drdiy

Can Carpeting Be Over-Cleaned? / Window Leak Problem

In Carpeting, Leak Problems, Uncategorized, Windows on November 7, 2012 at 2:52 pm

Q:

I just read your article in the Observer and found the information very helpful.

We have a problem and hope maybe you can direct us to the proper people.  We live in a colonial, which was built in 1964 that has a gable roof.  The first floor is brick on all 4 sides and the upstairs still has its original aluminum siding.  There are 2 windows on each end of the house on the second story.  For a long time, in one of the windows facing north, the drywall is mushy around the inside of the window.  You can also see watermarks on the wood molding inside the window.  Now I noticed one of the windows on the south side of the house is getting the same way.  Our vinyl windows are about 15 years old. I showed the window company a picture of the north-facing window and he suggested maybe caulking around the window on the outside was closing up the drainage hole. But that’s not it because I checked.

We were thinking of having our original aluminum siding on the second floor replaced this spring with vinyl.  There is no insulation under the aluminum.  Our roof is about 8 years old.  Can you figure out where the moisture is coming from?  I’d appreciate any suggestions and companies that can take care of the problem.

A:

Are the other second floor windows also poor quality 1960’s windows or have they been replaced?  I assume the North & South side windows that are leaking are on the gable ends.  If that’s true, they  “might” be leaking due to inadequate caulking around the entire window and not just from the weep holes.  It’s unlikely but a possibility. Since it is inexpensive to caulk, and if it needs caulking, do it first.  If the other second floor windows are not leaking, it could be because they have been replaced with vinyl or because they are under the eaves.

Older poor quality aluminum windows were cold and drafty.  The glass and frames are actually conductors of cold.  Because of that, many were installed with marble sills so the condensation would not damage the plaster/drywall or wood trim (sound familiar?).  The damage you are experiencing could be a result of too much moisture in the house and condensing around the windows or a leak.  In either case, I would recommend replacing those old windows, they are inefficient and costing you money.  Make sure the window company you hire wraps the exposed window opening with house wrap and sealer before they install the new windows.

Q:

I’ve heard that over-cleaning carpeting will ruin it. Is that true?

A:

You’ll never have a “rug pulled out from under you”, if you know how to keep it clean. I don’t know where you heard that rumor. Maybe from someone who hates vacuuming? Probably my wife.

But it is almost a cliché; frequent vacuuming of your carpet prolongs its life. Depending on the traffic in your home, frequent could mean daily. It’s definitely worth the effort.

The longer the dirt collects in your carpeting the deeper it works it way into it and makes it harder to get out. Make sure you set the vacuum cleaner height adjustment to its proper level. Too high or too low will prevent the vacuum from pulling up the dirt efficiently.

Eventually, the carpeting will need to be professionally cleaned, or you can do it yourself. Here are two methods for you to consider. One method is to shampoo using a rotary machine.  This injects detergent into the carpet, the brushes loosen the soil, and then the dirty mixture is sucked up. The other method is to rent a steam cleaner (a.k.a. water extraction system). Basically, the machine forces a cleaning solution into the carpet and then immediately extracts it, pulling up the dirt along with the cleaning solution. If either method is not done properly or by an inexperienced carpet cleaning person, it could leave a residue in the carpet that will attract even more dirt or moisture, which, in turn, causes mildew and mold.

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