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PROBLEM REPORTED: Appearance

INSTRUCTIONS GIVEN: Assess the problem reported and make a determination of the responsible parties.

DIAGRAM:        No

SAMPLES:        Carpet

 

THE CARPET

 

MANUFACTURER:         Unknown

NUMBER on BACKING: Not Applicable     

ROLL & INVOICE NUMBERS:    Not Given     

STYLE NAME & NUMBER:         Unknown 171001B

COLOR NAME & NUMBER:        Unknown 102

FIBER: Olefin

ID METHOD:     Burn

FIBER COLOR: Off White

CONSTRUCTION:          Conventional Tuft

YARN STYLE:   Berber

SQUARE YARDAGE:     112

PRIMARY BACKING:     Polypropylene

SECONDARY BACKING:           Polypropylene

 

INSTALLATION STATISTICS

 

USE & MAINTENANCE STATISTICS AT THE TIME OF THE INSPECTION

 

LITERATURE RECEIVED WITH PURCHASE: No

ADULTS: 2 - CHILDREN: 0 - PETS: 0

DO THEY SMOKE?        

SPOTTING AGENTS:     None

TEMPERATURE: 72F - 22.2 C RH 40%

VACUUM TYPE:            Hoover Upright

VACUUM FREQUENCY:            Weekly & More

ENTRY-MATS:  Yes

SOIL:    Moderately Soiled

HEATING TYPE:            Forced Air Gas

COOLING TYPE:           Central - Electric

CLEANING:       Never Been Cleaned

 

GEOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

This dwelling is in the San Gabriel Valley. 

SITE CONDITIONS

The dwelling is an owner-occupied mobile-home located in a ‘5-Star’ mobile-home park. The streets were made of asphalt; there was a stone walkway to the house, and a carpeted porch with an outside walkoff mat plus a braided rug inside the entry.

 

BACKGROUND INFORMATION MADE TO THE INSPECTOR

The carpet was purchased as part of the buying and moving in process of this home. A problem with rapid soiling was noticed within the first three weeks after the carpet was installed. Evidence of this would show up as black marks on the bottoms of shoes, socks, and bare-feet in a short amount of time, reference the claimant’s own pictures. Occasionally, black marks would transfer from shoes to the vinyl floor in the kitchen.

In addition to the soiling, problem on pulled yarns began to develop. All of these pulled yarns were in the seams.

The commissioner/claimant of this report took his Hover vacuum cleaner to the factory repair center for an inspection and nothing was found wrong with this unit. However, a stronger vacuum cleaner was recommended for Berber style carpet.

The dealer’ general manager reports that the carpet is part of a close-out sale and that their supplier has not furnished them with the manufacturer’s name. He has seen the carpet and does not know why it has a problem with rapid soiling problem.

 

DESCRIPTION OF PROBLEM AREA BY THIS INSPECTOR

In the areas most frequently traveled, the carpet appeared to be darker. The hand of the carpet was tacky even in areas in did not appear to be soiled. A dark scuff mark was noted on the vinyl floor where it made transition from the carpet. The carpet on the porch and the braided rug inside the entry did not appear to be soiled.

There were pulled yarns in the seams. Close investigation with dental tools revealed no evidence of seaming adhesive. 

ON-LOCATION FIELD TESTING

An inspection lamp was used for closer evaluation and to create shadows. This high intensity lamp is equipped with a 500-watt halogen bulb and the soiled areas were foreign to the construction of carpet.

An ultra-violet light was used to draw a reflections from substances with fluorescent dyes. Yellow reflections will come from most urine stains while blue or lavender reflections will come from inappropriate detergents. The results of this test revealed that there were no reflections. Seaming adhesives generally have some reflection as well; however, no reflection it was found either.

Numerous moisture tests were performed using a Delmhorst Moisture Sensor that would indicate the presence of moisture locked-up in the same compounds mentioned above, but these tests revealed that there were no moisture readings either.

A test using Scotchgard Carpet Protector Test Kit was used to determine if fluorochemical soil protectant was present. The results of this test revealed that the oil beaded on the yarn in both the dark and the non-affected areas.

AATCC 20A EXTRACTABLE MATERIAL testing was done at Independent Testing Laboratories in Dalton Georgia and the Total non-fibrous extractable material was 1.74 percent. 

THE ISSUE

The issues of this report are to determine the cause of the claimant’s rapid soiling and if there is a responsible party.

GUIDELINES FOR EVALUATING THE ISSUE

CRI is The Carpet and Rug Institute of Dalton, Georgia. It is a national trade association representing the carpet and rug industry. Their publications include standards for residential and commercial installations, areas of responsibility for manufacturers, dealers, and installers, and a manual for making claims with a carpet producer. The accepted standards for this installation would be the CRI105-1995 and the manufacturer’s installation specifications.

Guidelines for extractable materials can be found in the CLEANING RESEARCH INTERNATIONAL book called DIAGNOSTIC TECHNIQUES FOR THE INVESTIGATION OF CARPET COMPLAINTS.

The guidelines of cleaning carpet are the: S001-1997 CARPET CLEANING STANDARD by the INSTITUTE of INSPECTION CLEANING & RESTORATION CERTIFICATION and the manufacturer’s recommendations. The S001 CARPET CLEANING STANDARD is available upon request.

 

INDUSTRY STANDARDS & DEFINITIONS

Concerning areas of responsibility for carpet dealers, the CRI AREAS OF RESPONSIBLY says this:

DEALER

1. Disseminate complete product information to end users and installers as provided by manufacturers and distributors. Information should allow for proper selection and the appropriate use of carpet sold to include:

*(A) traffic classification information

(B) specific uncoded style information or specifications

(C) uncoded dye lot sizes and roll sequence information

*(D) complete carpet cushion specifications required for use with each traffic classification as specified in CRI 104 Standards for Installation of Textile Floorcovering Material

(E) complete mill pattern tolerance information and pattern match policy

(F) backing material or the destiny of any attached cushion used and pole direction of the carpet

(G) complete information regarding mill applied soil, static or antimicrobial treatments

(H) complete warranty information

(I) carpet use and maintenance information to include information on certain household products that can cause permanent carpet damage which is not the responsibility of the manufacturer:

Concerning stretch in installations, the CRI105-1995 says this:

9.8 Edge Securing - Once the edges are trimmed, seam adhesive must be applied to both trimmed edges. Allow the seam adhesive to dry thoroughly before seaming. Improperly sealed edges can lead to seam delamination or loss of face yarns, with unsightly results.

According to the FLOOR COVERING DICTIONARY on it says this about spin finish:

SPIN FINISH - A detergent that serves as a lubricant, which is placed on yarns to facilitate passage through various phases of the carpet manufacturing process. If not completely removed during scouring, spin finish may contribute to rapid resoiling of the carpet overall, or oil lines. See LUBRICANT.

According to the FEDERAL SUPPLY SERVICE, GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION, they say this concerning foreign materials in the face yarn:

SPECIFICATION DDD-C-0095A(GSA-FSS) March 15, 1972

3.2.1.7 Filament polypropylene olefin. Filament polypropylene olefin shall be continuous filament high bulk or textured carpet type yarn. Individual filament size shall be a minimum of 15 denier. The finished yarn shall contain not more than 2.0 percent cold isopropanol soluble material when tested as specified in 4.2.1.

According to CLEANING RESEARCH INTERNATIONAL, in their book called DIAGNOSTIC TECHNIQUES FOR THE INVESTIGATION OF CARPET COMPLAINTS, it says this:

The higher the level of residual solvent soluble material, the greater is the risk of rapid resoling, especially if the pile yarn is a pastel shade. The international Wool Secretariat (Wool Bureau) recommend a maximum for solvent soluble material of 1.0% for pale shades, typical commercially acceptable tolerances are 1.5% (maximum). Above these values there is likelihood that rapid soiling will occur.

According to the S001 Carpet Cleaning Standard, Table D1 addresses how often carpet should be cleaned.

Consumers must not wait until carpet looks soiled before cleaning. Significant soil accumulation at the base of the carpet fibers occurs long before it is visible at the fiber tips. Experts agree that clean carpet contributes not only to the overall aesthetics of a structure, but it plays a significant role in the healthful state of the overall environment in which people work, live, and spend the majority of their time.

The following chart (Table D1) is intended to serve as a guideline for recommended cleaning frequencies for carpet from a public health perspective. It recognizes various environments considering normal activities, highly contaminated outside environments, cold weather conditions, and high-humidity environments subjected to biological contamination.

CLEANING FREQUENCY GUIDELINE

Environment:                 Normal  Contaminated    Extremely          High

                        Outside,                        Cold Weather    Humidity

                                                           

                        Dusty                Climates            Biogenic

Day Care Center                       2 wk     1 wk     2 wk     1 wk

Nursing Home               1 mo     1 mo     1 mo     1 wk

Residence                                                        

(2 persons, nonsmoking)                        6-12 mo            2 mo     4-6 mo  4-6 mo

(2 persons with smoking)                        4 mo     2 mo     3 mo     4 mo

(young children)                        6 mo     1 mo     3 mo     3 mo

(young children with pets)                      3-6 mo  1 mo     2 mo     2 mo

Office Building                                                  

(ground floor)                3-6 mo  1-4 mo  2-6 mo  2-6 mo

(higher floors)               6-12 mo            2-6 mo  3-9 mo  3-9 mo

Food Service                 1 mo     1 wk     2 wk     2 wk

Establishment                                                   

Commercial                                                      

(retail shop, bank)                      3-6 mo  1 mo     2 mo     2 mo

(From - U.S. EPA Letter, January 1989)

                                                           

Table D1

 

THE INSPECTOR'S ANALYSIS

Based upon the S001 Carpet Cleaning Standards and this inspector’s opinion, this carpet did soil rapidly. The standards state that carpet is to be cleaned before soil shows. Table D1 indicates that between six months to one year would be a suitable time for this carpet to be clean. Given that soil showed in three weeks, would indicate that there is a problem.

Since Olefin has the lowest melting temperature of all synthetic yarns; coolants are commonly used in its production. If this lubricant is not removed to a sufficient level, rapid soiling can occur as noted in the FLOOR COVERING DICTIONARY definition above. The soiled soaks, bare-feet and shoes plus the black marks that transfer to the vinyl floor supportive evidence of this kind problem. Evidence that typical soiling from environmental elements such as the asphalt street is not a strong factor given that the porch carpet and entry carpets were not soiled. Further support of this not being form environmental factors is that areas that did not appear to be soiled felt tacky.

The AATCC 20A test is a soxhlet type test well suited for making an evaluation of the amount of spin finish. The test indicates that a level of oil is high enough to cause soiling at a rate uncommon to most carpets in the industries. However, the results of AATCC20A fall in between the GSA standard of 2 percent and the WOOL BUREAU standard of no more than 1.5 percent. It is this inspector’s opinion, that whether this is a defect worthy of replacing the carpet would depend upon whether the problem can be fixed.

A possible remedy for this type problem would be to do a salvage restoration type cleaning using the hot-water-extraction method and special detergents. One of these special detergents is OLEFIN CLEANER by the PROCHEM Company of Arizona. If done, the cleaner should IICRC certified in CCT, CERTIFY CARPET CLEANING TECHNICIAN. After the cleaning, a test with baby or mineral oil should be done to assure that the fluorochemical soil protectant is still working. This test should be done in similar fashion in similar fashion was the field test using Scotchgard Carpet Protector Test Kit.

However, cleaning is not always successful and given the amount of extractable matter, this procedure may or may not resolve the problem. However, if the restoration is successful, then carpet should not repeat the problems with black marks on the bottoms of shoes, socks, and bare-feet. In addition, the carpet should not feel sticky and the carpet should be not need professional cleaning for at least six months. If deemed necessary, AATCC20A could be run again with results below 0.8 percent and/or preferably below 0.5 percent. In most case, the responsibility goes back to the manufacture, but the manufacture is not known in this case. CRI standards address this problem too, by saying that the dealer does have the responsibility to pass this information along.

The pulled yarns in the seam were not the issue of this report, but are worthy of mention. The most common cause of pulled yarns in the seam is improper and/or no application of seaming adhesive. Seaming adhesive welds the primary and secondary backing of tufted carpets and thus anchoring of yarns close to the carpet’s edge. Without it and/or improper application lead to the type seam problem found here. It can be fixed with trimming, restretching, and sealing the seam in accordance to the CRI105 guidelines. Failure to do anything will lead to fraying of the edge.

CONCLUSION

Based upon background information, observations, and field and laboratory testing done, it is the inspector’s professional opinion that rapid soiling is due to excessive amount of oily substance inherent in the manufacturing process. Based upon background information from the commissioner/claimant of the manufacturing not being known, the responsibility would fall to the dealer.