Carpet cleaning not only helps clean unsightly dirt and spot on carpets, it also helps keep nasty odor away.
But first, what causes foul odor in carpets?
The reason for a carpet having a foul odor could be as simple as the material that spilled on or soiled the carpet not being cleaned promptly. Or, it could also be due to more serious chemical reactions between the floor surface and the carpet.
Chemical reactions between a concrete floor, in particular, and carpet could be toxic to human health if left unresolved.
Let’s discuss what these chemical reactions are that cause carpets to have nasty odor.
According to the Carpet and Rug Institute, a US-based trade organization that sets the standard for commercial carpet installation, carpet installers have to watch out for three elements when installing carpet on concrete slab: moisture, alkalinity, and humidity.
Moisture in concrete slab comes from two sources: free water, also known as water of convenience, which is mixed into the cement to form it into a mixable consistency; and moisture that comes from below the concrete slab.
In the ideal scenario, these two types of moisture should be sealed in to the concrete slab. Fast paced construction, failure to include moisture sealing and protection, or the improper installation of moisture sealing and protection could cause moisture to seep from below the surface later on.
In other words, the concrete slab is not treated and dried thoroughly to keep moisture locked in.
To test if the concrete floor is thoroughly treated and dried, the CRI recommends conducting a Moisture Vapor Emission Rate Test (MVER). This is a standard test method which should be conducted by an accredited and licensed third party who are equipped not only with the scientific method involved in the test, but also with the right testing equipment.
When moisture from the concrete slab reacts with the carpet and the adhesive used to install the carpet, the result is a highly toxic odor that makes the space where the carpet was installed practically uninhabitable.
There is no shortcut as to resolving this kind of situation. In most cases, the practical remedy is to uninstall the carpet, completely dry up the concrete, conduct the MVER test, and once passed, re-install the carpet all over again.
Alkalinity refers to the capability of water to neutralize acid. It is measured by a potential of Hydrogen or pH scale. The pH scale ranges from 0-14, with 7 being neutral, which means a solution is neither acidic or alkaline, 2 being acidic, and from 8 to 14 being alkaline.
The alkalinity of concrete floors reacts both to the carpet and the adhesive used in carpet installation.
Just like moisture, excessive alkalinity in concrete floors can cause a chemical reaction with the carpet and carpet adhesive, which then will result in a suffocating odor.
Prior to installation, testing the alkalinity of the concrete floor is important. The test must be conducted by a licensed practitioner, especially because preparing the concrete floor for alkalinity testing could be tricky. Cleaning the floor too much or too little can alter the alkaline content of the floor, which will not yield to accurate results.
Concrete’s porous nature makes it more prone to dampness or humidity. A damp concrete surface can cause mold and mildew on the carpet, and this is exacerbated when water and dirt mix.
Concrete floors must be sealed thoroughly before installing carpet. Licensed providers can seal concrete floors and test the floors for humidity using established methods.
In summary, moisture, alkalinity and humidity of concrete floors could cause carpets to have nasty odor. To avoid this, make sure that the concrete floor has been tested and treated before installing carpets.
Carpet Cleaning Techniques That Help Eliminate Carpet Odors
Carpet odors can also result from dirt on the carpet that remains neglected over time.
From animal manure or urine, to food that soil the carpet, the odor from these dirt can ruin an otherwise pleasant experience being in a carpeted area.
It is important to remember that the culprit is not the carpet itself – it is that the carpets have not been cleaned as soon as they got soiled or dirty.
Carpets are like sponge – they absorb the dirt, soil, or spills almost instantly. To avoid the carpets having a foul smell, it is important to clean them promptly.
How do professional carpet cleaning companies clean carpets? What are expert carpet cleaning techniques that help eliminate carpet odors?
Extraction cleaning is recommended for heavily soiled carpets. Not only does extraction cleaning thoroughly remove carpet stains, dirts, and soils, it also leaves carpets smelling clean and fresh.
The extraction method involves propelling carpet cleaning agents directly onto the carpet surface at high pressure. This loosens the dirt, soil, or grime that have been absorbed by and which have settled deep into the carpet fabric.
After applying high pressure to loosen the dirty and grime, vacuum then suctions the dirt and the cleaning agent applied to eliminate the dirt and keep the carpet dry.
Extraction cleaning benefits the care for one’s carpet in two ways: First, it completely extracts the dirt, and second, it completely dries up the carpet. This way, no moisture or water or cleaning agent will be left lodged into the carpet which can cause foul odors.
A clean carpet is not only pleasing and comfortable, it is also beneficial to people’s health.
When a carpet is not completely dry, it becomes a breeding ground for bacteria, which can cause a host of diseases to people.
If the carpet is generally clean but has a spot that needs to be cleaned, then spot removal is a recommended carpet cleaning method.
Tough stains like coffee stains, oil, rust and adhesive stains can damage the carpet fabric. Spot removal carried out by professional carpet cleaning companies can remove tough stains without damaging the carpet.
Special cleaning chemicals are used to remove the dirt on an area or spot on the carpet surface. The special cleaning chemical ensures that the carpet retains its color and texture as the rest of the entire carpet surface even if only a portion of it has been cleaned.
Dry Foam Shampooing
Dry foam shampooing is a professional carpet cleaning technique that uses a carpet cleaning machine with rotating brushes to whip up a shampoo foam on the carpet surface, lifting dirt, grime and soil in the process. After leaving the shampoo solution on the carpet, it is then rinsed off and vacuumed for a thorough and dry clean.
These carpet cleaning techniques can take care of your carpet so they look and smell fresh and clean. It is important to remember that professional carpet cleaning techniques remain the purview of licensed and expert carpet cleaners. If you want your carpet to last long and in pristine condition, trust only expert carpet cleaners to do the job.