Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Carpet Recycling: Issues and Opportunities Discussed at Carpet America Recovery Effort Annual Conference

The Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE), the multi-stakeholder group committed to market-based solutions for the recycling and landfill diversion of carpet, held its 12th Annual Conference recently in Seattle, Washington. In attendance were multiple CRI member carpet manufacturers as well as representatives from CARE’s more than 450 members, including carpet retailers and distributors, collectors, sorters and recyclers and government and non-government organizations. 

As in past years, the CARE Annual Conference offers a valuable opportunity for anyone involved or interested in the landfill diversion of post-consumer carpet to network, listen to presentations from the manufacturing and recycling industries and discuss challenges to and opportunities in carpet recycling. Among this year’s highlights of the conference: the naming of a new CARE board chairman, Person of the Year and Recycler of the Year as well as recognition for several Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) member manufacturers as CARE Sustaining Members for their consistent support of carpet recycling, sustainability and CARE.

Brendan McSheehy, vice president of innovation, sustainability and intellectual property for CRI member manufacturer Universal Fibers was elected chairman of the CARE board. McSheehy has served on CARE’s board of directors since 2006, previously as vice chair and treasurer. He has been with Bristol, Virginia-based Universal Fibers for more than 24 years. About his new role, McSheehy said, “CARE has set ambitious goals and objectives and I hope to offer the leadership necessary to put credible mechanisms in place to reach our mission.”

Also during this year’s conference, CRI member companies were recognized as CARE Sustaining Partners for their years of commitment and work furthering sustainability and carpet recycling. Honored were: Aquafil USA, Beaulieu Group, InterfaceFLOR, J+J Flooring Group, Masland Contract, Milliken & Company, The Mohawk Group, Shaw Industries, Tandus/Centiva and Universal Fibers.

Thomas Holland, a CARE board member and founder of Texas Carpet and Construction Recycling (TCR), of Grapevine, Texas, was awarded CARE’s Person of the Year. CARE’s Recycler of the Year award was given to Wellman Plastics Recycling (WPR), based in Johnsonville, South Carolina.

CARE Executive Director Bob Peoples expressed pride in this year’s winners, saying, "Our organization is making huge strides because of the influence of individuals and organizations like Thomas Holland and Wellman Plastics Recycling.” Peoples also reported that preliminary numbers indicate that 438 million pounds of post-consumer carpet were diverted from landfills in 2013. That number represents a 25 percent increase from 2012. Peoples emphasized the 438 million is a preliminary number, as the final report is undergoing additional review and will be released as soon as it is complete. Over CARE’s history recyclers have kept more than 3 billion pounds of old carpet out of America’s landfills.

“The Carpet and Rug Institute is extremely proud of the progress the carpet industry and the recycling community have made in keeping carpet out of landfills and finding voluntary, market-based solutions for that diverted material,” said CRI President Joe Yarbrough. ” By working together, we will continue to expand what can be done.”

- Bethany

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Have Allergies? You Can Keep Your Carpet if You Keep It Clean

Spring came in with a wave of warm weather here in the Carpet Capital of the World, and with it a few sniffles and sneezes.

It’s a beautiful time of year, but can be quite annoying for anyone suffering from asthma or allergies.

The return of seasonal allergies has also brought back the voices who say having carpet aggravates asthma and allergy symptoms.

The Carpet and Rug Institute is familiar with this argument – it has been around for a while. On behalf of CRI, I feel the need to point people to the significant body of research that dispels the notion that carpet is bad for asthma and allergy sufferers:

  1. Airmid Healthgroup of Ireland conducted a study that showed, “effectively cleaned carpets can trap allergens and other particles, resulting in fewer particles escaping into the air.” Airmid performed the study for CRI member carpet manufacturer Shaw Industries. Read more on Airmid’s study.
  2. A study on childhood asthma study from 2005, known as the Inner-City Asthma Study, concluded that there was no difference in symptom improvement or allergen levels in carpeted homes vs. uncarpeted homes. Read more on the Inner-City Asthma Study.
  3. A 15-year Swedish study found there to be no link between the use of carpet and incidents of asthma or allergy. The study also found that when carpet usage in Sweden decreased by 70%, allergic reactions increased by 30%. Read more on the Swedish carpet study.
  4. Researcher and toxicology expert Dr. Mitch Sauerhoff, reviewed a number of scientific studies and concluded that the literature on carpet and asthma or allergies confirms that children and adults living with carpet do not have an increased incidence of asthma or allergy. Read more on Carpet, Asthma and Allergies – Myth or Reality.
As Airmid’s study indicates, effectively cleaned carpet is the best way to combat allergies and raise indoor air quality. CRI holds the best strategy for effectively cleaning carpet is:
  1. Regularly vacuuming with a CRI Seal of Approval-certified vacuum.
  2. Professionally deep clean your carpet every 12-18 months.
Regular vacuuming and professional cleaning might sound simple, but nothing keeps carpet clean and free of allergens quite like this 1-2 punch.

Visit our website for more tips on keeping your home free of asthma and allergies.

- Paul 


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Ten Benefits of Carpet

Here at The Carpet and Rug Institute, we love talking about the benefits of carpet and rugs. We also love it when others talk about those benefits too.

CleanLink.com recently shared an article titled 10 Benefits of Carpet by Doyle Bloss, a marketing and brand manager at the carpet cleaning equipment manufacturer Hydramaster.

Here are his top ten benefits of carpet:

Carpet adds to the d├ęcor by using color, patterns, and pile heights. Carpet can create the image you want in your home or business.

With the hundreds of patterns, cuts, and colors, there are literally thousands of possibilities to "fulfill" the style statement.

Carpet can help save energy as it is an important contributor to the insulation of the indoor environment. Carpet insulates floors and provides a psychological feeling of warmth.

Learn more about how carpet makes rooms feel warmer.

Try curling up in front of the fireplace on a hard surface floor. Carpet feels soft and is easier on feet. It also gives an overall "softer" feel to the home.

Several studies find that carpets absorb sound and carpets with the proper cushion further enhance this ability. 

Learn more about carpet and acoustics.

Invariably, slip-and-fall accidents occur on hard surface floors more often than on carpeted floors. 

Learn more about how carpet can reduce slip-and-fall accidents.

Cost savings
Carpet usually costs less over time than hard surface flooring to purchase, clean, and maintain.

Learn more about the best ways to clean your carpet.

Carpet traps allergens, dust, and other contaminants, holding them until they can be properly removed through vacuuming and professional cleaning.

Learn more about carpet and health.

Easier to maintain
Carpeting is less labor intensive to clean and maintain than hard surface flooring and, as mentioned earlier, can cost less to maintain.

Learn more about maintaining carpet with the help of CRI’s Seal of Approval program. 

New technologies have been introduced allowing old carpet to be recycled into new carpet or other products. 

Learn more about carpet’s sustainability. 

Thanks to Doyle Bloss for outlining many of the benefits of carpet.

Feel like we missed one? Tell us what you like about carpet in the comments below!

- Paul

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Carpet Installation: Preparing Your Home for New Carpet

Spring is probably the best time to have your carpet professionally cleaned, as we’ve recently covered on the CRI Blog. However, if you’re considering purchasing new carpet for your home, spring can also be a good time to install new carpet.

So you start shopping, find the perfect carpet for your home and you can’t wait to get it installed. There are a few steps you still need to take before you take steps on your new carpet.

The Carpet and Rug Institute offers these tips on preparing your home for carpet installation.

Here are the tips:

  • Remove all breakable items from area being carpeted and detach and store wiring from TVs, computers, and other electronics.
  • Think about carpet placement. Ask that the carpet seams be placed in less visible areas, but don’t expect seams to be invisible.
  • Understand that carpet installed over a separate cushion must be power stretched to prevent bubbling and wrinkling later.
  • Insist that the installer follow the instructions from the carpet manufacturer and/or those set forth in the CRI Installation Standard.
  • Vacuum the old carpet before it is removed to keep any dust and particles from becoming airborne. Vacuum the bare floors (or have your installer do this) before they put down the new carpet and pad.
Having carpet installed in your home is a big project, and following these steps will allow the installation to go smoothly so you can begin enjoying your beautiful new carpet.

- Paul

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Value of Clean: The Benefits of a Clean Facility

“Clean facilities are not just a cost. They generate revenue," ISSA’s video says.

A clean facility doesn’t just mean a facility that looks clean. A new study shows that a clean facility contributes to the health of the people who work there.

ISSA, the worldwide cleaning association, released an informative video about the impact a clean facility has on employees’ health. In this new season with higher levels of pollen and allergies, it is extremely important to keep facilities clean for employees’ health.

It’s easy to understand that sick employees miss work, and that costs businesses money. However, ISSA gives a by-the-numbers look at how important a clean facility can be to the health of your employees and business.

According to ISSA, the average worker in the U.S. misses 7.7 days per year, which in turn costs businesses around $226 billion per year. Clean facilities reduce chances of employees catching a cold or the flu by 80%.

These are just a few of the facts that ISSA presents in their video on the importance of cleaning for health.

In terms of carpet, a regular schedule of vacuuming and periodic professional deep cleaning will remove many allergens and other particulates that can cause allergies and other negative health effects. CRI's Seal of Approval program certifies carpet cleaning solutions, service providers, and equipment, including vacuums, to help you take better care of your facility’s carpet. By using an SOA-approved vacuum and service provider you will remove a majority of the dirt and allergens in your facility and thereby limit their effects on employees.

The health of your business is benefited by the health of your employees and the easiest way to ensure both is by keeping your facility, especially carpet, clean.

Thanks to ISSA for creating this video encouraging clean and healthy facilities.

- Paul

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Interesting History of the Vacuum Cleaner

If you have carpet in your home, a vacuum helps you keep it clean, fresh and lasting. The vacuum was not always around, obviously, but its history is a great story of ingenuity and invention.

Here are some interesting facts about the history of the vacuum cleaner:
  • Before electricity, an alternative to beating the carpet over a porch rail, clothesline, or windowsill was to sprinkle a carpet with tea leaves. In theory, this attracted dust and dirt to the surface ready to be swept.
  • In the mid-1800s, vacuum cleaners could be found housed in exquisite cabinetry that doubled as a coffee table, sidebar or cocktail bar.
  • The first non-electric vacuum cleaner, a “sweeping machine,” was the Whirlwind model, invented in Chicago in 1869. It had a crank for the operator to turn with one hand while pushing the machine with the other hand. Due to the Great Chicago Fire in 1871, only two of these machines exist today.
  • The concept of today's electric vacuum cleaner was invented in 1901 by H.C. Booth and took the form of a large, horse-drawn, petrol-driven unit which was parked outside the building. The unit fed long hoses through the windows of the room to be cleaned.
  • One popular 1913 vacuum came in six different models and had attachments for bare floors, walls, upholstery and crevices. It could even be used as a blower for drying hair.
After reading these, I was glad how far vacuum cleaner technology has come and I’m sure my landlord is thankful I don’t sprinkle the carpet with tea leaves.

It's easier to take care of carpet with today's vacuum technology, but be sure you're using the best with a Seal of Approval certified vacuum cleaner.

Read more about the importance of vacuuming.

- Paul

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Carpet Cleaning Strategies for Facilities

Growing up a sports nut, I always understood the strength of a sound strategy. 

If you are a facility manager, having a carpet cleaning strategy can keep your carpet visually appealing and long lasting. But if you don’t have a strategy in place, it can be a daunting task to create one for your facility

Thankfully, Cleanlink.com released a comprehensive guide a few years ago focused on carpet cleaning strategies and we thought it would be best to share their guide along with some advice from The Carpet and Rug Institute.

The most basic strategies in keeping carpet clean are:

Effective entryway mats

A majority of the dirt that enters a building can be removed by walk-off mats. Remember to clean the mats on a regular basis, otherwise their soil-removing capability will be compromised.

Walk-off mats are effective tools in the fight against carpet soiling, but it is important to remember that they need to be cleaned too. These mats should be cleaned 1-3 times per day depending on how dirty they are.

Vacuum on a regular basis

Probably the most powerful cleaning method for carpet, and the simplest to use, is the vacuum cleaner. A daily or consistent vacuum cleaning program will pay off.

Vacuuming removes dirt and other particles that can damage carpet fibers. CRI’s Seal of Approval program certifies carpet cleaning solutions and equipment, including vacuums, to help keep carpet clean and long lasting. Here is a list of SOA-approved vacuum cleaners.

Remove stains and spills as soon as they appear

The most effective way to keep spots and stain from proliferating in your facility is to treat the spot as soon as it appears. Successfully removing a spot or stain is largely contingent upon how long the spot is allowed to “set” before removal. A quick response to cleaning a stain is also advisable to keep a stain from recurring. Often, clean water and a clean cloth will remove a large percentage of stains and spots.

When water alone is not enough, it is best to keep a Seal of Approval certified cleaning solution handy for those stains that are bound to happen.

Bonus Tip: Professional Carpet Cleaning

Professional carpet cleaning removes the dirt and stains that normal cleaning are not able to handle. A periodic deep cleaning restores the look of carpet by removing debris and stains you may be unable to remove.

By following these carpet cleaning tips you will be able to keep your facility’s carpet clean and long-lasting.

- Paul

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Spring Cleaning: Cleaning Carpet for the New Season

I remember when I was growing up there was a commercial for a local garden store that declared, “It’s spring time!”

The recent rise in temperatures and the arrival of beautiful days here in the Carpet Capital have made me want to declare spring is here, and with it the annual practice, and necessity, of spring cleaning.

Everyone has a different ritual for spring cleaning. Some people like to focus on the outdoors with gardening and landscaping while others prefer to concentrate on tidying up inside their homes.

For this edition of the CRI Blog, we’ll be focusing on getting your carpet and rugs in tip-top shape for the new season.

Here are some tips for your spring cleaning campaign:

Recommit to Vacuuming

Spring cleaning is a great time to recommit to vacuuming more frequently. Consistent vacuuming eliminates exposure to allergens and other airborne particles, which are more prevalent in the spring.

Remember, different areas will need to be vacuumed more often than others. CRI recommends:

High-traffic and pet-occupied areas: Daily
Medium-traffic areas: Two times per week
Light-traffic areas: Weekly

Call in the Professionals

A professional carpet cleaner (CRI recommends a Seal of Approval certified service provider) will restore the beauty of your carpet by removing dirt and stains you might not be able to otherwise remove. If you haven’t had a professional clean your carpet in a while, spring cleaning might be the perfect time to refresh your carpet with a deep cleaning. You can browse a list of SOA-certified cleaners in your neighborhood here.

Clean Your Door Mats and Area Rugs

Entrance mats are effective tools for defending your home against dirt. However, they need to be cleaned to maximize their effectiveness at trapping dirt and keeping it out of your home. Regularly shaking out the mat and vacuuming it will remove much of the dirt, but refer to the owner’s manual for advanced washing techniques.

Area rugs can spruce up any room, but their cleaning can be overlooked, similar to door mats. Be sure to regularly vacuum and have them cleaned. As with door mats, refer to the recommended cleaning techniques in the owner’s manual for best results. Many SOA-certified cleaners offer rug cleaning, either in your home or at their facilities. Make sure to ask.

Clean carpet is the base of a beautiful home and by following these spring cleaning tips you will be able to keep your carpet fresh and beautiful for the wonderful seasons to come.

Have some spring cleaning advice of your own? Share it in the comments below.

- Paul 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Mohawk Employees Give Back to Wounded Veterans

Workers donate flooring to Building For America's Bravest

Mohawk Industries is partnering with Building for America’s Bravest to provide flooring in 46 customized “smart homes” for severely wounded veterans.

Mohawk hosted the 9/11 Never Forget Mobile Exhibit at their Calhoun headquarters in early March for employees, community leaders, local firemen and wounded veterans to view the exhibit.

Cpl. Todd Love, one of the wounded veterans in attendance, will receive a customized “smart home” from Building for America’s Bravest. Cpl. Love is a former Marine who sustained injuries when he stepped on an IED on patrol in Afghanistan. The accident left him without both legs and one arm.

Despite the loss of his legs and left arm, Cpl. Love has not become a victim of his injuries and has taken to multiple extreme sports since his accident.

“I’ve fallen in love with skiing and skydiving” he said. “They’re both very much a passion that I look forward to trying to keep as a full time hobby.”

Cpl. Love shared his inspiring story with Kemp Harr of FloorDaily.net – which you can hear more about in the video above.

His new home is currently under construction, but Cpl. Love is excited about it.

"I’m looking forward to getting a home and one that's accessible and hopefully I'll have it for the rest of my life," he said.

The Carpet and Rug Institute thanks Mohawk for donating to this causes that will have a tremendous impact on the lives of our veterans.

- Paul

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Werner Braun Says Farewell to the Carpet and Rug Institute

Rep. Tom Graves presents Werner with an official
US flag flown over the US Capitol.
For the past 14 years, I have had the honor of serving as the president of the Carpet and Rug Institute.

But now it’s time to pass the torch to my successor, Joe Yarbrough. He’s experienced, knowledgeable and will lead CRI well. We’re fortunate to have him at the helm of this important organization.

When I think back on my tenure here at the carpet industry’s trade association, I think of a group of people and companies that have consistently banded together for the good of the industry as a whole.

One quality I’ve always appreciated about the talented and capable members of the CRI board is how each of these very diverse individuals, often representing competing interests, always manage to work as a team.

I have valued the relationships I have been able to establish over the years not only in the carpet and rug industry, but also in the numerous related businesses. You’ve been great to work with, and I’m delighted to have known every one of you.

I’m also incredibly grateful to my talented staff. They haven’t just served CRI and its members; they’ve served the larger community in many ways. And they aren’t “just a staff” to me nor are they “just a staff” to each other. They’re a very close-knit group that has become, in essence, a family. I’m proud to include them in mine.

While I look forward to retirement, spending more time with my wife and family and pursuing a myriad of interests and hobbies, I have to confess that I will miss my staff, my CRI board members, and the hundreds of wonderful industry folks that I’ve been privileged to know and work with over the past 14 years.

Sooner than I ever imagined possible, it is, indeed, time to say farewell. And it’s also time to say thank you. Thank you and God bless.

- Werner

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