Common Carpet Problems

This article will list some common carpet problems and what can be done about them.

Traffic Lane Gray
Traffic lane gray is the term used to describe carpet that looks darker where there is the most traffic. If your carpet looks gray or dingy even after a good cleaning, this could be your problem. The individual carpet fibers that make up each tuft are designed to reflect light. As the carpet is worn, the fiber reflects less light and appears darker from a distance. This problem is caused by wear. Dirt acts as an abrasive actually scratching your carpet as you walk on it. This problem is not correctable but it can be prevented by having your carpet cleaned often and rearranging furniture from time to time to change the flow of traffic through your rooms.

Pile Reversal
Pile reversal is a characteristic of cut pile carpet. If your carpet has a wavy line down it or appear darker on one side of the room than the other with a clearly defined border this may be your problem. What has happened is that the carpet tufts have actually shifted and are laying the opposite direction. If you move your hand across a pile carpet you will see that it changes colors and will become lighter or darker. With pile reversal the carpet fibers have shifted giving you this effect. Pile reversal is not considered a defect of carpet. It is merely a characteristic of pile carpeting and is uncorrectable.

Filtration Lines
Filtration lines occur around the edges of walls and underneath doors. If you have a black or gray line around your room or under a door, this is most likely your problem. They are caused by your HVAC system. As air is forced into the room from your heating and air conditioning system it creates pressure in the room. To equalize this air pressure, the air flows underneath walls and doors. The carpet along this area will act like a filter trapping these fine particles of dust and soot. Most homes will get filtration lines and they are difficult to remove but can be improved with carpet cleaning. You can help prevent them by leaving doors open for air to travel through and by making sure your heating system is well maintained.

Candle Lines
Candle lines are caused by of course candles. Do you have a black or gray line around your furniture? When candles burn, they produce soot which will settle around furniture and draperies leaving an outline. They essentially create smoke damage which is difficult to remove but a good carpet cleaner can substantially if not completely remove them. Similar damage can be caused by a poorly adjusted mixture on your gas heater or a fireplace flue that is not venting correctly. To help prevent candle damage, keep wicks cut down and try to buy higher quality candles that don’t contain lead in the wick.