Help: Commercial Carpet Seams are Frizzing

Discussion in 'Carpet Q&A' started by TwoStar, May 3, 2010.

  1. TwoStar

    TwoStar Maybe Three

    I was trained by a self-taught installer who believes that "if I have been doing it this way for 20 years and I am still getting work, why change?" He happens to be my father-in-law. I have been on my own for almost 10 years. There are installation practices that I occasionally catch myself doing that I "realize" after doing for 12 years that I am probably making a mistake. This is going to sound stupid, and it hard for me to open up like this, but I have a terrible track record of frizzing commercial carpet seams and never realized why. The good news is that I don't do a huge amount of commercial work, but I might be in the future with a couple of retirements in the area.
    I searched on here for this problem and haven't seen any problems of this sort. My partner(who I taught) broke down our process and it hit both of us at the same time. I was taught to use a carpet tractor to roll my seams. Would that cause frizzing? By frizzing, I mean that I HAVE to trim my seams because the yarns will work their way out over time. It isn't always bad but it is definitely a problem that I would like remedied. Any input? What do you guys use to roll your seams? Anything info that I am not asking or sharing?
  2. Daris Mulkin

    Daris Mulkin The One and Only Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    Are you row cutting? Are you seam sealing? That would be my first guesses that you aren't. You are probably jumping across rows and cutting the loops in order to make it frizz.
    Don't be afraid to ask any questions on this board we are here to help each other.

  3. polestretch

    polestretch Senior Member

    Are we talking direct gluedown or over pad?
  4. Daris Mulkin

    Daris Mulkin The One and Only Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    I'd venture a guess that you aren't row cutting and /or sealing the seams. If you are row cutting then you must be jumping across and cutting a loop on the yarn.
    Don't be afraid to ask questions on this board we are all here to help one another. Makes us all better at what we do.

  5. kylenelson

    kylenelson You'll find me on the floor I Support TFP Senior Member

    I will echo what Daris said and say that it is most likely because you are jumping rows in the carpet. I don't care if the seam is sealed or not(but please do), if you are cutting through rows then it will fray. Now there are carpets that are more tolerable than others to this and you can actually get away with trace cutting, double cutting, etc. I will go ahead and say that it's not your tractor. Unless you could move the tractor 6 inches away from the seam and it makes it fuzz there too.
  6. Ironhat

    Ironhat Pro Member

    Yoy need to run a row on both sides of the seam seal it glue it down or stretch it in try not to cut the loop of the carpet.Most of us know that sometimes its hard to run a row on some differnt commercial loop carpets if its pattern or not. The trick for me dont cut the loop it will fray all i do is commercial work some carpets we have to double cut like "pill in stick"::yesss:
  7. Incognito

    Incognito No more Mr. Nice Guy! I Support TFP Senior Member

    Are you talking about stretch carpet or glue down? You also don't explain how you generally make seams.

    I rarely have any need of scissors on glue down. I really don't burn enough seams on stretch carpet to have anything to comment on. I'm just happy if no one complains on my conventional carpet installations. With glue down though it's the way the seams are made up and then put together in the glue that determines how much you'll need to tractor and trim. We do mostly better quality carpet these days and that means pattern goods or at least something with a fairly easy row to follow. Years ago I did quite a bit of the cheaper "double cut" type stuff and that's another story entirely. Following the rows and butting the seams means there's no split loops or yarn that's been cut and starts "frizzing" up. Sometimes I'll use the porcupine roller and other times I just rub the seam down with the back of a hook knife, banana knife or Bloody Mary. That's dependent on how the material falls into the glue, whether we're wet cutting or making up the seams dry.

    What really matters in the end is how your customers see your work and if there's been callbacks over the years. If you're not getting complaints or callbacks after ten years you must be doing OK.
  8. kwfloors

    kwfloors Fuzz on the brain Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    I've been in the trade for 29 years and done just about everything under the sun. Every seam needs trimmed with a scissor. It may be only a strand or two but it needs trimmed. You try to cut it so you don't need to trim it alot.
    On glue downs I try to row cut at least one side of the seam if not both sides. You need to cut them both and butt them up to see if it is workable or not to tell if you need to trace one side to the other. A crab works great for working glued down carpet together, a must have in my book. I have done some that won't row so double cut or straight edge it is. That seam needs trimmed because of the sheared fibers on both sides so it will be fuzzy in time if it isn't gone over really good.
    On stretch in, we row run everything and sometimes have to straight edge a section of the seam to get it together. Most times I have bubbles on both sides of the carpet, that stretch out, after doing the seam. You can pull together alot of carpet to get it tight together and stretch it out flat. The seam still needs trimmed because of working the seam and heat changing the fibers.
    I've learned from many mentors through the years and to them I am thankful for showing me the trade. You can always find something to use from anyone, and you will show them a thing or two.
  9. kwfloors

    kwfloors Fuzz on the brain Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    Maybe T can merge 3 postings together....:)
  10. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain Owner/Founder Administrator

    Done. Thanks.
  11. kwfloors

    kwfloors Fuzz on the brain Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    :bow: :bow: :bow: :bow: :bow: :good: That was fast!
  12. Daris Mulkin

    Daris Mulkin The One and Only Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    It looks like I got stutter finger on this thread. Actually I made the first post off my laptop and a few minutes later came in and got on my desktop and checked out the site to see if there were anymore posting on this subject and polestretch"s post was there and mine wasn't. So I posted it again. T can remove one if he wants. I'm not trying to get post count.

  13. TwoStar

    TwoStar Maybe Three

    Thanks too all for the help...this seam frizzing is my own personal Moby Dick. It haunts me.
    Here goes: We DO row cut every commercial carpet seam, glue down and stretch-in. We DON'T always latex the seam(I have no reason for this, so don't ask, but don't be afraid to berate me on the topic) We DO always use the Roberts "honey" for sealing the seam. I am pretty sure that I am not jumping rows as much as I am getting the friz. When I jump a row, I go back to make sure that the cut was clean.
    I feel confident that it is a procedural problem and not sloppy work. It may be a row cutting technique??????? How do you gauge your "honey" sealer to know if you are getting enough coverage up to the yarns but not oozing? These are things that I would have learned from real pros...I am not knocking my father-in-law but when he first went on his own in the early 80's he pulled tackstrip out because he didn't know what they were for(He worked in a mobile home factory and everything was stapled). This is the extent of my on-the-job experience. Are there any pictures on a properly sealed seam just before the other piece is put in place?
    My only real request is that you guys don't get bored with this topic until I figure this thing out.:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D
  14. Chris Mha

    Chris Mha Charter Member Senior Member

    I have not been a big fan of applying a bead of seam sealer on glued direct seams. IMO you just cannot guarantee me that there is enough there to penetrate the second piece. I have for a long time pre-sealed even glued direct seams just as I would if it were a stretch in. That way, I know that I have sealer penetration where it needs to be to ensure a strong seam edge. Just the was that I have done it for several years.
  15. Curt Durand

    Curt Durand Resting In Peace Charter Member I Support TFP Published

    I second Chris's process. One of the problems with the commercial solvent sealer along one edge is that the open time can be exceeded or it gets wicked into the first drops backings. Another is that it seals the first edge but there is not enough to penetrate and lock in the second edge. Just did an inspection where this was done. One side unravels but the other does not. Opened up the seam and found that the good side had good encapsulation but the other with the wider band of sealer on the subfloor was not entirely encapsulated. Not enough sealer into the second drops.
    I was taught to seal both edges.
    However, no matter how well you do this it will most likely not be a perfect seal over the full length of every seam. Perfection is a goal rarely met!
  16. DJ

    DJ Charter Member

    i also second chris and curt:yesss: cept the part "perfection is a goal rarely met" not true in my jobs :blink:
  17. Daris Mulkin

    Daris Mulkin The One and Only Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    WHOA!!! I don't believe what I just read. Two certified inspectors here telling someone not to seam seal.
    Chris says he preseals everything-With what? Latex won't hold up to the steam cleaning that commercial gets. Hot melt doesn't lock the seam together unless heat is applied in which case if it is double glue down and you are taping the seams it would work.
    I to my knowledge have never had a seam ravel out to my knowledge. I lay a bead of sealer approximately 1/8" in diameter and squish the 2 edges together. Gundlach also makes a seam sealer bottle that seals both edges of the carpet at the same time, takes some getting used to but works very well.
    I'm kind of curious then if an inspection is done and it isn't sealed how it is wrote up?

  18. Chris Mha

    Chris Mha Charter Member Senior Member

    I never said don't seal. I just said that I am not a fan of laying a bead.
  19. Chris Mha

    Chris Mha Charter Member Senior Member

    Just got off the phone with Hollywood. He is going to try to get here and give you guys an education on steam cleaning. From what he tells me there is little difference in water temperature between commercial and residential. He will be able to explain better than me.
  20. Al Gladden

    Al Gladden stretcherman Charter Member

    is the problem with length seams or crossjoints/headseams?

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