style carpets have so many face fibers for texture retention that there is not as much air movement through the backing. Thus the reason why a vacuum that has “no suction lost” will seal (refers to the vacuum lift*) the vacuum power brush to the face of the carpet, making it very difficult to push or pull, thus hard on the operator and carpet.
Air flow will be voided and thus a lot of work pushing a wand or powerbrush will very well be virtually for naught.
A proper set up is to have the use of an airflow valve on the wand or handle nozzle that can be opened to relieve this vacuum pressure, thus increasing airflow over lift*.
Watch out for Extreme features...
Many new vacuums have a very aggressive roller brush, sometimes advertised as “extreme clean,” and will hurt your carpet in very little time. Think about the soft-style carpet fibers as your hair. Aggressive (stiffer) power driven roller brushes are like running a wire brush rotating at high revolution rates Through your hair...ouch!!!- that give the appearance of "extreme clean", however these vacuums will cause severe texture loss literally combing the twist and heat-set out of the yarn, and as you will find out, voids the manufacturer warranty on the carpet.
The speed and harshness of the rollerbrush will create extreme heat quickly and can burn...yes burn and melt your carpet fibers.
Safer, better choices are offered by dealers who know the difference. Your dealer will be able to show you the right power brush, High Efficiency or HEPA considerations for your peace of mind.
Although many dealers or (Box Stores) will also carry the less than desirable choices, they should be able to show and educate you on the why, what and how's you need to know, especially if you have a soft face fiber carpet. (Box Stores not so much.)
Going to purchase new carpet because you know you love it for all its inherent great qualities, then it would be wise to also purchase the right vacuum system for best care results.
Remember...it is ultimately your responsibility as the consumer to research with due diligence which vacuum is right for your carpet choice. This applies also to the choice of carpet for your personal use. (Retailer competence is important here, as they should in some way know they are also advisors...thus should be aware of the need to guide you as the consumer toward the right fit for your living style.)
The Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) created a Seal of Approval program to help guide buyers to vacuums that will work with these new carpet types. To earn the CRI Seal of Approval certification, vacuums must pass the following independent laboratory tests;
Soil removal: The CRI approves only vacuums with soil removal of either 30 ounces per square yard of cut pile or loop pile, using x-ray fluorescence technology advanced by NASA, rather than traditional gravimetrix testing.
Dust containment: The CRI approves vacuums that offer the pinnacle of dust confinement, preventing the escape of dust back into the air. Only those that release less than 100 micrograms of dust per cubic meter of air are approvable.
Surface appearance change: For CRI approval, a vacuum must not cause more than a one-step change over a year of normal use ( for the texture of commercial cut pile carpet, 900 passes.)
The bottom line (a big part of the secret) for those offering carpet services...
While loyal carpet care customers can seem to offer job security, only proper care and maintenance of their carpet can ensure they see a lifetime of performance out of it... and your company continues to get plenty of service calls.
Be the service that Helps make sure your customers get the most out of their carpet investment. There’s no guarantee your clients will be choosing carpet over hard floors when the time comes to replace their flooring.
That being said...we as retailers and services for carpet maintenance need to make having carpet for a healthy indoor living experience a great one for homeowners.
Why would we want to resort to less than ethical practices for a buck and then end up with no customers for carpet or its maintenance needs.
All floors need proper maintenance...why not help keep homes quiet, comfortable and healthy by giving our customers the best we have to offer based on proper industry standards. Yes...this includes our clients being educated as well.
There is a list of approved vacuums at: www.carpet-rug.org/vacuums.html.
This does not mean that other systems don't measure up. A competent vacuum retailer will steer you right. It is in their best interest to do so even if it means losing the sale.
If a customer does not want to listen and buy the proper tools for maintenance of their carpet choice it's not on the retailer.
It is possible that the customer may also have the wrong carpet for their personal use for all the same reasons.
As we have read earlier...it is on them not us, if we do our due diligence.
There are always the customers who become our life-long clients who do listen and do benefit from good choices.
So...let's keep carpet comfort and the healthy living carpet can provide alive...we know now "The Beautiful Carpet Secret."