Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Carpet Cleaning Advice from Irish Experts

A blog post from John Healy, owner of a ChemDry Carpet Cleaning business in eastern Ireland, begins with this question: “In the early evening, your eye will often catch the dust particles floating through the room, made visible by the setting sun. Have you ever wondered where those particles land?”

The answer of course is: everywhere.

His article, titled, Your Carpeting Is Your Friend explains how the carpet, draperies and upholstery in our homes act as passive filters, collecting dust particles and keeping them out of circulation in the room air.

“Those particles would otherwise bounce off the hard, non-absorbent surfaces back into the circulating air of your home. Regular cleanings of your carpets, rugs and upholstery are what will help remove all of that collected dust, dirt and allergens - and enable them to continue to serve as healthy filters for your home.

How Often Should I Clean?

The EPA recommends that carpets and covered areas of the home be cleaned as often as every two to three months. If carpets are your home's hidden filters, trapping and eliminating the spread of dirt around your home it is important to care for those filters with routine extraction. Just as we care for our cars, a regular cleaning schedule is key - kind of like a routine oil change - but for carpets.”

There’s more good information about carpet cleaning on the Carpet and Rug Institute website and as always, I welcome comments from the professional cleaners who read this blog!

Tell me, is it the flooring, or how you clean it?


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Recycling Carpet, Executive Directors at CARE

Recycling carpet, executive directors by Werner Braun
In his August 17, 2012 column titled "Recycling carpet, executive directors" in the Dalton’s Daily-Citizen Carpet and Rug Institute President Werner Braun welcomes Dr. Robert “Bob” Peoples back to the Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE) as Executive Director.

In recent years, Bob has served as the Director of the American Chemistry Council’s Green Chemistry Institute. Prior to that, as sustainability director for the Carpet & Rug Institute, Bob helped found the CARE board of directors, was named CARE’s Person of the Year in 2003, and eventually served as the carpet recycling group’s first executive director from 2004-2008.

“Most of you probably know CARE is a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing landfill diversion through the reuse and recycling of carpet. What makes CARE an especially attractive organization in the 21st century is that it provides market-based solutions to better the environment while creating economic incentives for recycling.

 Since CARE was founded in 2002, the organization has diverted more than two billion pounds of carpet from landfills in the United States.”

CARE highlights from 2011 include:

• 333 million pounds of carpet wastes being diverted from landfills in 2011

• 250 pounds of diverted carpet being recycled back into carpet and other consumer products

• The CARE Certified Collectors Program being launched in 2011, which now uses the services of 75 certified collectors across the nation

• The nonprofit carpet recycling group increasing its membership to more than 400, a 17 percent gain

 “Bob’s experience with CARE dates to before CARE even had an executive director. It’s clear that Bob’s experience in sustainability, the carpet industry and the CARE organization itself make him the ideal choice to be our next executive director.

I guess this proves that executive directors can be recycled as well as carpet.”

Thanks, Werner.


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Why I Love Carpet and Hate Hardwood Floors, Says Mrs. Obvious

Why I Love Carpet and Hate Hardwood Floors, Says Mrs. Obvious
Here’s something interesting I found online – a blog post from a woman who calls herself Mrs. Obvious. Mrs. O. lives in a house that has hardwood floors everywhere – but who wishes she had carpet. It’s a very entertaining rant about a subject near and dear to our hearts here at the Carpet and Rug Institute, so read on – I dare any of you to say you find nothing you don’t agree with her words.

“Why I love Carpet and Hate Hardwood Floors"

I simply do not understand why people nowadays are choosing hardwood floors over carpet for their homes.

I am praying that Santa Claus brings me carpet for Christmas. The [hardwood] floors are cold, and hard, and uncomforting. Noise rings through the house unmuffled. Dust bunnies roll across the floor unabashedly like sagebrush in old west movies. The furniture slides across the floor like a clumsy hockey player on ice. If you actually laid on the floor, you could see the film of dust, and the areas that are swept and unswept by foot traffic moving through the rooms. I love to stretch out on the floor and roll around with my kids, wrestling and tickling. But who wants to lie on cold hardwood and bang up your knees and elbows playing?

What's that? Buy an area rug you say? Ha! So you admit that carpet is needed for comfort! I find it ironic that most people who put in hardwood floors then immediately bring in a huge area rug to cover it up. It's silly to think that your allergies will be better off with hardwood, if all you are going to do is bring in big squares of carpet. You have to vacuum your area rug, the same as carpet. Plus with hardwood you have to mop, or steam clean, or polish or whatever, all the areas that aren't covered by area rugs. And, don't forget to push the furniture out of the way to clean all the dustbunnies that rolled under them. The dust is going to fall out of the air and onto whatever flooring surface you choose. If you can't live with dust and dander, you are going to have to clean frequently anyway, so why not have carpet?

At least with carpet you only have to vacuum. No mopping necessary. Dustbunnies don't have legs to crawl over carpet and underneath your furniture, so there is no extra work involved moving them out of the way. You can buy spot cleaners for carpets if you spill something and need to deep clean or get a stain out. Most importantly of all, carpet is comfortable. it gives a feeling of home and warmth. It doesn't let noise echo around a room. Its unpretentious. Carpet says, "I have a family, and I'm proud to serve them with comfort and softness to come home to."

There is more to this article, but I have edited sections out for length. You can read the full version by clicking on “Why I love Carpet and Hate Hardwood Floors."  Mrs. Obvious, a professional dog groomer, brings up another interesting point about carpets: pets like them better. Not just to pee on – they are more comfortable on carpeted floors. 

“People often say that they have chosen hardwood floors because they have pets and it is easier to keep clean. But I know that pets don't like hardwood either, for the many of the same reasons as me. My dogs liked our old house with its carpet better. They never lie on the floor anymore; always on the couch. One of my dogs won't even sit on it. She walks over and sits on the entry mat by the front door and watches me from there. They run through the house and slide when they try to stop. They have a hard time getting traction on it for a fast start. They jump down from my bed and hit the hard floor and act all stiff and sore. I sympathize with them. I hate the hardwood floors too. Sure they might be easier to clean pet messes off of, but really, the tradeoff isn't worth it. I would rather rub a mess out of a carpet for 20 min. than live without carpet.

So, I will be going against the flow of what's popular and trendy and say, in my book, carpet is more desirable and has a higher resale value to me than any other flooring choice. But that's just me and this is just my rant about my love of carpet!”

Wow. I hope this lady never decides she wants my job. Okay, so, does anyone feel like her sometimes?


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Coach Ingle Inspires Dalton's Carpet and Rug Institute

Coach Ingle Inspires Dalton's Carpet and Rug Institute
I Don’t Mind Hitting Bottom; I Just Hate Dragging” – the Inspirational Life of the Coach Bringing Competitive Sports back to Dalton Sate College

In his October 5, 2012 column titled "Tony Ingle to coach Roadrunners at Dalton State" in the Dalton’s Daily-Citizen Carpet and Rug Institute President Werner Braun talks about the unique individual who has been chosen to bring basketball back to Dalton Junior College (Now Dalton State College).

From the late 1960s to the late 1970s, Dalton Junior College had a really good basketball team. Coached by Melvin Ottinger, “Coach O,” the team had many spectacular win-loss records and competed in two National Junior College Basketball Tournaments. The program was disbanded in 1978. Fast forward thirty five years, to the day Tony Ingle was selected to bring “Roadrunner madness” back to Dalton.

“Tony is a Dalton native and former competitive basketball player who holds the distinction of being the only NCAA men’s basketball coach in Georgia to ever win a National Championship.

 And he is the only coach in the history of Georgia basketball to be named Coach of the Year in the state at the high school, junior college, and NCAA level.

During his career, Tony has worked for a number of colleges and universities, including Brigham Young University and Kennesaw State University. But even more impressive than his career success is Tony Ingle’s amazing life journey and his motivational spirit.

 Tony was born in Dalton, and suffered from a birth injury that required him to undergo a number of painful surgeries when he was a young child. He grew up poor in the government housing projects, so poor that he had to fish shoes out of a Dumpster to try out for the basketball team. While playing for the Dalton Junior College Roadrunners, Tony suffered a horrific knee injury that ended his own athletic career.

 But whatever life has thrown at Tony, he always manages to turn the insult back around to something positive.

 That drive to accentuate the positive is one reason he’s become one of the most popular motivational speakers around. He teaches that “winning comes from within” and he shares his inspirational life-changing stories to groups of athletes, conference goers and just plain old business folk.

 Two of his most popular programs are called “The Coach Tony Ingle Story (I Don’t Mind Hitting Bottom; I Just Hate Dragging),” and the “Impossible Becomes Possible.”

And one of his favorite sayings is “I know dreams come true because I have lived mine and it only took me 31 years.”

 Ingle’s dreams have come true with the position of head men’s basketball coach at Dalton State, his hometown and the court where he first played college ball.

 Dalton State, and the larger community, should soon realize their dreams coming true as well. A return to basketball for this town is a step in the right direction, and it’s long overdue.”

Thank you, Werner!


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Social Media Reveals Some Folks Miss Carpet and Soft Floors

“I Miss Carpet”

After finding the video clip of a marine sergeant in Afghanistan who said the little bit of home he missed most in that hot and dusty landscape was the comfort and softness of carpet underfoot, I decided to see if I could find any other folks who were missing their carpets in these days of increased hard surfaces at home.

What I found amazed me. From missionaries and GIs stationed overseas, to young mothers concerned about their childrens’ safety, to athletes worries about heel spurs abroad, to gamers who want to keep dust levels down so their computers don’t overheat, people out there are missing their carpet. Here’s a smattering of what I found online on social media.
From Bicycling,com,  an interesting question - does carpet help prevent heel spurs?

I miss carpet worse than rug burns... hardwood floors.. yep, burns deep and leaves scars...”

No carpet here, but both wife and I developed heel spurs since getting rid of it and walking barefoot on hardwood. Coincidence?”

This may be worth following up on in another post – stay tumed…

From Twitter: “I miss carpet..tired of these hardwood floors

From a community forum on Thebump.com, a website for new and expectant moms.

 “Brand new squishy carpet, sounds really nice. Then maybe (baby) would have less bruises from falling on the hardwood floors.”

Me too! Our current house has all tile and wood floors. We move end of March and I told (husband) we NEED carpet.”

I feel the same way most days. Who knew I'd want to swap out beautiful hardwood floors for carpet! My BIL (brother-in-law) and SIL (sister-in-law) want to replace their carpet with tile throughout the house. They'll regret that when they have a kid someday.”

From a Pinterest board titled, “Things I miss from the States!” [see image above].  "I miss carpet - that seems sad I know but Taiwan is so humid, the apts here have marble and tile floors! I would love to just lay on the floor and watch TV!"

From Tumblr: A young man who misses his theme rug. You can even like this on Facebook, if you feel the same way!

Finally, in a chat room on a gamers’ website called Brothers of War, in a discussion on keeping computers cool by minimizing dust, one gamer recommends carpet for keeping airborne dust levels down “having carpet all over your house instead of hardwood floors helps too. man I miss carpet.”

So, I guess the question I want to ask is, does anyone else out there miss their carpet?

~ Bethany

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Dalton's Tiffany Sculpture of General Joseph E. Johnston Stops Traffic

Note: in the background, that's the
CRI's new home in Dalton!

A Tiffany Treasure Hiding In Plain View: He couldn’t stop Sherman, but Gen’l Joseph E. Johnston stops traffic in downtown Dalton, Georgia

Finding a hidden treasure in plain view is the topic of Carpet and Rug Institute President Werner Braun’s Sept 28, 2012 column titled Johnston statue downtown a Tiffany monument for the Dalton, Georgia Daily-Citizen newspaper. He describes how workers restoring the bronze statue of General Joseph E. Johnston discovered the familiar statue and local landmark was a bit more than meets the eye.

“Gen. Johnston was one of the senior-most officers for the Confederacy, and he was selected by president of the Confederacy Jefferson Davis to command the Army of Tennessee in the winter of 1863, just before Sherman’s Atlanta Campaign. Troops were positioned in Dalton under Johnston’s leadership during the winter of 1863-64.”

Sometime around 1910, the local chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy commissioned a statue of Gen. Johnston.  The 16-foot sculpture and base monument were dedicated on Oct. 24, 1912. Two interesting things: the sculpture was designed by Belle Kinney, one of very few women sculptors practicing during that era, and the bronze statue was cast at Tiffany Studios in New York.

The Tiffany mark had been hidden for years by nearby trees that had overgrown.  Both the sculptor and the casting studio make the statue as rare as it is valuable.

“‘This is not what you would have expected to find in North Georgia,’ said Gordon Ponsford, president and senior conservator for Ponsford Ltd., of Atlanta.

The Ponsford group was hired by the Pvt. Drewry R. Smith Chapter of the UDC to restore the monument in honor of its 100th anniversary, but the sculpture, mounted on a monument on city property, is owned and maintained by Georgia State United Daughters of the Confederacy.

‘The quality of the bronze that was used was very high,’ Ponsford noted. ‘Even though it had some corrosion on it, it wasn’t bad at all and less than what I would have expected for a 100-year-old structure.’

 Having a bronze monument in the South during that time period was a bit unusual in itself, Ponsford said, because the South was in a severe economic time and most of the bronze sculptures were produced for the more prosperous North, and at least 75 percent of Confederate sculptures were carved from stone.

‘While it might not be as rare for a Confederate sculpture to be made of bronze, it is extremely rare for a Confederate monument to be made by Tiffany studios,’ he added.

 The same sculptor, Belle Kinney, also designed a work that is displayed in Chattanooga, near the courthouse, which is not quite as old as the Gen. Johnston monument.

 Ponsford said that both sculptures designed by Belle were cast at the Tiffany foundry, making this one and the one in Chattanooga rare pieces of the highest quality.

 But the uniqueness of this work lies also in the artist who created it, he says.

‘Carving stone back then was not an easy process, and not many women did that kind of work. And most of Belle’s work was actually done in Tiffany studios, the highest priced foundry at the time, which seems rare in and of itself.’” 

Thank you, Werner.


Image credit: Roadside Georgia, General Johnston

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

U.S. Marine in Afghanistan Misses Carpet

U.S. Marine in Afghanistan Misses Carpet

“I Miss Carpet” - U.S. Marine in Afghanistan Misses Carpet on the Floor

This week, my son Andrew Richmond brought something to my attention that is just too cool not to share. It’s a brief segment from an episode of the National Geographic Channel’s Emmy-winning documentary series, Explorer.

The episode is called Camp Leatherneck,  and it focuses on the lives and experiences of Marines based in the Helmand Province of Southern Afghanistan. Camp Leatherneck is the nickname given to the largest Marine base in the region, and home to 7,000 U.S soldiers at the time the documentary was filmed.

[Here is the entire 30 minute video. You'll find the "I miss carpet" mention 13:37 minutes in.]

The show is a fascinating look at these American servicemen who serve their country so far from home – the deprivations, constant dangers from IEDs, rogue missile attacks, and enemies who look just like the civilians they have been sent there to protect.

One segment of the program takes us to an outpost in the Afghan wilderness called Fiddlers’ Green where a group of Marine sergeants are gathered in their desert camo-draped field headquarters, smoking cigars and discussing the things they miss from home. Each man has two months left in his deployment. The first comment, which comes from Master Sargeant Adam Muncy, took me by surprise.

I miss carpet,” he says. “Walking through the house on carpet. Seven months of boots on your feet – nothing but dirt (the others nod and laugh in agreement). I’m looking forward to that.”

It makes me feel good to think that something as simple as carpet on the floor represents an important touch of home and comfort for a U.S. serviceman. Tonight, when I walk on my own carpeted floors, I will think about him and be grateful for his service.

Anyone else out there miss their carpet?


Thursday, October 4, 2012

Help for Hearing: Looper Speech and Hearing in Dalton, Georgia Enriches Lives

Dr. Looper
Currently, 37 million people in the United States have hearing, speech or language impairments. More than two million new cases of hearing impairment are reported each year in the U.S. Among school-aged children, three out of every 100 are affected by hearing impairments and another three out of 10 children suffer from middle ear infections that often cause temporary hearing losses. Fortunately, most people with communication disorders can be helped.

It’s easy to take the gift of good hearing for granted. In his Sept 7, 2012 column titled Community fortunate to have Looper Speech and Hearing in Dalton, Georgia’s Daily-Citizen newspaper, Carpet and Rug Institute President Werner Braun praises the work done locally at the Looper Speech and Hearing Center
The center was established in 1969 following the death of Dr. John W. Looper Jr., Dalton’s first pediatrician, who died tragically and well before his time in a light plane crash.

While practicing medicine in Dalton, Dr. Looper had been concerned about the lack of services for speech and hearing patients in our area, so it’s very fitting that the center was named in his memory. Since it opened its doors, the center has provided more than 200,000 services and touched the lives of more than 100,000 people.

“Speech and hearing disabilities can arise at any age or stage of life. Many of the patients that the Looper Center works with are children who are born with handicapping childhood disorders such as cerebral palsy, Down syndrome or autism.

 Other patients have suffered brain injuries or strokes, and many have oral motor problems that cause eating and swallowing difficulties. Still others develop a hearing loss as they age.

 Last year, statistics indicate that among the patients who received services at the Looper Center, 36 percent were infants or youth under the age of 18; 30 percent were adults under 65; and 34 percent were older than the age of 65. The majority of patients, more than 70 percent, were residents of Whitfield and Murray counties.

 Perhaps what is most helpful about the Looper Speech and Hearing Center is that patient fees are based on a sliding scale, taking into account the family’s financial situation. So while it is not a “free clinic,” it is a program that makes sure that no one is ever refused needed services solely because of the lack of financial resources.”

Thank you, Werner.

~ Bethany

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Carpet-Specific Online Learning Available from CRI

Carpet and Rug Institute Partners with Hanley-Wood University

I am always grateful for a chance to discuss issues related to carpet, the carpet industry, and the Carpet and Rug Institute with Kemp Harr, the publisher of Floor Focus magazine and the floordaily.net flooring industry news site.  On August 17, 2012, Kemp talked to me about CRI’s addition of ten of its CRI Continuing Education Units, or CEUs, to the Hanley-Wood University online learning site

Hanley-Wood University offers courses for architects and other construction professionals who are seeking to maintain their professional certifications and fulfill continuing education requirements through online learning.

The CRI courses comprise the first carpet-specific information on Hanley-Wood University. The ten courses that were chosen for online presentation are part of a library of 16 courses developed over a number of years by a hard-working group of member-company representatives known as the CRI CEU Work Group. The group was facilitated by Lynne Peer of Peer Resource Group; the CRI staff administrator is Pat Jennings.

As always, the CRI CEUs are still available for live presentations. 

Listen to the 7½ minute interview here on FloorDaily or below:

~ Bethany

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