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Carpet Cleaning Issues - Carpet construction, upholstery cleaning, stain removal, equipment, events, etc.

Carpet tiles on hardboard floor

Posted by MJCleaning (MJCleaning), 8 February 2004
I am due to clean the carpets of an office where the carpet consist of tiles laid onto a hardboard floor . I believe that they are fixed with glue and that cables for p.c etc run underneath. Can you tell me are there any obvious pitfalls to be wary of or can I treat this as a regular clean? Thanks. Mark
Posted by Dynafoam (Dynafoam), 8 February 2004

I have carried out HWE cleans in these circumstances but care must be taken over over wetting since the hardboard can buckle if wetted.

It is safer to opt for a low moisture cleans, granular or one of the bonnet methods.

Posted by Robert_O (Robert_O), 8 February 2004
Hi Mark

As always it is good practice not to overwet into the carpet. It is possble that solution can seep down into the joins of the tiles and cause a wicking of the bitumen backing material (if they are bitumen backed). This would be more likely to ocurr if you were to allow stronger alkalinity products or solvent formulated pre-sprays to penetrate as this could break down the bitumen ready to wick up over several days on drying.

Sometimes on heavily trafficked low profile loop carpets they might appear to clean up very well, but on drying you can get a wick back of deep seated soil or possible loosened bitumen from the backing. This is where bonnet cleaning may have an advantage over hot water extraction. Although (in my opinion)it may not be such a deep clean,  it could be considered a safer option which can also produce very pleasing results to the customer .

Sometimes these low profile tiles  tend to hug the uneven contours of the sub floor and you can tend to lose vacuum power in the retrieval of solution which can leave certain areas wetter than they should be.

Also take care when using any solvent spotters on gum, tar or oil based stains due to the potential solvent breaking down the bitumen and wicking to stain the surface fibres.

I prefer the use of citrus gels in these situations but still take great care in not allowing the product to remain in the fibres to cause any subsequent wicking.

Hope that helps, and good luck with the clean.


Robert Olifent
Posted by Derek (Derek Bolton), 9 February 2004

Hardboard + Water = Trouble

take care... Definately low moisture

Posted by woodman (woodman), 9 February 2004
As above,

Inform you customer about the dangers of cleaning tiles fitted on hardboard and that you need to take precautions.(The hardboard may have been pretreated do you know if it has?)
This will deter them from using anybody else and they will appreciate your honesty and knowledge of the situation.
As mentioned don't apply solvents direct to tiles if bitumin backed.

Posted by lenpg (Len Gribble), 9 February 2004
Hi MJCleaning

Are you sure it hardboard as most cavity flooring which describe is not made of this material, but as the previous posts caution!!!

This must lead on to domestic, how many cc ask there customers have you hardboard/wood laminate flooring fitted under there carpets? Granted carpets plus underlay are thicker than carpet tiles, the same danger still remains.


Posted by Robert_O (Robert Olifent), 9 February 2004
If you keep the carpet as dry as possible and dont wet through to the backing (which you should not be doing any way), what does it matter what the subfloor is underneath?  

However It is always good practice to place machinery on to good insulated mat when in use, to prevent  hot moist air from blowing into the carpet or onto hardflooring, due to the possibility  of this warping the floor.


Posted by MJCleaning (MJCleaning), 9 February 2004
Cheers . Excellent imformation . It could only have been better if you had done the job for me!!
Thanks.  Mark

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