Carpet cleaning? Or Floor warping machine? - Posted by Jason

Posted by Jason on March 03, 2003 at 10:01:09:

Thank you for all of the well throught out advice. :slight_smile: Hope it was (or will be) helpful to others as well.

Carpet cleaning? Or Floor warping machine? - Posted by Jason

Posted by Jason on February 16, 2003 at 19:26:45:

Hi Everyone,

I’m in the process of doing my first deal. It is a major rehab project. I know that is probably not the best first deal, but the numbers worked and I was faced with the question of “Do I want to do this or not?” I did want to do it, so now I am. :slight_smile:

I need to clean some carpets. Can I use the water-soak cleaners? I’m already fixing 10 square yards of flooring from a major water leak, so I’m a little paranoid about introducing water to the particle board. Should I be worried about that, or can I clean the carpet that way?


-------- any emails to my email address will be rejected if they don’t contain MH somewhere in the subject line.

Water Water Everywhere and not a drop to… - Posted by Dr. Craig Whisler CA

Posted by Dr. Craig Whisler CA on February 24, 2003 at 02:31:55:


Your car won’t perform any better than the person behing the wheel.

Your carpet cleaning maching is the same way.

When done according to directions steam cleaning is the best process there ever was for wall to wall carpet cleaning. Shampooing and dry chemical cleaning are little more than well promoted consumer frauds. Picture this: would you step into the shower and lather up with your favorite hair shampoo and then step out and towel dry your hair WITHOUT rinsing first? Well that is EXACTLY what you do when shampooing your carpeting.

The so-called steam cleaning process (no steam is used) sprays on a very dilute detergent/cleaner & very hot water solution and then vacuums it up. At least it vacuums MOST of the water up, so you should not be soaking your carpets or floors in the first place. Probably about 70%-90% of the water used with each pass of the wand is vacuumed up. You can never get it all but truck mounted machines come closest. This works great in most cases. The trick is to resist going over the real dirty traffic areas 341 times in an attempt to make your carpets look brand new after your hubby has overhauled his Harley in the middle of the living room. For extremely dirty areas use special spotters or traffic lane claners sprayed on with a squirt bottle or weed sprayer. Let it soak for 15 minutes and use physical agitation (scrub like the dickens with the corner of the wand while NOT spraying any more water). Scrub and scrub until you feel physically agitated. Then when the dirt is lose go over it with the wand using the regular water spray to rinse it good. Don’t go over any area more than 10 times or so. If you happen to overwet an area make a few dry passes with the wand (using only the vacuum but not the water) then just put the largest fan you can find near floor level to dry it as quickly as possible.

Some carpet cleaners specialize in remediating flood jobs and they rarely lose a floor. Note carefully, when wet vacuuming after a flood, that the carpets will rewet themselves automatically (several times). Remember you read it here first. The mistake most people make when trying to dry flooded carpets and floors is to stop vacuuming after getting the carpet as dry as possible. If you feel such a dried carpet with your hand 15 minutes later it will be VERY wet AGAIN. Who knows where all the new water comes from? Possibly from the walls or the pad or carpet backing or all 3. No matter where it comes from IT WILL COME BACK SEVERAL TIMES. Just keep revacuuming (dryvacuuming) it until the water doesn’t come back any more. Then put a fan on it with doors and windows open to allow the moisture someplace to escape to.

Otherwise you might lose a subfloor.

What to do when the snow is piled up 3 feet deep outside. If you live in a cold winter climate you have a special problem. You tend to get cold with the doors and windows open when its 30 below outside. To dry your carpets you close up the doors ad windows and turn the heater up to ‘bake’. Right? You need to understand something about the drying process. When you close up your house and turn on the heater, water starts to leave your carpet and enter the ambient air as it begins to evaporate. Soon the air becomes saturated and you carpets STOP drying. Water will transfer from your carpet to the room air until and only until they reach the same moisture content. Then no more water can leave your carpet unless you raise the room temperature. The trick is to open the doors and windows on oposite sides of the house and in the direction of the wind air flow, for about 5 minutes to evacuate the wet, humid air and let cold DRY air replace it. Then close up the house again and reheat for about half hour to an hour and repeat the 5 minute sair replacement. You do this over and over until dry. Each time you let in fresh air your carpets will begin to dry again.

Remember it is NOT water that ruins wooden subflooring like most people think. It is how long the water stands on the wood that determines the damage. Most wood flooring is reasonably resistant to wetting followed by normal or forced drying. The mobile home makers know you will be using water and steam cleaning to clean your carpets. The subfloors will withstand a lot of wetting in it is immediately followed by normal drying.
This is why flood control specialists can save your wood floors by acting quickly after you have had had a flooded room or house. Now you know how to do it for yourself and save enough to buy me a Big Mac at the next convention. Remember, such companies are without mercy when you are getting a estimate while standing ankle deep in water in your living room. Its kinda like needing a triple bypass if you want to see next Sunday. You don’t argue price if you don’t know how to do it yourself. Now you know how.

P.S. if you ever have a narrow strip oak wook floor buckle from swelling up during a food, just remove carpet, dry floor then use a skill saw to saw along the seams as far as the warpage goes. don’t worry about doing this freehand because the saw will automatically follow the seam peak because it will be the path of least resistance. Then just place a cushion block of wood over the joint and hit it hard with a 3Lb. maul (heavy hammer). This will work well for any but the most severe warpage. Remember you are primarily concerned with not having to feel a bump when you step on that area, not with cosmetics because the foor will be covered by wall to wall carpeting anyway.

You can guess how I learned this? I paid a hardwood floor repair guy a couple hundred bucks to let me watch him work for 15 minutes the first time I had this problem. Next time I did it myself. It was VERY easy.

Regards, doc

Re: Carpet cleaning MH? (Long) - Posted by Dr. B.

Posted by Dr. B. on February 19, 2003 at 20:10:28:

Congrats on biting the bullet just to get the first one under your belt. As John Hyre says, anything you paid over your hoped-for price is your tuition. And well worth the price of tuition, I’d say.

I consider myself fairly experienced with wood and its products. Most of the time wood warps is when it is exposed to a significant amount of moisture and is not secured to anything. Each ply in plywood has its grain running in opposite directions to add to its strength and warp resistance. However, think of a piece of plywood just sitting in your garage during a muggy summer, its guaranteed to warp. If it is nailed/screwed to a frame it will try to warp but when it dries out it returns to shape because the shape is forced upon it.

Mobile home chipboard floors are different because there is no consistency to the grain in them. They tend to absorb water and basically deteriorate rapidly. That being said, it still requires a lot of water or a constant source of water to wreck it. If you apply an even amount of water over the surface for a relatively short period, is not likely to cause much harm. I have recently done the carpet cleaning deal with a water soaker. Make sure you RENT one with a lot of vacuum power. I’d be more skeptical of the Joe homowner style.

Re: Water Water Everywhere and not a drop to… - Posted by Jason

Posted by Jason on March 03, 2003 at 09:59:05:

Just wanted to thank you for the well thought out reply. :slight_smile: It will be very helpful.

Re: Carpet cleaning MH? (Long) - Posted by James Buster

Posted by James Buster on February 20, 2003 at 24:24:43:

How about using commercial chemical cleaning instead of steam?

Re: Carpet cleaning MH? (Long) - Posted by Dr. B (OH)

Posted by Dr. B (OH) on February 20, 2003 at 18:39:56:

I have no idea. Stanley Steemer offers either way. You might ask them the pros and cons.