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Carpet Defects and Stain Warranties Explained
It's Important That You Read Your New Carpet Warranty. If you ever have a carpet problem it might not be obvious who is responsible for making things right.
Any remedy you seek must be directed toward the appropriate warranty provider.
A carpet defect might be caused by a manufacturing problem at the carpet mill or it could be the fault of the company that supplies the the fiber to the carpet manufacturer. It could also be that the carpet was not properly installed.
These are three different warranties to consider. Any claim you initiate needs to be directed towards the appropriate company. How do you determine who is the responsible party?
This is just another factor that adds confusion and frustration to the whole carpet warranty claim process.
1. The Carpet Manufacturer...
Provides the warranty that covers carpet construction or Manufacturing Defects.
If you suspect your carpet has a manufacturing defect, contact the dealer where you purchased the carpet and ask them to inspect your carpet.
They will try to determine if the issue is defect related and will contact the carpet manufacturer for you if necessary.
The manufacturer may send a representative or an independent carpet inspector to evaluate your carpet problem.
This process could take weeks to complete and usually ends with a determination letter sent to you via snail mail.
2. The Fiber Manufacturer...
Provides the part of the warranty that covers carpet stain issues.
If you suspect your carpet has a fiber defect or a stain problem, contact the dealer where you purchased the carpet and ask them to come out and inspect your carpet.
They will determine if the issue is fiber or stain related and will contact the carpet fiber manufacturer for you. The fiber manufacturer may send a representative or a carpet inspector to evaluate the carpet problem.
This process could take weeks to complete. In the end, you will be notified of their findings and what remedy is offered, if any.
3. The Installation Warranty
It could be determined that your carpet problem is the result of improper carpet installation.
Most carpet installations are covered by a one-year warranty. If you hired an independent carpet installer then you will need to contact them directly to seek a remedy.
If your carpet was installed by the carpet retailer as part of a package deal, then you need to contact the retailer to seek a remedy.
In the end, your attempt to file a successful warranty claim my not yield the results you hope for. Even if they admit being at fault, they may not give you the remedy that you seek.
It's also common for one company to blame the other company and then nobody is willing to fix your problem. It's a vicious circle that all-to-often ends with the homeowner just giving up.
Great Customer Service
Before and After The Sale.
This is just another reason why buying new carpet from a reputable locally-owned carpet store is so important.
When all else fails, it's common for a locally owned carpet store to step up and do what is necessary to make things right, even if your warranty claim has been denied.
Local store owners value your business and will go to bat for you to help support your warranty claim.
I've seen many store owners replace defective carpet at their own expense just make sure their customers are happy.
This is a level of customer service you don't get when you buy carpet from a home improvement warehouse or nationally advertised carpet retailer.
Virtually all carpets sold today have been treated in some way to help resist stains.
Some of the more popular types of carpet anti-stain treatments are known as:
Carpet Style / Fiber ID and Stain Treatment Chart
What type of anti-stain treatment does my carpet have?
Carpet Stain Resistance is the ability of the carpet fiber to resist permanent stains.
No carpet fiber is fully stain-proof and fiber warranties typically exclude any stains caused from certain substances.
(Click on the image to view full size or print)
Homeowners want their new carpet to be stain-proof, but there are many types of stains that are NOT covered under your stain warranty.
Here are some of the common stains NOT covered by most new carpet stain warranties:
What anti-stain coverage do you have?
As if its not confusing enough, you need to know that the Fiber Manufacturer is who actually provides the stain warranty to the consumer.
Contact the following fiber manufacturers for further information on care and cleaning and limited stain warranties for your specific carpet as specified by the warranty page.
The companies who provide the Topically Applied Stain Treatment may also be involved in a warranty claim if there is a problem related to staining. This might include products like Scotchgard® or R2X®.
If you have Carpet Stain Warranty questions you can call the fiber manufacturer or directly to get answers to common customer concerns.
When you file any carpet warranty claim, you may need to have the following documentation available:
Have You Read Your Warranty?
I hate carpet warranties. They are all terrible. It's an eye opening experience to read any new Carpet warranty brochure.
There are so many limitations and exclusions, it's easy to see that they word it in such a way to make it very difficult to substantiate a valid warranty claim.
You must follow their care and maintenance instructions and requirements to the letter or risk voiding the warranty.
I've read just about every carpet warranty and they all say that you must be able to prove that the carpet is defective in order to get a remedy.
If your carpet does not perform as well as you had hoped then they will likely assume you have selected a carpet that was not capable of withstanding your level of foot traffic.
If you abuse your carpet in any way, like not vacuuming enough, or vacuuming with the wrong type of vacuum, it can also void your carpet warranty. If you have pets that are not housebroken, your warranty is probably toast.
From what I have witnessed over the years, the carpet manufacturer can deny your claim for any number of reasons, and they usually do.
Recent Email From A Homeowner...
"I purchased carpet almost three years ago. The carpet from year 1 has matted. The twists have come out in the heavy traffic areas. I called Home Depot 3 times over the past 2 years and was told nothing could be done about it. This last time they finally filed a complaint (with the manufacturer).
They asked for my cleaning records which I didn’t have. They would not even look at the carpet. I was never told about this when I purchased it and it is not written anywhere on my receipts. I told them you get a written warranty on almost all products on the package.
You get a written warranty when you buy a car or appliance. Why are carpet manufacturers able to get away with not giving it to consumers at the time of purchase. I was told it was on the back of the sample. I guess we are to take a pencil and paper and sit down and write the warranty out ourselves."
The Carpet Professor Says...
Even though I don't put much value into any new carpet warranty, you still should follow the carpet care instructions to the letter. It will help ensure your carpet will last as long as possible.
Sadly, most homeowners never receive a copy of their new carpet warranty from the retailer. Now that you know this, be advised that it is your responsibility to ask for, and obtain a complete copy of the manufacturers warranty for the type, grade, style and brand of carpet you have purchased.
If the retailer never gives you a copy, and you fail to comply with all the rules and requirements outlined in the warranty, you can't go back and blame the retailer when your warranty claim is denied.
On the other hand... If you do get a copy but you don't take the time to read it and follow the proper care and maintenance instructions, don't be surprised when your warranty claim is denied. Visit my Carpet Care Page to learn more about how to properly care for your carpets.
Q. What Are Carpet Reimbursement Limitations?
If you can substantiate a valid claim with a carpet manufacturer or fiber manufacturer, they may pro-rate your reimbursement amount depending on how old your carpet is when your carpet claim is filed.
If your carpet does not perform according to the warranty, the manufacturer may offer you a credit equal to the cost of the "carpet only", in accordance with the following 10-year reimbursement limitation schedule:
Year 1 to 3 100%
Year 4 80%
Year 5 70%
Year 6 60%
Year 7 50%
Year 8 30%
Year 9 20%
Year 10 10%
Not all reimbursement schedules are alike, some are better than others. Some schedules cover a span of 15 or 20 years.
You may be responsible for paying for all additional costs involved including shipping charges, delivery fees, removal of your old carpet, recycling fees, disposal fees, furniture moving and installation of the replacement carpet.
Carpet Cleaning Requirements & Support
This is a partial listing and they change their numbers frequently. Do a Google search if your brand is not listed here.