Avoiding Carpet Shrinkage

This is an example of carpet shrinkage.  You can clearly see the gripper rod.

You may have had your carpet cleaned because you've just decorated or moved into a new home. Unfortunately, in life disasters can happen. We know that some people have experienced carpet shrinkage after having their carpets cleaned by inexperienced carpet cleaners or carpet cleaning conmen. What makes matters even worse is when you can no longer contact the company that did the cleaning for you.

So what types of carpet are prone to shrinking? There are two types of carpet that will readily shrink if not cleaned using appropriate tools and methods. These are Axminsters and Wiltons.

Genuine Axminsters are constructed with wool and a natural fibre backing called jute. These fibres interweave so if your carpet cleaner soaks the face (wool side) of the carpet then this can cause the jute backing to become too soaked resulting in shrinkage. The Wilton carpets that are prone to shrinkage are known in the carpet industry as Belgian Wiltons.

These are made using synthetic polypropylene fibres with jute backing. Synthetics do not absorb any moisture, so any cleaning solution applied to the carpet is able run off into the jute backing, soaking it, which can cause the dreaded carpet shrinkage. Why do they shrink?

The main reasons are operator error and poor quality, underpowered carpet cleaning equipment. The machinery used must be powerful enough to extract most of the liquid cleaning product from the carpet.

Poor operator technique may be applying too much cleaning product or using too much water to rinse the carpets out after cleaning and not being able to remove sufficient moisture causing the jute backing to become saturated which makes it swell up and expand causing stress to the carpets structure.

How do you avoid all the stress and bother?

If you have one of these carpets, don't worry, they can still be cleaned.

A professional carpet cleaning company like Derwent Cleaning Services use the very latest carpet cleaning equipment with excellent moisture recovery. An operator with over 10 years experience in the business will be aware of the risks and will take appropriate measures using low moisture techniques to proceed with the clean.

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