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GOT ONE STEP DOWN? WITH ITS STEP WORN OUT?

THREE WAYS TO REPAIR IT

(Look closely at the center of the photo and you will see the back of the carpet ready to split open and cause someone to trip)

ONLY ONE BEST WAY TO FIX IT

The best way to fix this worn edge problem is to replace the step. A seam is made about 4 inches back from the edge and a new piece added. An extra piece of carpet is of course necessary.

An alternate method is to put a small patch into the worn out area. This not a very good way to go. The edge takes a beating and that is why it wore out first. A patch is not meant to be subjected to a beating.

And a third was it to “flip” the carpet end for end.  The bad edge can be patched and it will hold because it will not be on the edge. However the carpet grain is now laying in two opposite directions, and the natural match is lost.

(Finished step repair . Note the bright spot on the left is sunlight, and not a difference in color)

The seam runs from the wood on left to the wood on the right. The sun is hitting the face of the step. The seam and connection to the existing carpet is on the top edge about 5 inches back from the edge. It is all but invisible to a first glance and only a close inspection looking for it finds it.

I have done many  carpet repair  jobs on steps like the one above , and always have received pleasant comments.

WHOOOOPS

(Has something like this ever happened on your carpet?)

THANK GOODNESS FOR SPECIALISTS

Stains that a carpet cleaning company can not remove are a  carpet stain  repair companies , ” cup of tea” , so to speak.  Patching is a skill that sounds terrible but when done by an expert the results can be phenomenal.  A  large patch  can often be  almost invisible. Buy all new  carpet is not necessary , except maybe a small piece to replace a closet. Why  replace a closet? Closets are a good place to get perfectly matching carpet for the repair when there was no extra carpeting saved from the original install.

Thee materials  dye lot has to be a perfect match when doing patching to get the best results. The grain has to run in exactly the same direction. The hole that is cut around the stain has to be cut from its backside to allow the carpet edges to butt together perfectly. The piece that is cut to fit in the hole also has to be cut from its backside to make for a perfect fit. Below is an example of an actual burn repair that uses the same technique that a stain patch would use.

A tool called a “Hot Melt” iron is used in the above case to repair a household iron burn.  Hot melt tape is inserted under the seam joints and the hot iron melts the tape to the patch and main carpet body. This type of burn is more common than you might think. I once did 5 iron burn repairs in one apartment. However for this articles purpose imagine the burn is a stain.

In extremely large damaged areas such as can be caused by  pet stains, stretching the patch tight is necessary so that it doesn’t have wrinkles in it latter. This is a time consuming method because one seam has to dry before the other side can be stretched, then cut to fit, then  stay tacked, and finally seamed together.

UNEVEN FLOORS ?

PRE-FABRICATED SHIMS

When a new ceramic floor is added next to and existing carpeted floor the tile side becomes a tripping hazard in most cases. Its edge is higher than the carpet. Thick ceramic with an underlayment board or cement underlayment can often raise one side 3/4 of an inch higher than the other. This is just one of the many  carpet problems that we  solve for people living in the Metro Detroit area. Sometimes the repairs at the shims also need carpet stretching .

The shim board shown is made of a press board type substance and intended for home use.  It comes in different tapering thickness. They come in thickness ranging from 1/4 inch up to 1/2 inch thick They can be doubled by adding the 1/4 and 1/2 if necessary. This is not a perfect solution, but it is the best that is currently available other than raising the whole floor under the carpet to match the raised new tile floor on the other side of the carpet.

(Tile and sub floors  ridge is shown next to white wood floor. The striped pads backside is shown rolled away for access to the floor to nail the shims in place.)

(Loose shim board on tile they come in four foot lengths)

(Finished carpet edge tucked in at tile.  The 3/8 in high one foot wide tapered  shim provided a perfect transition height match between the raised tile and lower carpeted floor)

A metal bar transition piece is not the way to acquire the best looking and safe result. The metals are reserved for cement floors or  when linoleum  butts up to carpet. Years ago people washed their linoleum floors constantly to keep the kitchen eating area clean and the metal keep the soapy water from bleaching the color out of the edge of the carpet.

Some installers still use wood shingles as their shims.  This often leads to cracks between the boards telegraphing through the pad and leaving “ridges” in the carpet after a few years of walking over the area. They also have been know to “split” and pop up creating bumps under the carpet. I know because I specialize in all types of  carpet repairTroy Michigan areas.

NOW YOU SEE IT NOW YOU DON’T

SNAG IN A BERBER CARPET

Most of the time miracles can be worked if you have the right guy on the job. Repairs like this, of up to four or five loops, on a Berber carpet can be almost always invisible. When the snag is long a patch is required.  This carpet above actually has a repeating pattern of rows that have to line up perfectly.  The edges of a patch require sealing otherwise a new snag can occur. Applying just the right amount of glue is very tricky: Too little and a snag will occur, too much and the glue will show on the carpet pile.

ACTUAL CLOSE UP OF THE BERBER TUFT REPAIR

Putting only a one , or a few loops of carpet back in place can be called “tufting”. Patching is usually necessary when more tufts are snagged or there are two rows side by side snagged. I have done  many a carpet fix  like the above one throughout my years as a carpet repair specialist.

PATCHING AN IRON BURN

This is not a Berber carpet in the photo below. I t is a more conventional carpet. The procedure is much the same as a Berber patch except the seam sealing is not as critical. It is still important. Notice the cigarette burn. That requires a smaller gluing tool obviously than the big iron.

1. CUT OUT THE DAMAGED AREAS

Seaming tape that has glue on it  is placed along the cut seam lines and under the carpet.   The glue needs to be melted by the iron.

Of course the insert patch has to be cut to a perfect fit. The patch cutting is done from its backside as much as possible and then with sheers the edges are trimmed down to a perfect fit at an angle from the top side.

2. The iron is slid across the tape. When the glue is melted to the correct degree the iron is easily moved across it ( like across a layer of butter).

3. At the last corner the iron is tipped up to a 90 degree angle and slid out very carefully. A weight (tool box) is usually slid across the seam to help flatten it.  Here it is almost invisible the finished repair.

MY SECOND MOST  FAVORITE PART OF DOING PATCH REPAIRS IS

I enjoy calming down people who are upset about carpet accidents. They are thinking things like: Can it be fixed?  What is it going to look like?  How much is it going to cost? What will my husband or wife say, etc.  Sometimes they think that it can not be fixed because they called an amateur and I have to assure them it can be.  I did many carpet burn  Warren Mi. repairs when I lived in that area.  Especially at apartment complexes.

MY FIRST MOST FAVORITE PART OF DOING A PATCH REPAIR IS

When  I hover over the damaged carpet area with my tools and I glance up to see an anxious look on a customers face.  Then I cut the stain (or damaged area) out of the carpet which leaves a hole in it.  BOY DO  THEIR EYES POP WIDE OPEN SOMETIMES .  I can just see them thinking that they should have lived with the stain or tear or whatever the problem was.  Some customers have actually verbalized it out loud.  I make people happy and that makes my profession one that I  like doing.

RED CARPET TREATMENT

EXPECT RESPECT FOR YOU AND YOUR HOME

A first class carpet install and repair company will put their customers first. There should be no rush, rush, hurry up and get out of our way pressure from your chosen company. Good companies do exist.

Ask yourself are they polite?  Can you smell beer on their breath?  These are two deal breaker or getter signs.

What about shoes? Are they clean? Sometimes service people can wear booties over their shoes or work in their socks. If they can’t then they should at least have the courtesy to explain why.

Do they just slam things around, or drop their tool boxes on the floor? Do they do little things that show they care about your home? You can tell them to leave. It is your home.

Were they on time? If not, did they phone you and say they would be late?

Consider This Perspective- Give Respect

Actually I hear people all the time complain about how the cable people make them sit around all day and wait.    I am a service guy that gives my first customer an accurate appointment. My second or third customer  are told a starting time estimate of when I’ll finish my first job. I give  notice that I might be late unless they are willing to be my first job.  I call if I am running late. However, I have been stood up  by people many times despite how hard I try to not have them sit around all day waiting for me.  Please don’t treat me bad because others treat you bad.  Just thought I’d toss that thought in here.

Here are a couple of  true short stories of service people  that you would not want  in your home:

1. The ceramic tile man who worked his way out of the kitchen to the carpeted doorway in the hall.  His hands and knees were filthy and when he was done so was the customers carpet in the hall. It now had ground in  black stuff all over it ,and he never said a word about leaving it that way. That is how he was. Not very careful or respectful. The customer thought she could clean it out but it never all came out.  Because of the ugly carpet stain she asked me to replace the hall with extra carpet she saved. She was at least lucky that the hall was a short one.

2. How about the remolding company plumbers that had dirty shoes. The customer asked them if they had  shoe coverings that they could wear (booties) so when they came onto the carpet they would not soil it. They had them and said “Be glad to Miss”  That sounded promising.  Life is full of unusual results and this is a whopper.

These guys were real mental giants, or should I say ants.  They put their booties on and then walked outside in the dirt, and then inside across the carpet and into their work area, and then across the carpet, and outside, etc. without ever taking the booties off.

A Closing Thought

When you find a qualified and respectful service person my thoughts are that they are worth a little extra consideration.

FAVORITE PLACE TO WORK OR PLAY

GOLF COURSES : CLUBHOUSE AND TENT CARPETS

TENT

Let’s start with indoor/outdoor carpeting and where it might be used. Some places outdoor carpets are used is in  tents, on porches, patios, and even around swimming pools.

The example below shows the results of a job I do almost every year in a seasonal tent on a golf course. Five pieces of carpet are seamed together every spring and then cut into five pieces in Fall, rolled up,  and stored until the next Spring. The seams are 70 feet long and I use hot-melt tape and the iron. The carpet has to be stretched tight and nailed to the asphalt to keep it safe and flat. I do the five sections one at a time. It goes something like this: stretch section 1, layout and stretch section 2, trim seam edges to butt together and then seam them together. The process is repeated and the carpet gets bigger and bigger and another piece is added.

The tent area is about 60 feet by 80 feet and is used on one of my favorite golf courses.  It is a two day job to re-install it and I bring a helper both days most of the time.

The weather is a problem for me because the rain comes into the tent area on the edges of the floor even if the flaps are down.  Sometimes they take the tent down before they tell me when they plan to do it and the carpet gets wet.  It is really hard to  schedule work around fickle weather.  However it does give their tent a “classy” look when its completed!.

INDOOR/OUTDOOR CARPET (roll up and store for next year)

CLUBHOUSE CARPETING WRINKLES REMOVED

CLUBHOUSE CARPET (glue down)

This carpet was wrinkled and created a tripping hazard.  It is a glue down carpet and is not repaired by carpet stretching. Sometimes the installers water down the glue and trowel it too thin.  Eventually the carpet comes loose from the floor and it bubbles or wrinkles. In order to repair it I have to peel it back or cut what I call a “trap door”.  The trap door is a large three sided patch that I roll back and re-glue. This three sided cut is done wherever the carpet is loose. The distorted  wrinkle that I press into the glue  is  too big for the hole that I cut and trimming is needed. Trim it too small and it looks horrible. Trim it too big and a new bubble is created.

These “no room for error” jobs used to be nerve racking on me when I was first learning, but its no problem now. Practice makes perfect! These repairs shown were in Saint Clair County, however I do most of my  carpet repair in Oakland and Macomb County.

INTITUTION A GREAT MONEY SAVER

USE YOUR INTUITION WHEN CHOOSING A SERVICEMAN

You don’t have to throw the dice when choosing a person /company that is going to do work for you.

There are many little things that can add up to a big NO THANK YOU when choosing a company (person) to solve your carpet issues. The signs apply to any trade.  It is always a good choice to start in your own neighborhood but don’t be afraid to look elsewhere. If a service man doesn’t want to work in your area he would not be advertising there. I for example do many carpet stretching Troy Michigan jobs even though I live in Shelby Twp. Michigan.

In order to make an intuitive decision one must listen carefully, and not get distracted.

1. If you ask a question, listen carefully and hear your questions words repeated in the answer. For example: If you were to ask  the serviceman “Do you use a power stretcher“? The answer is not “We stretch your carpets nice and tight and guarantee our work” or “We’ve been doing this many years and have many satisfied customers”. The answer that you want to hear is “Yes we always use a power stretcher“, and if they want to add other things like they guarantee their work of course that is just fine.

2. Listen carefully to what the different servicemen tell you when giving you their estimate. Do they offer information to you or do they make you ask them about important techniques that you researched and know are necessary.

Actual On Job photo; Notice the two by four board in the background,

it has a piece of carpet attached to its face so no scratched walls

3.Do they offer techniques that attitude that show respect for you and your house? When giving an estimate if your shoes are off , do they offer to take theirs off?  Do they have special adaptations to tools that they use so as to provide extra protection to your walls or floors?

A two by four board with carpet on the side that braces against the wall when the power stretcher is used is just one of many special features that Cosentino Carpet has been offering to folks desiring carpet repair in Oakland, and the Metro Detroit area. Further articles will show other special tools and techniques unique to most consumers experiences with the purchase or repair of carpeting.

Stair Shifting

These steps would be called Princess or Wrapped or Upholstered

AN ALMOST FORGOTTEN ART

Stair shifting does not mean an earthquake or moving the stairway to another room. That statement was an attempt at humor. Writing sometimes needs a brain jog. Non-the-less let me continue with information about what stair shifting is.

Shifting steps is simply to move the worn edge to an area that doesn’t get foot traffic. Exactly how this is done depends on how they were installed and how much extra carpet was saved after the original install.

Sometimes our pets can have an accident and leave a urine odor on a step or in a corner or a room. Rather than patching a step it can be replaced by using some of the closet carpeting. This is easier than doing a patch.

The most common stair installs are: 1:waterfall, 2:capped (princess steps)etc.lots of names, and3: upholstered around posts or edges.

Example of Waterfall stairway

Waterfall steps the easiest to shift. The carpet flows over the steps much like water would. It is not tacked tight under the top lip. The idea is to “pull down” the top and put it on the face (the part out toe would kick).  This requires some extra carpet since it leaves a top missing carpet.

I recently had a customer call me to do a carpet fix on their stairway that was wrinkled and I suggested that not only could I get the wrinkles out but it would be economical to do stair shift at the same time. They also had Pet Stains in their Rochester area home.

Princess steps are a little more difficult. Each step is individual. Sometimes they can be flipped end for end.  However most often they are pulled forward about 2 inches to move the worn edge under the steps front lip. These are also called “capped” or “upholstered” steps.

Upholstered Around Posts steps. These are done like the princess steps except it is more time consuming because of the wrapping around the posts. When the steps also have “ears” (wrap around an outside edge) the wrap is left as is. It gets no wear.

NOT GRANDPAPPYS DAYS ANYMORE

TODAY IS THE DAY OF THE COMPUTER, INTERNET, and FASTER RESULTS.

The general idea of how to do: a seam repair,  a patch repair, or install carpeting hasn’t changed. However  the tools have. Why? First because the carpets manufacturing processes changed. Secondly labor costs had to be kept down.

Up to the 1960s’ installing and repairing carpets was slow and meticulous work.  Very skilled people were needed just to accomplish only a satisfactory job. Seeming carpets was an art, along with matching up  their patterns. Any minor mistake resulted in a major flawed looking instal or carpet stain repair in Metro Detroit. That’s where he mostly worked.

Imagine you have a 15 foot by 24 foot long master bedroom carpet. The carpet in Grandads’ day came in rolls that were approximately 2 feet wide with flower patterns on them. In order to do a 15 foot wide room 8 pieces 24 feet long would be cut off at the store.  Then they would be hand sewn together to fit the 15 by 24 foot room.

If the customer had wall to wall carpet in their hallway then the new was sewn to the old in the hall. To do this the large heavy new bedroom carpet had to be layed out in the room and then folded over through the 3 foot wide bedroom doorway and into the hall so that it could be sewn from their “backsides” together. Of course the walls and wood door frames must not be scratched by the carpet. After sewing, taping, gluing, drying, the carpet had to folded over to its topside in the bedroom and installed.

Gramps had to put the carpet on the roof of his car,wrap it when necessary, and deliver it to do his installs or carpet repair work in Detroit and surrounding suburbs or whatever they were called back then.

Wall to wall was unusual back in his day. Most people had hall runners with binding, and stair runners with binding. How were they fastened after stretching? Sterilized “blued” sharp tacks were tossed into the mouth, turned with the tongue so the point was out. Then the carpets were knee kicked and tacked down.  Although my experience spitting tacks was limited I did get to try it out a few times. My dad wanted me to learn “everything’! Yes, I said “spit”.