Carpet backing delamination is the most serious problem that occurs with the back of a wall-to-wall carpet. Carpet backing delamination is the separation of the carpets secondary back from its primary back.
The Result of Carpet Backing Delamination
Primary and secondary back, not securely attached can separate. Once a wall-to-wall carpet has delaminated you have two separate elements. These elements consist of the primary and secondary back.
Primary back is the top layer – material the yarn was tufted through. Secondary back is later attached in the finishing process. When the backings delaminate, the carpet cannot be adequately re-stretched.
The Cause of Carpet Backing Delamination
The most common cause of carpet backing delamination is improper formulation or application of the bonding agent used to adhere the backings together. Latex adhesive is the bonding agent most commonly used. The latex adhesives have builders or fillers in them. Improperly blended or the ratios of the ingredients are out of whack, poor adhesion or breakdown can occur. Once the bond fails the primary and secondary back will fail. Commonly this type of separation is a mill defect.
Delamination of the carpet backing occurs more easily when installed over a thick or low-density cushion (pad). Due to the loss of a good support system a poor carpet pad can result in the carpets back-breaking down.
Ripples in carpet, not properly stretched during installation, can result in delamination. Walking over carpet ripples can break down the latex bonding agent resulting in delamination of the carpets back.
Failure to properly seal the seam edges particularly on loop or commercial style carpets will allow a carpet to delaminate easier than it otherwise might.
Solvent spotter over use. Especially, if directly poured onto the carpet will attack the latex bonding agent. The solvent breaks down the latex mixture, resulting in localized delamination.
High traffic over a carpet that has been over wet during cleaning. Also, carpet that has experienced water damage. Over wetting and slow dry is a major cause of backing separation. This type of delamination is often experienced when traffic is allowed to travel over the carpet while it is still wet.
Shrinking or stretching can also occur with carpet that has been over wet during cleaning or water damage. Shrinkage is common with carpets that have a natural back such as jute or cotton. Carpet with synthetic back stretch instead of shrink. Both shrinkage and stretching can lead to ripples. Walking across the ripples breaks down the backing.
Urine damage from uncontrolled pets. Also carpets installed in locations such as nursing homes where patients may be incontinent. Urine attacks the latex resulting in a breakdown of the latex bond and separation of the backing. Urine damage is usually first be observed at the carpet seams.
Break down of carpet backing from rolling carts, wheel chairs and rolling equipment. This type of backing separation is most common in the corridors of medical or commercial facilities. Also, in residential housing where an electric wheel chair is used. Where carpet is installed over a cushion that is not sufficiently firm. Over pad or direct glue where the bonding agent is not of high enough quality. Or the carpet has been wet cleaned and traffic allowed to return before it was sufficiently dry.
As you can see, there are many different causes of backing separation – delamination. If you believe that your carpet may have carpet backing delamination and need to determine the cause, contact us at
the Weinheimer Group. Terry and Kevin are carpet inspector experts serving the states of Oregon and Washington.