Whether your carpet is soft and luxurious or fine and intricately woven, the fabric seldom receives the treatment it deserves. Between dirty pet paws, frequent foot traffic, and occasional food spills, your carpet can be under constant attack. Thankfully, many carpet manufacturers issue warranties that protect your carpet anywhere from a few years to the lifetime of the product. But in order to maintain the warranty, the homeowner has certain responsibilities. A thorough warranty can be a costly portion of the total investment in new carpet, so follow these essential tips to make sure your warranty stays valid.

What Do Carpet Warranties Cover? Depending on the manufacturer, the quality of the carpet, and the level of warranty, a carpet warranty can cover manufacturer defects, soil and stain resistance, texture retention, fade resistance, and anti-static. There are many types of warranties, so it is important to read the warranty manual very carefully and keep a copy on file for future reference. Because warranties can vary dramatically from carpet to carpet and manufacturer to manufacturer, go over the following list of questions with your carpet distributor before purchase:

Preventative Care

  • What types of preventative maintenance, such as regular vacuuming or the use of a doormat, am I responsible for performing?
  • What kind of carpet cushion or padding should I use?
  • Will the amount of foot traffic on my carpet affect the level of coverage for texture retention and stain resistance?

Spills and Stains

  • What methods and products do you recommend for spot treatments between routine professional cleanings?
  • Are there any spot treatment cleaning products that will void my warranty?
  • Which stain types are not covered under the warranty?
  • How often should my carpet be professionally cleaned, and what method is recommended?

Filing a Claim

  • What documentation do I need to file a claim?
  • Will I need to have an inspection arranged?
  • If it is determined that my carpet needs to be repaired or completely replaced, will the entire cost of installation be covered?
  • Is there a sliding scale to cover the replacement value of the carpet?

Installation. Having your carpet installed by a reputable professional is essential. Some manufacturers, such as Mohawk, require that installers follow The Carpet and Rug Institute’s (CRI) Carpet Installation Standard. According to Mohawk’s warranty brochure, “An improperly installed carpet will not look good nor wear well and may cause delamination, buckling, wrinkling, and loss of tufts in the seam areas.” Also, be sure that the carpet cushion meets manufacturer recommendations so that it will properly anchor the carpet and retain its look and texture.

Professional Cleaning. Manufacturers consistently require routine professional cleanings as a warranty condition. Not only will a professional cleaning keep your carpet looking its best, but it can also ensure that your warranty stays valid for the life of the carpet. Manufacturers have varied recommendations for the method and frequency of cleanings. It is essential to follow their recommendations and also to keep receipts on file should you ever need to file a claim. Without proper documentation, the warranty will not be upheld. The CRI maintains an extensive list of manufacturer recommendations as well as Seal of Approval products that have been tested for cleaning efficacy. The list below takes a look at a few of the major carpet manufacturers’ requirements for professional cleaning:

Major Carpet Manufacturers’ Requirements for Professional Cleaning

Installing new carpets can dramatically improve the look and feel of your home, and to keep them looking their best, there are certain maintenance checks that should not be ignored. Keep in mind that a reputable carpet manufacturer as well as the company that installs it will provide detailed specifications for how your carpet should be maintained. Be sure to read these instructions carefully and keep them on file for reference in addition to the original receipt of purchase and any subsequent invoices for professional cleanings.

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Sources: Carpet and Rug Institute; Karastan; Mohawk; Shaw Floors; STAINMASTER Carpet.

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