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A Strange Carpet Phenomenon

A Strange Carpet Phenomenon

Most homes have at least one room with wall-to-wall carpeting. Considering all the materials, colors, and textures, there are hundreds of different types of carpet to choose from. Despite what carpet you have in your home, every carpet has pile direction. This refers to the direction in which the carpet fibers run. Carpet fibers are best described as short yarn that is attached to a backing and sticks straight up.

However, there is a strange phenomenon that happens from time to time called "pile reversal." The occurrence is random, rare, and no one is to blame.

What is Pile Reversal?

Pile reversal occurs when there is a section or large area of carpet in which the carpet fibers run in different directions. This is a permanent change in a carpet's appearance because of the way light reflects the tip of the yarn. Some areas of the carpet look dark, while other areas look lighter. To a lot of people, it seems as though the carpet is wet. Because of the wet look it gives, pile reversal can also be known as watermarking, pooling, or puddling. If pile reversal happens, it is most noticeable in Saxony carpet.

How Does it Happen?

Pile reversal is somewhat of a huge mystery in the carpet industry. When a homeowner notices it happening to their carpet, they often blame the carpet cleaner. There are a few theories as to how the pile reversal happens, but the occurrence is usually rare and random.

Sometimes it can happen from poor installation. When two pieces of carpet are seamed together, the installer needs to make sure that the pile direction is consistent with both pieces. Two differing directions of carpet pile could result in the look of pile reversal, but this specific reason is super rare.

Environment or subfloors can be another factor for pile reversal. If a carpet has a noticeable reversed pile and is removed and replaced by a new carpet, pretty soon, pooling occurs in the exact same area. It is unclear as to exactly what could cause the issue, but it can indicate that the environment in that specific area could be affecting the carpet.

In rare cases, carpet can come straight from the manufacturer with a reversed pile on the roll of carpet.

That being said, there is no way to know exactly what causes pile reversal or pooling in areas of wall-to-wall carpet.

How to Fix Reversed Pile

Unfortunately, this random and strange phenomenon is usually permanent. In most cases, it cannot be corrected. Before you panic, pile reversal does not mean your carpet is damaged in any way! Plus, there are things that can be done to improve the look of your carpet fibers. If carpet pile reversal or pooling is noticed shortly after getting your carpets cleaned, it might help to get it recleaned with an extractor to minimize the problem area. Frequent vacuuming and raking the carpet can help make the area less noticeable. Carpet that has the least risk of pile reversal are carpeting with shorter, tighter fibers or carpeting with looped styled fibers.

The Best Carpet Cleaner

As always, if you have any questions or concerns about your carpet, and think it could have reversed pile, call Zerorez®! Our cleaning technicians know all about carpets and fibers so that you don't have to! For more information or to schedule a cleaning, call Zerorez® Jacksonville today!