Dear James: We have some crushed and stained spots in our dining room carpeting. The rest of the carpeting is okay. What is the bet way to repair these damages spots without total replacement? -- Sherri D.
Dear Sherri: The damaged spots on carpeting are not always readily apparent until you move furniture as when you are remodeling. Entire areas can be slightly stained and discolored, but it is not noticeable until moving furniture exposes a clean, stain-free area.
Just a stepladder which is left in the same spot during a project can crush the carpet fibers and leave a lasting indentation. If you don't overlay drop cloths enough or clean them off regularly as you are working, the fine dust can make its way through to the carpet. Paint drips can also permeate drop cloths.
The type of carpeting you have will make a difference in how it resists indentations and stains. Nylon carpeting is very resilient and crushed spot will tend to spring back on their own over time. Polyester carpeting retains its bright colors better, but the fibers do not have as good a memory as nylon, so indentations may not spring back on their own.
Since you mostly likely have your furniture in different locations now after the remodeling, you will notice quite a few old crushed spots and newer ones from ladders, tools, etc. Vacuum those crushed spots thoroughly and give then a week or so to recover on their own.
If, after the week, they are still too noticeable, use a flat-blade screwdriver and fluff up the nap. Don't dig too deeply or you may pull some of the pile loose from the carpet backing. Just fluff it enough so the fibers appear to be separated.
Preheat a regular steam iron on a high steam settings. Hold the iron about one-quarter to one-half inch above the fluffed spot. Press the steam button to saturate the area with steam. This should help to straighten out the fibers and make the crushed spot less apparent.
Carpet burns, usually from a cigarette or in front of a fireplace, can be repaired if the burn is not too deep. The damage often looks worse than it actually is because the fibers melt together and clump. Using a scissors, trim off the tips of the burned spots. Trim the area around the burn so it feathers up to the natural carpet height.
If the adhesive tape has come loose and a seam has split open, you will have to sew it back together. Pull the carpet halves together and drive thin nails, about six inches back from the seam on each side, through the carpet to the subfloor to hold it in place. Use a curved upholstery needle and fishing line to sew the halves together. Remove the nails when the repair is complete.
The best method to remove a stain depends on what the staining substance is. First, always blot up the excess with paper towels. When you clean a spill, clean from the outer edges to the center of the spot. Read the packaging for carpet cleaners for one specifically formulated for that stain. A good two-part cleaner for many common new and old stains is Prochem, www.prochem.com.
Send your questions to Here's How, 6906 Royalgreen Dr., Cincinnati, OH 45244 or visit www.dulley.com.