Thursday, August 1, 2013

How to fix a hole in your carpet

cat damage
Notice the area of fiber loss and the bleach spot, two for one.
I marked the area as a point of reference with a straight edge.
     Have you ever come home to find your loving pets decided to dig for gold in you living room.  Recently, we were cleaning a carpet for a client and discovered this hole in the carpet.  This property is a rental and having to replace the whole room of carpet would be costly.  
     We recommended that we do a bonded insert a.k.a. carpet patch.  While this is a fairly simple procedure, there are a few things you need to make note of.  
     While we always recommend a certified repair technician, they have more experience and maybe able to do a better job, this is something you can do yourself.

1. Mark the area you are patching with with a straight edge. 

2. Using a straight edge and a NEW razor blade carefully cut all the way through the carpet backing. Try not to cut though the carpet padding.  If any strings are still attached cut them do not pull on them it will unravel the carpet making it harder to repair.

NOTE:  remember the orientation of the carpet, this is also important.  Carpet has a certain way the fiber lies, this is called the nap.  You can determine the nap of the carpet with a pencil and a piece of paper.  More on that in another post.

Now locate an appropriate sized carpet remnant.  (If you do not have a remnant you can move this spot into a closet by doing 2 bonded inserts, again make sure the nap is going the same way.)

3.  After finding an appropriate patch you may need to do some fine tuning.  Fit the patch and see how it fits, trimming only a little at a time.(good scissors are best)  Make sure that the backing of the carpet and the patch match up perfectly and do not overlap.

4.  This step is often skipped, but is important for the longevity of the patch.  Use seaming glue to seal the edges on the patch and the carpet.  To do this apply a small amount of glue around the edges of the carpet patch and the carpet.  Apply only to the backing and try not to get the glue on the carpet fibers.  Allow some time to dry.  This can also be done with a hot glue gun.

5. Put carpet seeming tape (self adhesive type shown) in the area to be patched.  The tape runs half way under carpet.  Be sure that all edges will be in contact with the glue.  You may need to cut the paper to get a complete edge.  Be sure to keep the carpet fibers standing and away from tape.

6. Almost done.  Now place the patch in the hole start by lining up the edges of the carpet backing at the top then the sides and finally the bottom.  Be sure to to check and make sure the backing is not overlapping and no carpet fibers are stuck in the seam.  Once you are sure the carpet is set in place where you want it firmly press down on it to set it in the adhesive.  Finally Jump up and down on the carpet patch in celebration, this also make sure it is set into the adhesive.

Now you know how to do a basic carpet patch.  It is always best to let a professional do it, especially if you have a carpet warranty.   This works for cut pile carpets, level loop (berber) carpet is a little different and should be performed by a professional.

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Friday, March 30, 2012

I am still here!

      Sorry I have been away for so long.  The last few months have been great, we have a new carpet cleaning van.  That brings our grand total to three vans and a trailer.  We rebuilt the steam cleaning machine in original van and it is running better than ever.  This year has been off to a great start and with two carpet cleaning vans to book that sure is a good thing.  A Better Image has also become a certified firm with the "Clean Trust" formerly the IICRC a certification organization for the cleaning and restoration industry.
     Wow so many exciting things happening around A Better Image Restorations, I will keep everyone up to date and we will see you soon.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Mold License?

 I recently completed the first mold supervisor license course held in Virginia.  I already had my mold certification but the state of VA and a few other states stepped up.  They realize the effects that mold exposure can have on the human body.  Like lead and asbestos, mold now  requires a license to remediate and rightfully so.  Mold is everywhere and it can potentially be toxic in high concentrations, but be careful as everyone reacts differently. Some people may be affected by small amounts of mold, while others may not have any immediate affects.  One thing is for sure: prolonged mold exposure can lead to serious health problems, including death.  Please do not ignore those little leaks that may look like this:

This small roof leak was hidden behind a wall  by the time it was found and remediated it rotted out the roof, wall, and the sill plate; everything was hidden from sight. 

Sure, Doitallwrong Construction can come and fix it, but did they get the mold?  How will you know? After all, you gave the job to the lowest bidder.  Let's hope their workers did not get sick, and if they did, I hope Doitallwrong Construction has insurance.  If not, it is all on you.  This is why you need a licensed mold professional to remediate the problem.

Bottom line, MOLD IS DANGEROUS.  You may not get sick today, but you will get sick.  Mold can be expensive to clean up, and is often not covered under a homeowner's policy.  A Better Image Restorations works with our customers to bring their house back to a safe, healthy environment.  We also have a commitment to our customers: we see most of them once or twice a year to clean carpets, upholstery, tile and more.  During these visits we have seen their families grow and we take pride in the fact that we are trusted to clean their homes.  

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Why do we need a professional to dry our house?

     No matter how much we prepare, it still takes a lot of work to clean up after a storm.  In water damage restoration the work needs to be done right away.  The first 24 hours are the most important, mold can begin to grow within 24-48 hours.  The tough part is that your insurance company cannot get out there fast enough.  Be sure to get authorization to begin emergency drying services from the insurance company and take lots of pictures.  After Hurricane Irene A Better Image Restorations was dispatched to about 15 water losses.  Remediation companies tend to get overwhelmed at this time, but it is important to use a local company or a local franchise.  Storm Chasers, even one's with big names, tend to come in collect your deductible, do the minimum required and leave some equipment.  I have even seen them pick up the equipment before drying was complete because they were "leaving the area."  A local company is more likely to try to make you happy, you may need them again, at least that is our philosophy.
     It is important, if you have a any loss, to consult a professional.  We have been trained for many situations and know what to look for.  For instance a small leak under a window may just be the tip of the iceberg.  I have seen a roof leak go down an exterior wall and drain in to crawlspace, the problem went undetected for years.  A strong storm came in and drove some of the rain into the wall, saturating the drywall in the corner of a window.  I was dispatched to assess the situation and begin the drying process.  One of the first things we learn is to check all adjacent areas, water can travel along rafters before entering the living environment.  Using my moisture meter I found moisture in the whole wall and even the ceiling.   Luckily I could take a look at the ceiling in the attic so I continued my investigation up there.  What I found was very bad, it looked like black mold had taken residence in the attic near the area of a roof leak, which was running down an exterior wall and drain into the crawlspace.  This leak had been going on for a long time and that strong storm was just enough to push it through to the living space.
        Never assume it will just dry out naturally, buildings built since the 1970's have been increasingly energy efficient.  With efficiency in mind we seal up our buildings and take control of the indoor environment.  We can make this a good environment or a bad one, do you know what is good for your home?  That is a post for another day or even another industry for that matter.
     The point is, let the professionals handle the drying.
For all the DIYer's it maybe the last, most costly mistake you ever make.  Would you remediate asbestos or lead?  Mold can be just as dangerous and improper drying will sometimes lead to mold growth.  I am all about DIY projects,  but if you do not know what "psychrometry" means without clicking the link please call a professional for a consultation.

Remember, You have control over who works on/in your home. 
 Insurance companies have a list of preferred vendors, they may not have your best interests in mind.

Friday, July 22, 2011

mold Mold MOLD, It is everywhere!

     I have never done so many mold inspections.  In the last two weeks I have responded to 8 mold jobs, the one thing most people don't realize is mold is bad and bleach does not work.  You see bleach only works on mold if it is on a nonporous, hard surface.  Bleach cannot penetrate into the microscopic areas that the mold's mycelium or "roots" can penetrate.  Special anti fungal cleaning agents are used and containment must be set up, or your whole house could be at risk.
     People often ask why is mold clean up so expensive?  The truth is because it is so dangerous, people can become deathly ill from exposure to mold.  When mold it growing undisturbed it outgases mycotoxins into the air, when it is disturb  it get much worse.  These spores can be breathed in, and your lungs are a great place to land and grow.  When high amounts airborne toxic mold spores are inhaled deep into the lungs they can enter the bloodstream and affect the immune system, nervous system, liver, kidneys, blood and cause brain damage.  It costs about $65/ person/day to outfit them in the appropriate protective gear to clean mold.  Proper containment must be set up and everything leaving the affected area must be decontaminated even the trash.  Most of the costs are associated with the handling and disposing of the materials and the safety of the remediation team.
     With the hot and humid weather upon us, stay vigilant if you can smell a musty smell there may be some mold nearby.  Try to locate it, cover it with plastic, seal it in as best you can and call A Better Image Restorations to come solve your problem.  Remember, bleach will not kill the mold in porous materials like wood, drywall, textiles, and  even countertops.
     Please stay safe and avoid the mold as much as possible, let a professional do it write the first time.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

What does your carpet cleaner know?

Many people do not realize the training your carpet/ upholstery cleaning technician has gone through before cleaning your carpet/ upholstery.  At least, for your sake I hope they did.  Carpet and upholstery are textiles just like your clothes and linens.  Textile cleaning is a science, and some wrong calculations could spell disaster for your carpets.  Just like your clothes, carpets can be made of different materials and can require different cleaning techniques.  I am a Certified Master Textile Cleaner and have gone through many hours of hands on training by the top cleaners IN THE WORLD!  This training not only includes carpet cleaning but we get in detail about construction techniques and fiber composition, even color correction it is enough to bore you to sleep.  Not me, I love this stuff!  You can read more about me at our website.  See you soon.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Time for that summer fun!

     As many children get out of school we find ourselves changing our daily routines.  The house is going to have more traffic, plus it is summertime and we will be outside.  This tempts many people to hold off on the carpet cleaning till after the summer, but this can be a costly mistake, you see dirt is an abrasive, which means it causes tiny scratches to the surface of the carpet fibers.  These scratches do not reflect light quite the same way as a smooth surface would giving your carpet a duller look.  The best thing to do is have your carpets cleaned right before school gets out, and vacuum the heavy traffic areas daily, this will suck up most the loose sharp dirt particles that can damage your carpet.
     If you can see dirt on top of the carpet it is past time to clean the carpets, you see the dirt works it's way down into the fibers and hides, then more dirt deposits on top of that.  After a while you start to see it at the surface, this is past the time to clean and you may be damaging your carpets and shortening the life.  CRISIS CLEANING vs. REGULAR CLEANINGS
    Vacuuming is the single biggest thing you can do to prolong the life of your carpets.  Hot water extracting is the best and safest way to clean carpets with no left over residue to attract dirt.  Be sure your carpet cleaner is certified otherwise you may void your carpet warranty.