Carpet cleaning is a basic simple thing for most carpet cleaners in San Diego. For us we make it more technical. We are rotary extraction carpet cleaning and carpet repair for San Diego and for this reason we know when to use a rotary and when not to.
Carpet backing varies from poor quality to great quality. It all depends on what you bought. The above backing is your typical inferior carpet that is sold off the roll at Lowes pr Home Depot. The special order product is higher quality or the type you buy from a carpet retailer.
Today’s backing is a few layers of poly mesh coated with 80% clay and 20% latex. It used to be 80% latex and 20% clay. This makes carpet backing very susceptible to moisture damage and delamination.
The carpet is held together by the backings. When the carpet is separated from the backing it is delaminated. Remember that 80% of clay? What happens if the carpet backing gets wet from carpet cleaners that have no clue of the level of quality carpet backing and get it wet? The clay gets wet and you can figure out what happens. We’ve run in to too much carpet delamination in a center of a room rather than the transition edges and seams.
The 1st thing we do is inspect a carpet before we clean it. Many times a carpet will appear to be loose with wrinkles but the entire carpet has a strange bubbly look to it like the below picture where a lady cleaned her wool with a Bissel.
The carpet is not loose but delaminated severely. This makes the carpet thin and susceptible to tearing.
We get too much loose carpet very simply due to improper installs which classify a carpet as “Damaged Goods” by the book for a very good reason. If your carpet was not power stretched at install but rather just laid in and bumped with a knee kicked then it was never technically “installed”. It is “required” to be removed and replaced even if it’s the 2nd dat after the install and I find it.
Walking on loose carpet even if you cant see it because it’s thick plush will still break down and delaminate. If it’s not right as a drum and has slack for movement as you walk on it will break down and pulverize the clay and latex. This is why it is considered damaged goods which voids your 25 year warranty.
Moisture Control Carpet Cleaning
The very most important thing a carpet cleaner must use is moisture control. It seems to be the furthest thing from most cleaners mind. You have to know the carpet ounce weight, the fiber type and the backing type. Certain carpets have zero absorption and clueless carpet cleaner can over wet it just with the pre-treatment that gets applied to the carpet. Then on top of that a very quick blast clean and not enough vacuum because it’s a “hurry up” operation.
Rotary Extractors or Floor Buffers
These are the absolute worst for carpet that was not power stretched in. The weight and pushing loose carpet around breaks down that backing. This is why we inspect first before we use any tool.
We get many requests from customers who want rotary extraction or a rotary pre-scrub like their last guy used. I tell flat out that we will only use what we can and what is appropriate for their situation. We usually do not provide service to a customer that dictates what we use simply since all liability is on us and we are the experts.
Rotary extractors lay down too much moisture and do not extract enough, they don’t get into corner, under beds, certain furniture or get up to the baseboards. It makes the operator lazy as far as controlling moisture and complete extraction. We use them when we must but with multi high speed Fast Dry fans.
The carpet wand which in olden days was termed a scrub wand and still used by uneducated carpet cleaners. They are designed with small water jets aimed directly 180 degrees at the carpet. The blast is aggressive and blasts all the contamination to the backing. This requires the operator to understand that but most don’t and just give it that quick blast swipe and it looks good- mission accomplished. Wrong! The soil and pre-treat are at the backing and in it. This is why many complain that the carpet was dirty again after it dried – it all wicked back to the surface.
The wands we used have all been modified for extreme high water flow at a 120 degree angle toward our extraction ports and the jet holes are large flood jets that are not aggressive. The flush and rinse technique flush away soil and contaminates and extract it right away. This cleans right to the bottom of the fibers and not into the backing.
We would love to use our rotary extractors all day since they were really designed for less labor for the carpet cleaner but the modified high flow wand can not be beat for deep, gentle carpet cleaning.
Mold, Water Damage or Fiber Damage
We are always under the carpet be it for inspections or repairs. I’ve seen my fair share of damages. A few carpet fiber types have a low friction rate, I have repaired several melt spots from just a customer vacuum. Rotary extractors usually have extraction ports, we have modified ours with teflon for easy glide and no friction damage.
Perhaps the biggest problem is mold associated with soaked carpets. Seam tape holds your seems together and it consists of glue, synthetic mesh and paper. The paper is organic and can or will mold if chronically left wet or carpet backing infiltration with moisture.
Once the organic mold starts it spreads into the synthetic backing.
Another organic product in your synthetic carpet system is the tackless strips along the edges that are wood.
Then there are the baseboards that are fixed to the wall and have contact with the carpet:
The cheap fiber baseboards swell up while making contact with overly wet carpets. So there are many reasons to choose the right tool for each different job.
We encourage our customers on those trashed jobs that will require more moisture to go with our optional Fast Dry service. When we have to break out one of the rotary extractors we include the Fast Dry services but this is Salvage Clean @ 70 cents per sq ft. This service requires not leaving until carpet are dry and no potential issues can arise.
High Flow Flush and Rinse Carpet Cleaners
There are a few of us here, if I can’t schedule you I will refer you to one. It’s always best to go with a cleaner that knows all things carpet rather than a Splash & Dash carpet cleaner that doesn’t care. Yes it’s our liability but more important your well being when it comes to the issues of soaked and damaged carpets.