Berber carpet is one of the most popular flooring choices on the market today, and understandably so. It is available in a variety of fibers, patterns and color choices, and is able to provide a perfect match to a wide range of room decors. It lends itself well to any style, from the casual look of a comfortable and inviting family room to the formal charm of a well-appointed sitting room.
Berber carpet's versatility and durability have given it high marks in customer satisfaction and made it a top seller among carpet styles. But Berber is not a specific type of carpeting; the term "berber" describes its unique construction and weave. It is made from a series of tight, twisted loops of continuous carpet fiber. The compact matting of these loops gives it the look of a high quality carpet and also accounts for its outstanding durability. The dense mat structure makes it not only crush resistant, but also helps to hide dirt and wear in regular traffic patterns, greatly extending the life of the carpet.
The same attributes that make Berber carpet an excellent choice for well-used areas of the home, however, can also make it a challenge to maintain if not cared for properly. Berber's tight loop and weave construction, makes it prone to trapping dirt at the bottom of its fibers near the mat if allowed to sit on the surface long enough to work its way down. Regular vacuuming, of course, will go a long way toward preventing the wicking of dirt and debris to the base of the carpet where tight fibers make it difficult to remove. This aspect of the carpet, however, is yet another benefit to Berber's unique design in that it has the ability to look clean at the top loop end of the carpet in spite of dirt that may be accumulating below its surface. Regular daily maintenance in the form of vacuuming and prompt attention to spills and stains will help to minimize the accumulation of hidden dirt while regular shampooing will aid in its removal.
As with daily maintenance, the weave and construction of Berber carpet also requires a specific type of intensive carpet cleaning or shampooing. Because of its compact matting, a minimum of moisture during the cleaning process is required as drying in the presence of tightly packed loops near the mat can be a challenge. Over-wetting during carpet cleaning will send moisture all the way through the loop and mat down to the pad. A luxurious carpet with a dense mat like Berber makes drying, particularly at the mat level, a problem. Dry foam carpet cleaning is the method of choice for Berber carpets. This method employs a minimum of actual moisture while providing the most effective means for removing deep down, trapped dirt.
Berber is manufactured in a choice of fibers and each fiber type requires a different cleaning method with one thing in common, a mininum of moisture. The top of the line fiber, wool, is the longest wearing and most luxurious of the choices, and lends itself well to dry foam applications. As moisture and heat can have adverse effects on the natural fibers of a wool Berber carpet, steam extraction is a poor choice for this carpet type.
Nylon Berber carpet is a quality, long-lasting product that also responds best to low moisture cleaning. Although it is not as adversely affected by heat and moisture as wool fibers, it still responds most favorably to a dry foam application.
Olefin Berber carpet is particularly tricky to maintain partially due to its affinity for oil based stains. It also has a propensity to react negatively to wet carpet cleanings that use a high pH solvent by exhibiting restaining shortly after shampooing. The high pH residue left in the carpet attracts soil and promotes re-staining.
Wool Berber carpet, nylon Berber carpet and Olefin Berber carpet, while created from different fibers, all share the same type of construction. Their dense matting makes the dry foam method of cleaning the only appropriate application for the deep-down removal of dirt that also provides long lasting protection against the re-staining inherent in faulty shampooing methods. The aerated solution applied during the dry-foam process will emulsify oil-based stains, suspend dirt and soils, and modify pH to the proper level for successful extraction. It will introduce a minimum of moisture while providing the most thorough cleaning process available that is particularly suited to the unique construction of all types of Berber carpet, regardless of fiber content.