Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Why Save Carpet Scraps From Your Installation?

originally uploaded by Roger Stephens.
In my last post, In The Garden, Around The House: Endless Uses for Carpet Scraps, I mentioned that the Carpet and Rug Institute recommends that you retain a piece of newly installed carpet for future use....

I found the statement somewhat cryptic so I decided to ask Annette Smith, our Wear-Dated expert on all things carpet and warranty related, "why save carpet scraps from your installation?"

She listed two reasons.

1. For repairs.

2. For warranties.

Most carpet warranties - including the Wear-Dated carpet fiber warranties - require that you send in a piece of your carpet if you have a claim related issue. More specifically:

+ For any static electricity claims: according to the Wear-Dated Lifetime Anti-Static warranty [see general conditions], you must supply a 2' x 3' remnant.

Why? The warranty states that carpet made with Wear-Dated carpet fiber is manufactured in a way that resists the build-up of static electricity. In other words, the carpet will not generate static electricity greater than 5.0 kilo volts. The only way to determine if it was manufactured to those standards is to send the 2 x 3 foot piece to the lab and test it.

+ For stain complaints: depending on the nature of the complaint, we test to make sure that the carpet was manufactured with adequate stain protection and fluorocarbon. For that determination, we generally need a 1' x 1' to send to the lab for testing.

+ For manufacturing claims: carpet manufacturers usually require carpet samples to confirm if the carpet was manufactured to standard. For example, to test for tuft bind.

Finally, another good reason to keep a remnant of the new carpet if you need to do any repairs. Especially for stains that do not come clean, and particularly if they aren't covered by a warranty, the area can be cut out and a new piece of carpet cut and inserted in that area. In cut pile carpets, and if done correctly, you would not see the inserted piece, depending of course on how old your carpet is.

NOTE: it's best to call a professional for that kind of surgery!

I certainly plan to hold onto my remnants!

Technorati Tags: Del.icio.us Tags:


Chris Howell said...

I agree that it's a good idea to save leftover pieces of carpet for future repairs (burns, tears, etc.). What most people do not realize, however, is that a carpet patch that's done using a piece of leftover carpet will almost ALWAYS stand out and be highly visible due to the fact that the patching was done using carpet that is unfaded and retains its original texture.

One of the most common reasons that people patch carpeting is because of a chemical spill (i.e.-bleach) that causes color loss. Most people are unaware that there are carpet dyeing professionals who can re-dye the bleach spots to bring them back to an exact color match with the original color. I am the owner of a carpet dyeing company which specializes in these types of repairs. We serve the Baltimore/Maryland & Washington DC areas. There are other companies that serve other areas around the country. Carpet dyieng professioinals are easily located by doing an internet search under the heading of "carpet dyeing".

Here are some questions to consider when seeking a carpet dyeing professional:

• Is carpet dyeing the main focus of their business?

• Do they have Certified Dye Technicians who will be performing the work?

• What kind of training and credentials does their technical staff have?

• Are the dyes guaranteed to be permanent and colorfast for the life of the carpet?

• Will the dyes leave any kind of residue?

• Do they have a portfolio of letters of reference and endorsements?

• Are Materials Safety Data Sheets available for inspection to prove non-toxicity of their solutions?

• Do they use liquid dyes as opposed to powder dyes? (Liquid dyes do not leave a powdery residue behind)

• Are they willing to guarantee that newly dyed carpet will have even coloration?

• Are they willing to provide a written guarantee to attest to the results and the quality of their work?

• Are they able to achieve perfect color matching?

CB Whittemore said...

Chris, thank you for adding such valuable perspective on when to patch and when not to.

Annette from our warranty services department agrees that you make a good point about re-dyeing being a solution when something has taken the color out of the carpet as long as whatever has come in contact with the carpet has not degraded the fibers. Although re-dyeing would work for nylon, would it work on all fibers? More specifically, can solution dyed nylon be re-dyed?

We generally advise consumers to contact a company that specializes in repairs to find out what all their options are - link below to IICRC.


You also make a good point that a patch may stand out especially if it has been installed for some time and the texture has changed. We try hard to provide consumers with information so they can find out what their options are and then make the decision that is right for them.

Thanks for visiting

Chris Howell said...

Hi Christine. Virtually all nylon and wool carpeting can be re-dyed. The simple rule of thumb is: If the color can come out, then it can go back in".

There is a lot of erroneous information on the web about carpet dyeing and chemical reactions on fibers. For example, it's not uncommon to read that bleach can be used for cleaning up stains on Olefin Berber carpet--that it will not remove the carpet's own color. This is absolutely false! I have seen several instances where bleach was used on Olefin and it did indeed remove the color! While these bleached areas can be "concealed" by re-dyeing the spots, the dyes will not be permanent, and the color will come back out the first time the carpet is cleaned (Olefin fibers do not have dye sites on them).

Both nylon and wool have dye sites on them which enables them to be re-dyed. Dye sites are like small pockets or pores (color recepticles) which enable the fibers to accept the addition of color. On nylon carpets, the dye sites are actually manufactured. The number of dye sites on a fiber will determine the depth of color that a fiber can be dyed to (a fiber that contains a large number of dye sites can be dyed to a dark color while fibers with fewer dye sites cannot be dyed to a dark color as the dye sites will reach a level of "saturation"--literally that the sites have a limited amount of space and cannot accept any more color molecules). On wool fibers the dye sites are natural and plentiful. Wool is therefore easily dyed and can go to wonderful deep colors. Interestingly, wool has a natural stainguard built into it: lanolin. Lanolin is the greasy substance found in wool that gives it natural stain resistance. The lanolin is what keeps the sheep "dry" as it repels water. This also enables the fibers to repel stains. For this reason stain guards should NEVER be applied to wool! For this same reason it is important that wool carpeting and rugs NOT be overcleaned! Overcleaning (too frequent) of wool will tend to strip out the lanolin, thus leaving the fibers unprotected. This will also cause the fibers to become brittle as the lanolin helps to keep them soft and supple.

Any carpet fibers that have dye sites may be re-dyed. On nylon fibers the dye sites need to be chemically opened in order to allow them to accept color. Heat will also help to open the dye sites so that colors may be added. Some liquids (such as the infamous red Kool Aid or Crystal Light drinks) are notorious for causing permanent stains on carpet because these liquids have a high acid content (carpet dyes are also acidic). The acids in these drinks will chemically open the dye sites, thus resulting in an actual dyeing of the carpet fiber. This is why these stains will not come out from a cleaning process. We receive calls on a daily basis from desperate homeowners who in despair exclaim that they spilled some Kool Aid and hired professional carpet cleaners who scrubbed the daylights out of the carpet, but were unable to remove the stain. Once again, these stains will NOT come out from a cleaning or scrubbing process because the carpet has actually been dyed from the acidic liquid. It is possible to remove these types of dyed stains, but it is not possible to do so by cleaning or scrubbing. A heat transfer process (red stain removal process that's used by professional stain removal technicians) is often the most effective at removing these types of stains. In some instances, however, the heat transfer process will not remove the stain and we actually have to resort to bleaching out the stain using a diluted bleach solution. This, of course, also removes the carpet's own color along with the stain. We then neutralize the bleach (this must be done or the color will simply and quickly fade out again) and then re-dye the carpet to bring the spot back to a perfect color match with the surrounding carpet. This process cannot be used with wool, however. Bleach will quickly damage wool fibers, literally burning a hole through the carpet!

Silk fibers may also be re-dyed, though extreme care must be used as silk does not like to get wet! The fibers will have a tendency to shrink and shrivel. Silk will often be structurally altered when it gets wet. Any and all care of silk should be left to highly-trained professionals who specialize it its care.

Some interesting photos of Oriental & Persian color restoration photos can be see by clicking on the following link:


When one is considering whether or not re-dyeing a color-damaged section of carpet is the best option, it would be good to first verify that the fibers have not beeen structurally damaged by the chemicals which are in the carpet. One of the easiest ways to determine this is to simply tug on some of the fibers in the center of the damaged area and see if they are easily pulling out of the carpet. Also verify that the fibers have not become brittle (easily disintegrating) and that the fibers have not been eaten away by the chemicals. If the fibers appear to be structurally intact, the area will most likely be suitable for color repair by a re-dyeing process.

We are happy to answer any questions that people may have regarding the care and repair of their carpet. We may be contacted through the following page:



Chris Howell
Colorful Carpets
(301) 776-2393

CB Whittemore said...

Chris, thanks for sharing your extensive knowledge. Just fascinating to understand how natural and man-made fibers react to stains.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...