Correct Method of Using Latex Sealer for Carpet
Latex carpet sealer is an adhesive that seals carpet edges, seams, binds the raw edges together, and makes old, worn carpet backing stronger. Latex carpet sealer is also used when applying new backing to area rugs, whenever they wear out. This special adhesive keeps the carpet edges from unraveling and delaminating (coming away from the backing).
Most latex carpet sealers work best on woven-backed, jute, and latex unitary rugs or carpets. Latex carpet sealers do not work well on vinyl-backed and urethane rugs or carpets. When choosing an adhesive, a water-based latex adhesive is safer to use because of the low amount or solvents (liquids that can dissolve one or more chemicals). A water- based latex adhesive can be cleaned off the carpet as long as the adhesive is still wet and has not dried on the carpet's nap.
The latex in the adhesive controls the tuft bind strength, delamination strength, and the elasticity of the carpet or rug. Latex is a mixture of water emulsed (liquids that does not dissolve in each other) with synthetic, natural, or other polymer rubber materials. The latex sealer in carpets is used in combination with other backings, carpets with low piles, and for coating the back of carpets or rugs.
When applying carpet latex sealer, it should only be applied to the edge of the carpet nap and the secondary backing. If you apply the carpet latex sealer too high (on the carpet nap itself) it will be seen later when it dries as a hard ridge that runs down the seam line of the two edges of the carpet. This product is used to seal the raw carpet edges and keep the yarn of the carpet from unraveling. Carpet latex sealer is also used to help prevent the carpet from coming apart from the backing. Before applying the sealer, make sure that the carpet or rug is dry, clean, and loose ravels of carpet yarn are trimmed.
After applying the sealer, allow it to dry for about four to five hours. Since the base of the adhesive is latex, it has an off-white color that dries to a clear, thick, and flexible film. As with every chemical, there are safety precautions that one needs to take into consideration when using carpet latex sealer. Even though most carpet latex sealers are not a health hazard or flammable, there is a small amount of ammonia in it, so it is recommended to use in a well-ventilated area. When using this product, try using a window fan to make the air move, or open a window. Using a fan will also speed up the drying time. If it gets on the skin, simply wash it with soap and water. If it gets in your eyes, flush them with warm water.
When storing carpet latex sealer, keep it above thirty degrees Celsius and stored away from direct sunlight. If kept under these recommended conditions, the shelf life of the carpet latex sealer will be extended.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Graeme Stephens has been running the largest owned carpet cleaning company
in new Zealand for 24 years. IICRC qualified "master restoration technician"