Understand Your Carpet Flooring Product Warranty
Wear Warranty or Quality Assurance Warranty:
This is the most basic warranty available on pretty much every carpet. This is the warranty that the carpet will not fall apart, literally. Honestly, this warranty isn’t worth too much though; it doesn’t really guarantee anything about the actual performance of the carpet.
Texture Retention or Appearance Retention Warranty:
This is the key warranty to consider. This is the warranty against the carpet losing its original appearance (texture) due to untwisting of the fibers. All carpet fibers are twisted together but can become untwisted as a result of wear and tear, causing the carpet to look flat or fuzzy. Not all carpets carry a texture retention warranty, so be sure to read the warranty information carefully. This warranty will tell you a lot about what you can expect in terms of the performance of the carpet—a 20-year texture retention warranty indicates that the manufacturer has a lot of confidence in the product and it will likely be very resilient; the lack of any texture retention warranty is a pretty sure bet that you would be looking to replace this carpet within five years.
Stain and Soil Warranty:
Just as it sounds, this warranty deals with stains on your carpet and how well they will come out. The first part of understanding this warranty is knowing the difference between staining and soiling. Staining occurs as a result of something that has come into contact with your carpet and transferred its color. For example, spilling a cup of coffee on your carpet will leave a brown stain (until it is cleaned up). Soiling occurs as a result of residue left on the fibers of the carpet, and this attracts dirt. Residue can be left behind by spot treatment products that were not fully cleaned or can even be due to oil from your skin transferring to the carpet (usually from the soles of bare feet). The residue acts as a magnet to dirt, which then appears on the carpet in the form of a stain. Manufacturers sometimes separate staining and soiling in their warranty coverage, offering different lengths of warranty for each. Be sure to read the warranty information closely. In almost all stain and soil warranties, there is a list of exclusions—substances that, if spilled on the carpet, are not covered under warranty. Commonly, these exclusions include mustard, herbal tea, and non-food substances such as bleach and urine. However, some carpets are now being offered with "no exclusions" warranties, meaning that anything that comes into contact with the carpet is covered under warranty
Fade Resistance Warranty:
Again, the name of this warranty aptly describes what it covers. It is not uncommon for the carpet to fade over time, due to exposure to direct sunlight and pollutants in the air. Many carpets now carry warranties to protect against such fading. Even with a fade resistance warranty, however, it is still a good idea to keep your window coverings drawn during peak hours of sunlight, especially in rooms that receive a lot of natural light.
Special Note Regarding Stairs:
Carpet that has been installed on stairs is not covered under warranty. Despite the fact that stairs exist in a large number of households, it is considered "abnormal wear and tear" to the carpet when it is subjected to traffic on stairs. Stairs are usually the highest-traffic area of the home, and the impact of your footsteps on the carpet is greater on the stairs than on a flat surface due to the effects of gravity. That's because as you’re walking down the stairs, your full body weight is landing on the stair below.
HOW TO KEEP YOUR CARPET WARRANTY VALID
- Proof of Receipt and Sample — Make sure that you have the original proof of your carpet purchase on-hand in case of a carpet emergency. To make a legitimate warranty claim, you’ll need to have the receipt, warranty information, and, in some cases, you’ll even want to have a 2×3 carpet sample from the day you had the carpet installed.
- Vacuuming — Another factor that can extend both the life of the carpet and maintain your warranty’s validity is simple: vacuuming. Regular vacuuming keeps the carpet clean and ensures that it is properly maintained at all times. .
- Professional Cleaning — Carpet warranties require that it be cleaned by a professional carpet cleaning outfit using hot water extraction. The frequency varies, but it’s usually in the range of once every 12-18 months (make sure you hold onto those receipts, too!). .