What is carpet delamination?

Carpet delamination is a condition where the secondary backing of the carpet separates from the primary backing. It can be caused by a variety of issues. One cause can be a failure of the bonding agent, usually latex, between the primary and secondary backing. This may be a defect from the factory or may be caused by factors present during or after the installation.
     A common cause of delamination is improper installation, so you will want to make sure the installers have lots of experience and a written guarantee. A check with the local BBB would be a good idea to see if there are complaints about installation and how they were handled.
    Another reason for delamination is carpet that has been involved in a flood. If the carpet remains wet for an extended period, it could breakdown or deteriorate the latex glue. Microbial growth from water soaked carpet can actually feed on the latex glue. Similarly a carpet that has been cleaned improperly with too much water may also result in a breakdown of the bonding material. Additionally carpet loses 85 percent of its structural integrity while wet. At Hydro Clean Carpet Cleaning
The Underside of a Piece of Carpet

in Colorado Springs, our certified technicians are required to do extra drying passes over the carpet and use air-movers to speed drying on every job.

     Solvents in carpet cleaning spotters and solutions if not adequately extracted may dissolve the latex as well. Cat or dog urine which starts out as an acid and then becomes alkaline will eat away at the backing and the latex. Spills involving petroleum based products can have the same effect.
     Carpet delamination has also occurred when home or business owners used Ozone generators. These were popularly sold as air fresheners that left behind a fresh scent like you would experience after a rain storm. However Ozone is now considered air pollution and has been proven to dissolve latex and dry out nasal passages, resulting in nosebleeds. Over-exposure to Ozone is also considered a serious health hazard. See: https://www.epa.gov/ozone-pollution-and-your-patients-health
Extreme wear from heavy foot traffic, furniture dollies or wheelchairs can also create separation of the carpet backing. One particular trouble spot is the pivot point on corners or stair landings, where people step and twist their foot into the carpet as they round the corners. The twisting and grinding motion causes premature wear on the face of the carpet and the backing
     When delamination occurs, it can manifest buckling, rippling and separation from the tack-less strips. The separation will be evident when the carpet pulls away from the baseboards, leaving a noticeable gap. Some carpet repair technicians will use a hot glue gun or latex glue to repair delamination, but this usually just buys some time until the carpet is replaced. If carpet is older or has a jute fiber (Burlap) backing, replacement should be considered over repair.
Carpet latex backing breaking down



In summary, to prevent costly destruction of your carpet from delamination, hire professional IICRC certified carpet cleaning or water damage restoration technicians to perform work for you.  Be careful when using over the counter carpet spot cleaning products. Avoid grinding your feet into the carpet at pivot points. Don’t use ozone generators and limited the use of wheeled devices like furniture dollies on carpeted surfaces. Lastly ask your carpet cleaners to do extra drying passes over the carpet and to use air-movers to speed drying.

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