Care and Maintenance

Carpet

What To Expect After Your Carpet Installation Shedding Most carpets retain some loose fibers after they leave the mill or store. These fibers often appear as balls of fluff on the surface of your carpet or in your vacuum cleaner. With time, they will work their way out of the carpet and no longer be a nuisance. Sprouting Occasionally, loose tufts will appear above the carpet surface. To remove the loose tufts, clip them to be even with the carpet’s surface. DO NOT PULL OUT LOOSE ENDS! If you do, you will permanently damage the carpet. Shading You may notice some variations in the color of your carpet -one area may seem to change color when you look at it from different directions. This is because light reflects differently as the pile is pushed in a variety of directions. Foot traffic generally causes this to happen and the best solution is to sweep or vacuum the pile in a uniform direction. Rippling During times of high humidity, your carpet might experience some slight rippling. This situation usually resolves itself as the carpet settles. If the problem persists, please call your sales professional. The New Carpet Smell Like new cars, some carpets have a “new carpet smell.” It is nothing to be concerned about and usually goes away within a week, sometimes within days. There are some things that you can do to minimize the smell. Most importantly, be sure to ventilate the area as much as possible. You should open the doors and windows and use fans to keep the air circulating during installation and for up to 72 hours afterwards. Take advantage of your heating or air conditioning fans if you have them. You should also vacuum your carpet often to help remove the odor. Static Electricity When your home’s relative humidity is low, a static charge can build up in your carpet as you walk across it. If you touch something made of metal, you get zapped. There are commercially available products you can apply to your carpet to reduce or eliminate static electric build-up. Patience is also a good remedy. Your carpet will hold less of a charge as time goes by. Crushing Your carpet will display crushing in spots where heavy objects have been placed. To raise the pile back to its former height, you will have to do some vigorous brushing. You can also try passing a hot steam iron over the indentation -but bring the iron no closer than 6 inches above the carpet. Non-Wool Carpet Stain Removal Guide Click image to enlarge.                         METHOD A
  1. APPLY a dry cleaning solvent, use dampened towel.
  2. BLOT – Don’t rub.
  3. REPEAT solvent application as above. WATER – apply with dampened towel.
  4. BLOT – finish with weighted pad of towels.
  METHOD B
  1. SCRAPE or blot up excess spill.
  2. APPLY detergent – use damp towel.
  3. BLOT – don’t rub.
  4. APPLY ammonia – use damp towel.
  5. APPLY white vinegar (undiluted)-use damp towel.
  6. BLOT- don’t rub.
  7. WATER- apply with damp sponge.
  8. BLOT – finish with weighted pad of towels.
  Method C
  1. SCRAPE or blot up excess spill.
  2. APPLY dry baking soda solution.
  3. SCRAPE and vacuum.
  4. WATER – use damp sponge to rinse remaining baking soda. Don’t over-wet.
  5. BLOT – Don’t rub.
  6. APPLY presoak solution – use damp towel.
  7. WATER – rinse as above
  8. BLOT – Don’t rub – dry well.
  9. APPLY dry powder cleaner
  10. VACUUM
  Method D
  1. SCRAPE or blot up excess spill.
  2. FREEZE with ice cubes.
  3. SHATTER with blunt object like the back of a large spoon.
  4. VACUUM chips away before they melt.
  Method E
  1. APPLY nail polish remover (non-oily type) – use cotton swab to apply to the spill, don’t wet through to carpet backing.
  2. PICK up softened materials – use clean, white paper towels and push toward the center of spill to avoid spreading stain.
  3. REPEAT above -soften and carefully remove a layer of the spill each time. Haste may spread the stain and/or damage the carpet.
  Method F
  1. SCRAPE or blot up excess spill.
  2. APPLY detergent solution – use damp towels, leave 3-5 minutes.
  3. BLOT – don’t rub.
  4. APPLY hydrogen peroxide solution, let stand 20-30 minutes under a weighted pad of clean, dry, white paper towels.
  5. REPEAT application of hydrogen peroxide and dry under weighted pad until removal is complete.
  6. APPLY white vinegar (undiluted) – use damp towels.
  7. BLOT -finish with weighted pad of towels.
  Method G
  1. SCRAPE off excess material.
  2. COVER with brown paper.
  3. APPLY warm iron until material absorbed. Be sure paper is large enough to cover the stained area. Take care never to touch the iron to the carpet.
  4. CHANGE paper or rotate to clean area and repeat until all material is absorbed.
  Method H
  1. VACUUM away as much as possible.
  2. LOOSEN remaining material by tapping with a scrub brush or toothbrush. Tap with the brush – do not scrub.
  3. VACUUM.
  4. APPLY dry powder
  5. TAP with brush to work powder into carpet tufts. Don’t scrub.
  6. LET powder dry one hour or more.
  7. VACUUM.
  8. REPEAT dry powder application if necessary.
   

Wool Carpet Care

Vacuuming The most important maintenance step is proper vacuuming. Regular and thorough vacuuming at least once a week and more often in heavy traffic areas will remove soil and dirt particles before they become embedded into the pile of the carpet. Remember, you cannot over-vacuum, and vacuuming should begin the day the carpet is installed. An upright or canister type vacuum with a rotating beater bar/brush is the best for cut pile carpet. A suction only vacuum should be used for loop pile Berber carpets to prevent excessive fuzzing. Vacuum dust bag should be emptied when half-full.   Spot & Spill Removal One of the most crucial areas of carpet maintenance is removal of spots or spills. Acting quickly when anything is dropped or spilled, and always having the necessary cleaning material at hand are of the utmost importance.   The recommended method is to blot up liquids with white paper towel or absorbent cloth. Scoop up solids with the end of a knife or spoon and then treat the spot according to the cleaning instructions guide. Apply spot removal agent to clean towel or cloth, not directly to the spot. Use small quantities at a time. Always work inwards from the edge to prevent spreading. Do not rub, as this may cause the spot to spread or distort the pile. Do not over-wet the carpet pile. Afterwards, blot as dry as possible with clean towel and then cover with paper towels and let dry.   Clean traffic lanes and in front of frequently used chairs periodically with an absorbent powder.   When having your wool carpet professionally cleaned, use a reputable company and check references.     Shading You may notice some variations in the color of your carpet – one area may seem to change color when you look at it from different directions. This is because light reflects differently as the pile is pushed in a variety of directions. Foot traffic generally causes this to happen and the best solution is to sweep or vacuum the pile in a uniform direction.   Information provided by Wools of New Zealand. Wool Carpet Stain Removal Guide Click on image to enlarge.
 
                  METHOD A Add cold water and blot   METHOD B Detergent solution   METHOD C Methylated mineral spirits or turpentine   METHOD D Chill with aerosol freezing agent or ice cubes in a plastic bag. Pick or scrape off gum.   METHOD E Warm water   METHOD F Clear nail polish remover (preferably acetone)   METHOD G Isopropyl alcohol   METHOD H Rust remover   METHOD I Absorbent powder (e.g. salt, talc)   METHOD J Absorbent cleaner   METHOD K Dry vacuum   METHOD L Absorbent paper and hot iron
Pristine white living room carpet
Black hardwood floor

Hardwood

Sweep or vacuum the floor regularly to keep it clean and free of dust, sand and other abrasive materials. Place area rugs or doormats at entryways to help prevent sand grit, oils, dirt and other abrasive or staining materials from being tracked onto the floor surface from outdoors. (Avoid rubber-backed or similarly dense matting materials that may trap moisture between the mat and the floor; choose mats that enable airflow.) Place protective mats at high-use work areas such as sinks, ranges and workstations, Protect the floor from any exposure to liquids, water and other forms of moisture. Blot up any spilled food, drink or other liquid immediately. Never wet mop the floor when cleaning. Avoid walking on the floor with wet feet or footwear. Hardwood flooring will naturally undergo a change in color as it adjusts to the ambient light conditions of your home environment. The degree of color change varies by species. To ensure a uniform change, it is recommended that you do not place area rugs on the new floor for sixty days after installation. Thereafter, periodic re-arrangement of furniture and area mgs will help ensure that your flooring colors evenly. Put felt protector pads on the feet of all furniture and accessories that will be placed directly onto the floor surface. Avoid letting sharp or pointed objects come into contact with the floor surface. Do not walk on the floor with high heeled shoes, sports cleats, or other types of footwear which may damage the finish or cause indentations to the surface. Pets’ nails will scratch and mark the floor surface. Keep pets’ nails trimmed to minimize damage to the surface. Do not drag, push or roll appliances, furniture or any heavy object across the floor. Use heavy duty moving mats, dollies, or other moving aids to protect the floor surface. Cleaning: Routine sweeping or vacuuming will keep the floor clear of most dust, grit and debris. For more thorough cleaning, use a wood floor cleaning solution approved for use with your hardwood flooring. Follow the product instructions. Do not use any household cleaners, oils, soaps, waxes or any abrasive materials or scouring agents on the floor. Do not use any wax or cleaner that must be mixed with water, such as oil soap, as this may ruin your floor. Failure to follow these floor care instructions may void your floor’s warranty.

Laminate

Weekly care for your laminate flooring should include the use of a no-rinse floor cleaner with a damp sponge mop or the use of a laminate floor spray cleaner (we carry Tech’s brand of laminate cleaners) and terry cloth dust mop. If damp-mopping, prevent damage to your floor by ensuring that you do not allow water to pool on the floor. Floor finishes will not stick to laminate flooring so using a wax or adding a finish is unnecessary.
Patterned kitchen laminate floor
Ceramic tile shower wall

Ceramic & Stone Tile

Weekly care for your ceramic or stone tile should include the use of a neutral pH cleaner to remove soil. Be sure to change your water/cleaning solution often so you do not mop dirty water back onto the tile surface. For soiled grout lines, use the same cleaner with a nylon scrub brush. Most grout products today have additional additives to make them less porous and more stain resistant; however, we still advise sealing your grout to increase its stain resistance. If your tile flooring is a natural stone or slate, a stone sealer is usually applied at the time of installation but will need to be reapplied periodically based on use.
Sealing
Natural stone has been formed over millions of years but improper care can ruin nature’s beauty. Although we usually think of stone as “hard”, it is porous material that can absorb spills and stains left untreated. Sealing your stone with a quality impregnating sealer will prevent most spills from damaging your investment. There are a wide variety of sealers available, so selecting the proper sealer for the specific natural stone and the environment that the stone is being used in is critical. Impregnating sealers with new advanced fluoropolymer technology will penetrate the stone and helps protect it against water and oil-based stains. Industry professionals now recognize that natural stone is best protected with a fluoropolymer-base sealer. We recommend sealing your new stone with an impregnating sealer. For color enhancing and other specialconsiderations, please discuss your options with your salesperson. We offer a complete line of sealers for your natural stone. Once sealed properly, your stone is protected against everyday dirt and spills. Proper cleaning will help the sealer last longer and keep your stone protected without damaging your stone’s natural beauty.
Cleaning Your Natural Stone
Keeping your stone dry and free of dust will minimize the scratches and wear-patterns that can develop from everyday use. Clean your natural stone on a regular basis with warm water and a clean, non-abrasive cloth, sponge or mop. In addition, using a neutral cleaner specially formulated for natural stone will help remove soils that normal dusting or damp mopping leave behind. We recommend a neutral PH stone cleaner. These cleaners are developed especially for natural stone and tile care. Their unique blend of neutral cleaning agents makes them gentle on your stone while leaving behind an impregnating protective shield every time you clean. In bathrooms, common soil build up from make-up, hairspray, and other products can be minimized if cleaned on a regular basis with the proper cleaner.
DO NOT use general purpose cleaners or you may damage your stone or its seal. DO NOT use products that contain lemon, vinegar or other acids as these may etch the stone surface and damage its polish. DO NOT use scouring powders or creams, these products contain abrasives that may scratch the surface.
When cleaning floor surfaces you should dust mop frequently using a clean non-treated dry dust mop. Sand, dirt and grit do the most damage to natural stone surfaces. Mats or area rugs inside and outside the entrance will help to minimize the potential damage from these particles. In addition, be careful when using a vacuum cleaner as the metal or plastic attachments or wheels may scratch the surface. Damp mop the stone floor with a diluted solution of a neutral PH stone cleaner as directed on the label. Keep off floor until completely dry, as wet stone floors may be slippery.Natural Stone Damage Control
What to do when a spill occurs:
Etch Marks
Substances that are highly acidic, such as orange juice, coffee, vinegar, wine, tomato products, mustard and many soft drinks, will “etch” most marble, limestone and travertine whether the stone is sealed or not. Although sealing allows you time to wipe up a spill, it cannot stop the chemical reaction that may leave a dull area or etch mark in the stone. Inaddition, cleaners not specifically designed for natural stone are not recommended. These may etch away the polish, discolor the surface, scratch the stone or degrade the sealer. That is why selecting the correct cleaning products is so important to the lifetime beauty of your naturalstone. Professional refinishing is the best way to permanently remove etch marks and restore your natural stone’s even finish.
Food Spills
Scoop up the food with a plastic spoon. Blot with dry white cloth. Spray the area with a neutral PH stone cleaner, and dry with a clean cloth.
Liquid Spills
Blot away the excess with a clean and dry white cloth, turning the clothfrequently. Spray the area with a neutral PH stone cleaner and wipe dry with a clean cloth.
Mud
Let the mud stain dry completely. Remove dried mud with a soft plastic or nylon brush. Spray affected area with a neutral PH stone cleaner and wipe dry with a clean cloth.
Oily Stains
If you identify the stain as having an oil base (many products contain oils, such as cooking oils, butter and some cosmetics) you may be able to remove the stain using a poultice. A poultice is an excellent cleaning agent. This easy-to-use poultice is designed to slowly remove oily stains from natural stone surfaces. Follow directions on the label.

Vinyl Flooring

Weekly care for your vinyl flooring should should include sponge mopping with a no-rinse vinyl floor cleaner. Most mid-level to high-quality vinyl flooring manufactured today comes with a factory urethane finish. This treatment prevents soil and scuff marks from sticking to the vinyl surface, eliminating the need to reapply a polish. However, basic grades of vinyl may require the application of acrylic dressings. We carry a wide range of vinyl care and maintenance products.
Brown vinyl dining room floor
Cork flooring in a loft

Cork

Weekly care for your cork flooring should include sweeping to remove larger dirt particles, followed by the use of a spray cleaner and terry cloth dust mop. In order to restore the finish of your cork floor, a polyurethane finish can be applied to the surface.

Linoleum

Weekly care for your linoleum flooring should involve the use of a neutral pH cleaner and damp sponge mop. Made from natural raw materials, linoleum can be damaged with the use of high pH cleaners. Marmoleum produced today will have factory applied finishes, but older varieties of linoleum will need to be refinished periodically to protect the floor and keep them looking fresh. We carry Marmoleum’s line of linoleum care and maintenance products.
White linoleum living room floor