About CRI

Frequently Asked Questions

Mold/Water Damage
- What can I do to eliminate the mold on my carpet?
- My carpet was soaked due to a flood, what are my options?
- Does my carpet pad need replacing after being soaked?
- My sewage drain overflowed and has saturated my carpet, can my Carpet be saved?
- Is there a fiber that will not mold?
IAQ - Cushion
- Is there a carpet cushion that doesn't smell?
- What type of cushion should I use under my carpet?
- Which type of cushion has the least odor?
IAQ - Asthma
- My child has asthma, I want carpet but what do I look for?
- I have asthma, how should my old carpet be taken up because dust triggers my allergies?
IAQ - Allergy
- I have dust and pollen allergies, I want carpet but how will this affect my allergies?
- Where can I find allergy free carpet?
- I'm allergic to latex, is there any carpet made without latex?
IAQ - Adhesive
- My carpet is going to be glued down and I'm allergic to odors form the adhesives, what should I do?
- How can I tell if the adhesives being used on my carpet are environmentally friendly as for as chemical emissions?
Carpet Care
- I was told if I have my carpet steamed cleaned it will mold?
- My retailer told me to never have my carpet cleaned, is this true?
- How often should I vacuum?
- I have a spot cleaning question?
IAQ - Vacuum
- What type of vacuum should I buy?
- I have wool carpet, should I use a beater bar/brush on my wool carpet?
- Should the new vacuum cleaner I purchase have a HEPA filter?
Carpet
- I have exotic birds, will the new carpet odor hurt them?
- Will the lingering emissions cause any long term health problems?
- I have been out shopping for carpet and every store I go to tells me a different story about fibers and what type of carpet to buy. What is the truth, how do I buy durable carpet?
- My carpet has been down for two weeks and still smells causing me to have a stuffy nose, what can I do?
- This carpet sample has a black label and not green, is it valid?
- When my daughter touched the carpet she broke out in hives, what can I do?
- I have a new house and my new carpet is causing my nose to be stuffy, is there something wrong with my carpet?
- I was told that new carpet will off gas for at least 2 years?
- I saw your label on the back of this carpet, what does this mean?
Installation
- I can see the seams in my room, I was told they are not supposed to show?
- I have Berber carpet and my seams are raveling, what is causing this?
- My carpet is buckling, what causes this to happen?
- I have cut pile carpet, the installer said seams on a cut pile carpet didn't need to be sealed?
- Do I have to put a carpet cushion under my carpet?
- Should the carpet pile go up the stairs or down the stairs?
- The installer wet my carpet backing before installing the carpet, is this the proper procedure?
- What type of pad should be installed over radiant heat?
Other
- If you have a question that is not answered on this FAQs page, you may contact one of our member company's call centers that are listed on our Contact Us page with your specific question.

Mold/Water Damage

What can I do to eliminate the mold on my carpet?

Locate and repair the source of the moisture. It is best to call a professional water restoration cleaner in order to ensure all mold is eliminated.

My carpet was soaked due to a flood, what are my options?

Carpet should be professionally extracted & dryers setup and running within 12 to 24 hours. It’s best to use a professional that is trained in water restoration in order to ensure carpet, pad & sub-floor is completely dried within 12 to 24 hours to prevent mold. If the carpet is contaminated with sewage, it is recommended to properly dispose of carpet and pad.

Does my carpet pad need replacing after being soaked?

Generally yes; although, some newly developed restoration procedures may be able to salvage the cushion. Wet carpet cushion is very difficult to adequately dry quickly.

My sewage drain overflowed and has saturated my carpet, can my Carpet be saved?

We don’t recommend trying to save sewage contaminated carpet. Highly absorbent materials such as carpet and pad cannot be washed in hot (130 degrees F) for at least 10 minutes. This contaminated material should be properly disposed of by a trained restoration professional.

Is there a fiber that will not mold?

Anything can mold as long as there is moisture or a food source. Carpet, including those made of natural fibers such as wool, that is kept clean and dry shouldn’t have a mold problem.

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IAQ – Cushion

Is there a carpet cushion that doesn’t smell?

Some, but not all, manufacturers participate in an emissions testing program administered by the CRI and the Carpet Cushion Counsel. Look for the green and white label on the sample cushion. This means that the cushion has the lowest possible chemical emissions. Upon initial installation of carpet & cushion, have good ventilation and air exchange for approximately 48 to 72 hours. This will take care of most odors associated with the installation.

What type of cushion should I use under my carpet?

Cut pile carpet should have a cushion that is no thicker than 7/16 of an inch and a firm cushion. Berber carpet and most commercial carpet should have a cushion no thicker than 3/8 of an inch and be a very firm cushion.

Which type of cushion has the least odor?

The testing criteria for cushion and carpet is a pass/fail test. As long as CRI’s label is on the cushion sample, that means that the cushion meets a low level requirement as far as chemical emissions. Upon initial installation of carpet & cushion, have good ventilation and air exchange for approximately 48 to 72 hours. This will take care of most odors associated with the installation.

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IAQ – Asthma

My child has asthma, I want carpet but what do I look for?

CRI is not aware of any published scientific research demonstrating a link between carpet and asthma or allergies. Look for green label carpets and cushions, plan for good ventilation during the installation process and plan for routine vacuuming with a seal of approval / green label vacuum. We are not aware that any particular product is better than any other.

I have asthma, how should my old carpet be taken up because dust triggers my allergies?

Vacuum the carpet thoroughly before the installers take up the old carpet, rolling up the old carpet when at all possible. After the carpet and pad has been taken up, vacuum the floor again before the new pad is put down. You may want to be out of the house for the first 24 hours, ventilating the first 48 to 72 hours.

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IAQ – Allergy

I have dust and pollen allergies, I want carpet but how will this affect my allergies?

People that have allergies should vacuum their carpet at least twice a week and have their carpet cleaned the way the manufacturer specifies approximately every 12 to 18 months. Carpet is an asset for allergy sufferers as it traps the dust versus a hard surface where dust lays on top of the surface to be kicked back into our breathing zone. We recommend using a vacuum with good dust containment and performance properties such as those in our seal of approval / green label vacuum program.

Where can I find allergy free carpet?

There is no known allergy-free floorcovering. The Carpet & Rug Institute has the IAQ program testing for chemical emissions. Look on the back of the samples for the CRI label ensuring that the carpet meets our standards for chemical emissions. For Dust and Pollen, carpet should be vacuumed at least twice a week and professionally cleaned approximately every 12 to 18 months according to manufacturer’s recommendations.

I’m allergic to latex, is there any carpet made without latex?

People that are allergic to latex are allergic to the protein enzymes in natural latex. Latex that is used on today’s carpet is a synthetic latex that doesn’t have these protein enzymes.

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IAQ – Adhesive

My carpet is going to be glued down and I’m allergic to odors from the adhesives, what should I do?

Request that the adhesive being used be tested and comply with the CRI IAQ testing program, meaning that the adhesive has the lowest possible emissions. Ventilation and good air exchange for approximately 48 to 72 hours should alleviate most odors.

How can I tell if the adhesives being used on my carpet are environmentally friendly as for as chemical emissions?

Be sure and specify with the installer that you want adhesives used that have been through the CRI IAQ program. You should also be able to see the Green label on the bucket label.

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Carpet

I have exotic birds, will the new carpet odor hurt them?

We recommend removing exotic birds from the newly carpeted areas until the smell is gone. Ventilating the carpet for approximately 48 to 72 hours.

Will the lingering emissions cause any long term health problems?

If someone in your home is odor sensitive, it may be a short discomfort only. The exposure level is very low and short term; therefore good ventilation and air exchange should take care of the odors.

I have been out shopping for carpet and every store I go to tells me a different story about fibers and what type of carpet to buy. What is the truth, how do I buy durable carpet?

Every fiber has it’s own characteristic (we give each fiber characteristic) and no one single fiber has everything. Regardless of which fiber you choose, the construction of the carpet is what makes carpet durable. For durable, heavy traffic carpet you want to look for a dense construction (you don’t want to be able to easily see, or feel the backing of the carpet through the fiber). Shorter pile heights perform better in heavy traffic areas (like entry ways, stairs, halls, playrooms) so choosing a pile height with a ½ of an inch or less will be more durable. If choosing a cut pile carpet, a tighter twist will be more durable than a looser twist. If choosing a Berber carpet, the smaller tighter loops will be more durable than the larger looser loop. What type of cushion should I use under my carpet?

My carpet has been down for two weeks and still smells causing me to have a stuffy nose, what can I do?

If ventilating and vacuuming doesn’t help try to have a hot water extraction done on the new carpet.

This carpet sample has a black label and not green, is it valid?

Some of the manufactures choose to use a generic label rather than CRI’s green and white label. Both labels mean the same, that the carpet is environmentally friendly as far as chemical emissions are concerned.

When my daughter touched the carpet she broke out in hives, what can I do?

If the consumer really feels that the carpet is related, it helps to suggest to them that they might have a hot water extraction done on their carpet.

I have a new house and my new carpet is causing my nose to be stuffy, is there something wrong with my carpet?

In new construction you have a lot of new odors,with all the odors of a new construction, it’s hard to tell what is specifically causing a reaction. The best way to eliminate all the new odors is to open the windows and ventilate for approximately 48 to 72 hours.

I was told that new carpet will off gas for at least 2 years?

This is erroneous information, most “off-gassing” of new carpet is within the first 24 hours or so. Properly ventilate with good air exchange for approximately 48 to 72 hours. The new carpet smell should dissipate within this time.

I saw your label on the back of this carpet, what does this mean?

The CRI label means that the carpet has been tested for chemical emissions and is a low emitter as far as chemical emissions.

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IAQ – Vacuum

What type of vacuum should I buy?

Use a vacuum that has been through CRI’s seal of approval / green label program for vacuum’s, testing for soil removal, dust containment and carpet appearance retention.

I have wool carpet, should I use a beater bar/brush on my wool carpet?

It is recommended to use a vacuum cleaner that has suction only.

Should the new vacuum cleaner I purchase have a HEPA filter?

Not necessarily. Look for vacuums carrying the CRI vacuum cleaner testing program label. Many units are not HEPA filter units, yet are very effective in dust containment. HEPA filters may add additional cost to the overall operational cost of the vacuum.

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Installation

I can see the seams in my room, I was told they are not supposed to show.

No seam is invisible, seams should be kept to a minimum, running the length of the area making sure the natural light does not strike across the seam.

I have Berber carpet and my seams are raveling, what is causing this?

It’s possible that the seams weren’t sealed. All cut edges of the two pieces used to make the seam should be sealed to prevent problems like this.

My carpet is buckling, what causes this to happen?

Several things can cause buckling, improper installation, the wrong cushion, moving furniture or high humidity. When having your carpet re-stretched, be sure all the furniture is removed from the room and the carpet is power stretched very tightly in all four directions. There are technical bulletins available on both wrinkling and restretching of carpet.

I have cut pile carpet, the installer said seams on a cut pile Carpet did not need to be sealed.

Manufacturers specify that all carpet seams must be sealed.

Do I have to put a carpet cushion under my carpet?

Carpet cushion is the life of the carpet. Except for direct glue down carpet, we recommend always using carpet cushion. Be sure and check with the carpet manufacturer to find out what their cushion requirements are.

Should the carpet pile go up the stairs or down the stairs?

It’s recommended to have the carpet pile going up the stairs to help prevent slip/fall.

The installer wet my carpet backing before installing the carpet, is this the proper procedure?

This is not a recommended procedure and may change the integrity of the backing components, resulting in wrinkling and buckling.

What type of pad should be installed over radiant heat?

It is recommend to use either a flat rubber or synthetic cushion that is no thicker than 3/8 of an inch. There is a technical bulletin with R Value charts available.

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Carpet Care

I was told if I have my carpet steamed cleaned it will mold?

Carpet that is wet cleaned should be dry within 12 hours. Carpet that is properly extraction cleaned should not be wet long enough to mold.

My retailer told me to never have my carpet cleaned, is this true?

Maintenance adds to the life of your carpet. Carpet should always be cleaned the way the manufacturer specifies approximately every 12 to 18 months.

How often should I vacuum?

It’s best to vacuum your carpet at least twice a week, if you can’t vacuum your entire house this often, at least vacuum the high traffic areas at least twice a week.

I have a spot cleaning question?

The Spot Solver can help.

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