There are several new condominium buildings that are having trouble installing carpets in the common hallways of their buildings. There are several new condominium buildings that are having problems with the installation of carpets in the common hallways of their buildings. By the time a carpet installation Los Angeles finally gets involved with one of these claims, the carpet has been moved, steam cleaned, vacuumed and weathered.

The very nature of the hospital-style carpet used in the common areas of the condominium can cause problems. Proper installation and maintenance procedures are extremely important if there is any hope of maintaining a beautiful appearance for more than ten years.

Common corridors carpeted in condominiums often have stylized edges and irregularly shaped hallways that require several carpet panels to be joined together to complete the installation. The way carpet seams are expected to be constructed has changed dramatically over the past five years. Unfortunately, no one seems to have informed the carpet installers. There is no mechanism in the industry that keeps carpet installers and retailers informed of changes in the industry.

According to the Carpet Institute Standard for Carpet Installation 2011, glued carpets are supposed to have all cutting edge seams sealed with a thermoplastic adhesive or something similar. A third bead of seam sealer is then applied to one edge of the seam to “weld” the carpet panels. Most carpet installers and sellers are not aware of this requirement. No wonder the seams of so many buildings blur.

Unfortunately, the blame for blurred seams rests with the carpet manufacturer, carpet cleaners, vacuum cleaners and the latest is the new LEED approved carpet adhesive. Nothing could be further from the truth. The reason architects and carpet manufacturers insist that all cut edges of the carpet be encapsulated with a joint sealer is that they need it. The construction of the carpet and the adhesives used to bond the primary and secondary substrates has changed for a number of reasons, primarily to make the carpet a “greener” carpet.

Another problem related to installation that causes havoc in installations is the lack of adhesive used to attach the carpet to the substrate. If there is a place where corners can be cut, it is by reducing the amount of adhesive used to attach the carpet. You can double the “savings” if the carpet is a double glued installation. This type of installation is when the carpet is fixed to the base and the base is fixed to the concrete. There are tables that clearly indicate the type of trowel that should be used to apply the adhesive to different styles of carpet substrates. Unfortunately, it is rare for installers to adhere to this table. The rule of thumb for a properly placed carpet is that it would be extremely difficult to remove a carpet and if it could, there would be legs in the adhesive. The legs in the adhesive mean that where the glue separates from the concrete there are strings of adhesive between the floor and the back of the carpet.

The last big problem with hallway rugs that is often seen is when wall-to-wall carpet is replaced by new carpet tiles. The tiles are installed with a pressure sensitive adhesive. This adhesive must be applied to a clean concrete surface free of all contaminants, including the adhesive from previous carpet installations. If pressure sensitive adhesive is applied over the old carpet adhesive, then it mixes with it, moisture is trapped and as moisture finally tries to escape through the edges of the carpet tiles and rises or the new adhesive emulsifies. Again, the manufacturer is often blamed for this problem and the carpet supplier will often try to glue the lifting edges with adhesive that should not be used to try to keep the lifting edges on top of the concrete.

The dilemma for most condominium corporations is the assumption that carpets are installed to specifications. When a company that does things right quotes against a company that does not make the price difference it is quite substantial. Inevitably, companies that make shortcuts or don’t know the standards get the contract. Unfortunately, the sad truth is that very few companies are installing according to the standards.

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