The most detrimental agent for carpets is water and moisture. Though carpets are installed for enhancing the quality and appearance of the interior spaces, often they might be rendered wet due to occasional spillage or leakage of water and other fluids. It might also happen that cleaning operations have been performed on the carpet and thus the carpet has become moist as a result.
But this will cause the mushrooming of molds and mildew on the carpet. Moist environment is also conducive for the proliferation of germs. This destroys the indoor air quality gradually. Thus drying operations are regarded as extremely essential for carpets.
Issues encountered with improper carpet drying :
It is often observed that instead of advanced drying, extraction and suction machines as well as dehumidifiers, people employ DIY techniques and easy to use drying methods and services. These methods are often not as accurate as the excess moisture and water is not extracted to the fullest degree from the carpet. Overwetting of carpets leads to wicking and drying problems. This leads the carpets to become musty and smelly and often it could be observed that these conditions persist for more than a day. When that happens, it can be concluded that the carpet is getting damaged progressively and care must be taken to nullify this action.
When the carpet gets wet and is left as it is, issues like delamination might occur. This is a case in which the glue gets weakened due to the presence of excessive moisture. Therefore, the fibres and the padding get separated due to the shortage of the glue and this might provide ample chance for the proliferation of mold.
Mold : the biggest problem for wet carpets :
Mold can be described as an airborne microscopic fungus which inhabits dark and damp places with reserves of organic food on which it can survive and can reproduce through spores. Molds build colonies in the building materials, old furniture, carpets and other fabrics, leather from attires and shoes and etc. They remain in hibernation when the environment is not suitable for thriving and proliferation and it is extremely difficult to eradicate them completely. Exposure to molds causes a range of health problems like cold and flu symptoms, allergies, breathing problems and associated respiratory issues, skin allergies, rashes, hair loss and etc. Therefore proper care is necessary including the removal of excess moisture from the rooms as well as the carpets to minimise the growth of molds.
Essential drying techniques for various types of carpet fibres :
Carpet fibres vary in their nature and consistency as well as the processes in which they are manufactured. Therefore, the drying techniques might vary. Proper drying techniques preserve the quality of carpet fibres and prevent the proliferation of molds and mildew.
- Acetates are man-made cellulosic fibres which should be preferably dry cleaned. If washed, the fibres should not undergo wringing because that may develop permanent wrinkles. The excess moisture should be blotted out.
- Acrylics are man-made chemical-based fibres which are preferably dry-cleaned, but repeated dry cleanings may weaken the fibres. The knits should be blotted and drip-dried whereas the woven fibres can be machine dried at low heat-settings.
- Cotton fibres are natural cellulosic fibres and care should be taken while performing machine drying or man-made drying operations because these fibres are highly sensitive.
- Linen or Flax is also a natural cellulosic fibre which can be dried using an iron or a press. A dull finish may be obtained if the hot iron is pressed on the wrong side of the carpet fibre whereas a shiny texture can be obtained by pressing on the right side.
- Olefin fibres should not undergo gas-drying or ironing. Modacrylic fibres should not be pressed as well.
These drying tips should be borne in mind to preserve the carpet quality and maintain the durability of carpet fibres.