Posted on

Claims file: Stop overselling

by Lew Migliore

Just because you “flower up” a product to make a sale doesn’t change the flooring’s actual capabilities. This is the biggest problem in the industry encompassing all floor covering materials.

One dealer installed a high quality nylon loop pile carpet in the corridors of a six-story con- dominium a year and a half ago. One of the tenant’s children left skidmarks when he was riding his bike in the hall and the maintenance manager called to see if there was any way to remove it. They had the carpet cleaned with hot water extraction but that did not help.

Any suggestions? Certainly: Make those kids ride their bikes outside.

As for the carpet, the heat from the friction of the rubber tires sliding across the carpet actually melted the nylon. Remember, all synthetic carpets are a thermoplastic making them susceptible to high heat; friction from a rubber bicycle tire skidding on the carpet qualifies as high heat as well as an extraordinary circumstance.

This is not an intended use for textile floor covering so the carpet was damaged, not soiled. The only way to repair this damage is to replace that section of the carpet. Riding bikes on carpet is not something you should have to include in the explanation or qualification of the product at the point of sale.

We’re also getting calls about wood flooring cupping, curling, cracking, doming and ends rising as a result of uncontrolled temperature and humidity. As our wood expert says, “Wood floors like to be comfortable, too.”

If the temperature for human beings is comfortable it should work for wood floors as well. If it gets hot and humid or cold and dry, the occupants—and the floor—are going to react. This is a very simple way to explain why people should set their home or business HVAC systems so they don’t experience problems with the wood floor. This also goes for vinyl flooring, which can be affected by swings in temperature and humidity, especially if the HVAC system is shut down for extended periods of time. You can add carpet to the mix as swings in temperature and humidity can cause carpet to buckle and wrinkle.

The use of polyester is growing faster than a weed in this economy because it is a good value with inherent, positive attributes. It is inherently stain resistant and color fast, which can be increased if the fiber is solution-dyed, and if processed with integrity it can have good resiliency. This isn’t the old generation polyester. It will perform better if and only if it is properly processed, twisted, heat set and put into a yarn configuration that improves performance. Add to that the use of continuous filament instead of spun yarn and you have a winner.

When you start skimping on the process, problems occur. If the product is oversold—which you may tend to do if you believe everything you hear— you might get yourself nipped. Be realistic. Understand the product and don’t oversell it. A good rule to follow is the less it costs you, the less it will perform.

Google with caution. We’re getting more calls from consumers who find information on the Internet and are overwhelmed with the volume. There is a lot of bad information online, so you’d better know what you’re talking about or consumers will think you are lying. On the other hand, they may come in with information that is pure folly in some respects.

Sometimes, too much really is too much.