Carpet Appearance and Retention
Carpet in heavily traveled areas receives the most wear. For better appearance and longer carpet life, try to reduce the amount of traffic on these areas, or you may use small rugs in front of heavily used chairs or furniture. Remove and clean these rugs while vacuuming the primary carpet or rug. Occasional moving of furniture and reversing of area rugs also is recommended. Although some change will eventually occur in the texture of your carpet, reducing the wear in paths and in front of furniture will retard this change.

Carpet Corn-rowing
The tufting machine is set to insert the prescribed number of face yarns in the back. As the carpet or rug is made, the face yarns will stand erect. After the carpet or rug is placed on the floor and is subjected to use, there will be considerable pressure placed on the individual face yarns. If the density is high enough, the surrounding tufts help to hold each other erect; however, if the density is too low, there is less support from the adjacent tufts and some of the tufts may be pushed over. With some tufts standing, and others crushed, the corn-row appearance is created. This is not considered a manufacturing defect. Corn-rowing develops in the traffic areas or those areas subjected to more foot action, such as in front of chairs and television sets. Vacuuming alone will not raise the fallen yarns. Specially designed carpet rakes will lift the yarns, but this may not be permanent.

Carpet Crushing
Crushing is the loss of pile thickness in your carpet as a result of foot traffic. Crushing is not considered a manufacturing defect unless specifically cited in the manufacturer's warranty. Regular vacuuming of your carpet may help reduce crushing resulting from traffic. Manufacturers' definitions of crushing may vary.

Depressions or Indentations in Carpet
The weight of heavy pieces of furniture can cause indentations in carpet. Some depressions may be permanent. Use furniture glides or cups under the legs of heavy pieces, or move your furniture a few inches backward or sideways so that the weight is not concentrated in one place. To remedy depressions, work the carpet pile back into place with your fingertips or the edge of a spoon, and then, dampen the area and heat with a hair dryer, working the fibers of the carpet with the fingers or a spoon.

Carpet Fading or Color Loss
Give your carpet the normal protection from direct sunlight that you give any colored fabric. Emissions from heating systems or chemicals, such as pesticides, household cleaning agents, and other household items, can also result in color loss of your carpet.

Filtration Soil on Carpet
Filtration soil may appear as dark or grayish lines on carpet along walls, stairways, and under doors. It is caused by airflow over and through carpet, allowing fine soils to settle on the carpet surface. It can often be attributed to an improperly balanced ventilation system. In most instances, the volume of air entering a room exceeds the HVAC systems capacity to remove air from the structure. Excess air volume will seek exit sources in gaps along walls and stairways. Prevent the airflow through carpet and carpet edges by sealing openings through the carpet and under doors and baseboards. Keeping the air in the home clean and using good filtration on the HVAC and vacuum cleaners can help to alleviate this situation. Filtration soils may require special cleaning treatment for effective removal. Contact a carpet cleaning professional for assistance.

Fluffing and Shedding of Carpet
The balls of fluff, or loose fibers, found on carpet or in the vacuum cleaner bag are the normal result of fiber left in the carpet from the manufacturing process. Removing these loose fibers does not affect the carpet life or appearance. Because of their large size, these fibers are too large to become airborne or respirable. With proper vacuuming, using a quality vacuum cleaner, most shedding gradually disappears within the first year after installation.

Matting of Carpet
Manufacturers' definitions of matting may vary. Matting is usually the result of untwisting of the yarn and intermingling of the yarn tips as a result of foot traffic on your carpet. Matting may be caused by various factors, including improperly specified cushion, cushion failure, or improper maintenance. Matting is not considered a manufacturing defect unless specifically cited in the manufacturer's warranty.

Moth and Beetle Control
Most wool and wool-blend carpet made in the United States is permanently treated to prevent moth damage. Carpet and rugs made of man-made (synthetic) fibers are naturally resistant to insects. Synthetic carpet fiber is not a food source, and is resistant to beetles, commonly called carpet beetles. However, beetles already in the home may lay eggs in the carpet pile and hatch in eight to fifteen days. For assistance in removing beetles or other insects, contact a professional pest control specialist.

During and immediately following the installation of your new carpet there may be a slight odor. The odor may result from the removal of your old carpet and cushion or from the new carpet, cushion, adhesives, or seaming tape. Ventilation with fresh air is recommended. Ideally, windows and doors should be opened, and the HVAC system should be operated at maximum capacity for 48 to 72 hours.

Carpet Ripples and Buckles
Ripples and Buckles in carpet are most often caused by the failure to adequately stretch the carpet using a power stretcher, the use of an inappropriate or failed cushion, or excessive temperature and/or humidity. Ripples can be a combination of any of the above deficiencies. If ripples or buckles develop, consult your carpet salesperson. Generally the problem can be corrected by a qualified carpet installer re-stretching the carpet with a power stretcher.

Roll Crush of Carpet
Roll crush usually occurs in areas of the pile yarn that have flattened because of the weight of the carpet roll. Areas of roll crush, or flattened pile yarn, are usually width-wise bands that may appear darker or lighter. Roll crush is not a manufacturing defect. Most roll crush occurs as a result of stacking a large number of rolls on top of one another. Roll crush may occur when carpet is stored at heights of three (3) or more rolls, or during shipping when rolls are loaded several rolls high. Rolls of carpet will sometimes exhibit some degree of roll crush immediately after the roll has been unwrapped. In most cases, this minor roll crush will disappear after the yarn has been allowed sufficient time to "blossom" as it adjusts to ambient conditions. All but the most stubborn crush marks in carpet with nylon pile yarn usually can be removed with steam or hot water extraction cleaning.

Carpet Shading or Pile Reversal
Shading is not a change in color, but a change in pile direction (pile reversal) that sometimes appears randomly in a carpet or rug. If you look at the shaded area in one direction, it will appear darker, but from another direction, it will appear lighter in color. Solid color, cut-pile carpet may show shading more than patterned styles and textured surfaces. Shading is not considered a manufacturing defect. Pile reversal can also be classified as shading and is sometimes called "watermarking" or "pooling." This condition is usually permanent and has no known cause and no known remedy.

Soiling of Carpet
Maintain the beauty of your carpet by cleaning it regularly before it becomes excessively soiled. While stain- and soil-resist-treated carpet is now easier to clean, lighter colors still may appear to soil more easily than darker tones and may require more frequent cleaning. Medium and darker colors, tweeds, and textures may be better choices in a home's high traffic areas. Dirty, airborne particles may be deposited on carpet, causing dulling. Dulling is caused by the deposits of all types of soil. For example, a delicate rose color may gradually become a neutral taupe because of soil; and light blue may take on a dull, gray-green hue. Red clay soil also can cause a pronounced change in some colors. In spite of such phenomena, the original color of a carpet is not lost it is still present under the soil. Oily soil may be very difficult to remove after it has been on the carpet for a long time, and may be actually absorbed into the fiber, causing it to have a yellow cast. Frequent cleanings are important to avoid this difficulty. Entry mats that trap soil at exterior entrances, combined with routine cleaning, provide extra protection for all floor coverings.

Carpet Sprouting
Occasionally, a yarn tuft will rise above the pile surface of a carpet. Just snip off these tufts to the level of the other tufts. DO NOT PULL THEM OUT. If this persists in a localized area, contact your carpet salesperson. The situation can usually be corrected by a qualified carpet installer.

Stain-Resist Carpet
Almost all of the carpet manufactured today has finishes that make it more stain- and soil-resistant. Although stain-resist carpet is easier to maintain, it still requires care. Remove spots as soon as something is spilled or tracked on the carpet. If spills or soil are allowed to remain, they may become permanent.

Topical Treatments of Carpet
Topical treatments include soil retardants, stain repellents, anti-static treatments, antimicrobials, and deodorizers. The use of after-market, topical treatments without the expressed approval of the carpet manufacturer prior to application may void applicable warranties.

Carpet WearA "wear" is defined as the loss of pile weight or pile fiber (usually ten percent) due to abrasive wear only. What appears to be wear, or pile fiber loss, may actually be matting, crushing, or permanent fiber damage caused by soiling, rather than loss of fiber. There is seldom actual loss of pile fiber. (See also Matting, Crushing.)

Yellowing of Carpet
Yellowing in light-colored carpet can be caused by a variety of outside influences, such as pollutants from heating fuels, changes in alkalinity, cleaning solutions, and atmospheric or environmental contaminants. All carpet yellowing may not be removable; however, the use of acetic acid (white vinegar), citrus acid, or tartaric acid is often successful in reversing yellowing. In some cases, the use of an alkaline detergent solution prior to the use of these acid rinses may cause permanent yellowing. A solution of one part white vinegar mixed with one part water is recommended for consumer use. If yellowing persists or is widespread, contact a carpet cleaning professional.

Regular Carpet Care
Carpet fibers are designed to hide soil and reflect light. Consequently, soil in carpet is not as visible as it is on smooth flooring where soil remains on the surface and is easily seen. The ability of today's carpet fibers to hide soiling is a positive feature for most consumers. However, the lack of apparent soiling does not eliminate the need for regular cleaning. Soil can damage the fibers permanently if allowed to remain in the pile. Even with carpet's ability to resist soiling and stains, a regular maintenance program extends the life and appearance of your carpet. Specific carpet care information may be available from your carpet dealer, carpet manufacturer or fiber producer.

Vacuuming Why It's Important
Whether you're cleaning out the spare bedroom or just tidying up around the house, it is important that dirt and dust are removed, not simply moved around or thrown back into the breathing zone. Properly vacuuming carpet is the easiest and most effective way to keep your carpet clean. It may be surprising, but something as simple as regular vacuuming can also have the largest impact on the cleanliness of your home and the air you breathe. It is recommended that you vacuum areas often that receive the most traffic, such as hallways, stairs, and exterior entryways in the home. Ideally, vacuum all of the floor coverings a minimum of once a week, and the high-traffic areas more often, based on the usage. If you have pets, you may need to vacuum some areas daily. Removing loose soil while it remains on the carpet's surface is important so that it is not walked into the carpet pile. Use a vacuum cleaner that effectively removes soil and minimizes generating dust from the filter and around the machine while keeping the carpet looking good. Vacuum cleaner models evaluated by an independent testing laboratory are tested for removing soil adequately, containing the dust in the machine and in the filter bag, and carpet appearance retention. Because of the impact of vacuum cleaners on indoor air, cleaning efficiency can vary significantly, it is important to identify models that clean well and protect the indoor environment.

Vacuum Cleaner Selection and Maintenance
For maximum effectiveness, use a vacuum cleaner with adjustable and rotating brushes that can loosen ground-in soil and has a strong enough airflow to penetrate to the backing, removing all particles. The vacuum cleaner should have an enclosed, high filtration bag that limits particles re-circulating into the air. For the best cleaning results, no matter what type vacuum cleaner you purchase, inspect it periodically to be sure it is functioning properly:
Keep brushes clean and replace them when worn.
Keep vacuum hoses and attachments free of obstructions that restrict airflow.
Inspect the vacuum head for rough edges or bent metal that may damage your carpet.
Inspect belts frequently to make certain they are working properly.
Always keep a spare belt for replacement as needed.
Follow the vacuum cleaner manufacturer's instructions, and change the filter bag when it reaches the "full line."