A piece of furniture, new or old, brings both pleasure and responsibility to its owner, the pleasure of owning something with character and the responsibility to preserve and care for it.
The average house is not a friendly place for furniture. Humidity and temperature change continuously which cause timber to move, knocks and scratches are daily hazards, the furniture is touched and moved and just simply used. Well made as they are, antique and new furniture needs protection.
Some of the furniture we sell is crafted abroad in areas with a very humid climate. For these reasons, our furniture is accustomed to higher levels of relative humidity than are common in North American homes. During the heating season especially, indoor humidity may drop low enough (10-30%) to dry out weaken furniture joints or shrink flat wood surfaces, resulting in splitting, cracking or warping.
Do not wait for damage to occur. Take preventative measures to protect these and all your valuables - old and new furniture, plants, paintings and books, among other things are all subject to damage from low humidity, and personal comfort is actually enhanced by proper humidity control.
Avoid placing furniture were it is damp. As well as encouraging pests and rot, excessive moisture will ruin polish and soften glues leading to structural weakness. Conversely, ensure that the environment is not too dry. There are several possible courses of action to maintain adequate relative humidity during the heating season. It is best to maintain a minimum relative humidity of 45% at temperatures of 68-72 degrees Fahrenheit. When necessary, the relative humidity can be modified to stay within acceptable ranges through the use of humidifiers and dehumidifiers.
Light, particularly visible and ultraviolet (UV) light, is very damaging to organic materials such as wood. Damage from light is cumulative and irreversible. A tabletop exposed to diffused light for several years will suffer similar effects of light damage as a tabletop exposed to direct sunlight for a shorter time. Light provides the energy and increased temperature necessary to chemically degrade finished and wood colorants, and in some cases, cause wood cell structure to break down. Clear finishes often turn yellow or opaque in response to light, and the colour of the wood itself can also change.
As well as protection, your furniture will need regular maintenance. Dust often, as dusting is more important than polishing. Vacuum or dust with a soft cloth. Occasionally use a cloth just barely dampened with solvent-based cleaning wax to wipe the surface to pick up more dust, and immediately wipe with a dry cloth or soft paper towel. Do not use spray waxes and polishes on surfaces as they will leave a higher gloss and some silicone which may make furniture refinishing more difficult. If the finish is water resistant, a barely dampened towel or cloth will pick up dust.
Pads, mats and coasters on furniture, mats under vases, glasses, cups etc. protect them from spills and stains, and from heated objects. Do not use plastic or rubber on natural wood surfaces as they may soften and damage finish. Use felt under objects set on top of furniture that could scratch it.
Never use aerosol or spray furniture polish. This can lead to a build up of silicone which creates an impervious surface, preventing the nourishing wax from feeding the wood. Polish should be wax based. The classic polish contains carnauba (which is vegetable in origin), paraffin wax and beeswax. Occasionally wax with paste (carnauba) wax. Rub on a light coat with a soft cloth with the grain of the wood (or put a lump of wax inside a few layers of cheese cloth and rub into the wood thus preventing heavy smears); then buff at once with a soft cloth, turning often, until the wax coating is hard. (Old cotton shirts are good.) Be sure all wax is completely buffed until hard to avoid smears and streaks. A small electric polisher is a great "arm saver" on all smooth surfaces; wipe surface gently with clean soft cloth after applying wax to remove any loosened soil and then let set for several minutes (follow wax label directions) before buffing. An occasional re-buffing will renew the soft gloss. Paste wax helps cover small cracks and checks in old finishes, and can be easily removed with solvent when desired. Wax polishing furniture should not be done more than once or twice a year. Remove old wax first with a mild non-alkaline soap and water solution. Avoid waxing urethane-finished furniture. Waxing these surfaces causes them to gather dust and dirt rather than repel it.
Grease and food deposits or other such stains should be removed by washing. Never polish over them as this seals in the dirt. Use a little vinegar (a tablespoon in a half pint of water). Wet the surface and rub vigorously with a soaked cotton cloth until all the grime is gone then dry off quickly with a clean cloth.
Cornerstone could not be happier to have helped you select a beautiful long-lasting addition to your home. You may notice a thing or two that you may not have expected. Most of these are just part of the natural process of your new carpet making itself at home.
Here are a few of the things you may notice soon after your carpet is installed. Most of the following situations are perfectly normal and can be dealt with simply and directly.
If you should have any questions or concerns please contact us for further assistance.
Those balls of fluff you may find on the surface of your carpet or in your vacuum cleaner don't mean that your carpet is going to pieces. Most carpets retain some loose fibres after they leave the factory and our showroom. These fibres make their way to the surface and may take a while to work themselves out completely. How long this takes depends on the particular fibre construction of your carpet. Before long you'll find that the problem has vanished.
Your carpet may "sprout" a loose tuft that seems to grow above the surface. If this happens, simply snip the offending end even with the surface. Please do not yank out long or loose ends! That can damage the carpet permanently.
You may notice some colour variations in different areas of your carpet or one area may appear to change colour when viewed from different angles. Your carpet is not changing colour, it's just part of the natural beauty of plush carpet where light reflects unevenly as the pile moves in different directions. Foot traffic generally causes this, and the best solution is to vacuum the pile in a uniform direction.
If your carpet is rippling, the culprit is usually humidity. This situation usually resolves itself, as the carpet settles into its new home. If this happens in a dry atmosphere, it may be necessary to have the carpet professionally re-stretched.
These are marks that appear two or three feet across the width of the carpet or 18" from the wall. Don't be alarmed! The carpet is not damaged. These are called pressure bands (or pressure marks) and they will work themselves out in time by vacuuming. If they don't, please call your salesperson, who will arrange to have them steamed out.
This is just one of life's little electrifying moments. When the relative humidity in your home is low, a static charge can build up in your carpet as you walk across it. Then, when you touch something made of metal, you get a shock. There are commercially available products you can apply to your carpet to reduce or eliminate static electric build up. Patience is also a good remedy, because as time goes by your carpet will hold less static charge.
Unless you plan to live without furniture, your carpet will display crushing in spots where heavy objects such as sofas and shelving units are located. To raise the pile back to its former proud height, you'll have to do some vigorous brushing. If the indentations are particularly stubborn, you can try passing a hot steam iron over them - but no closer than six inches above the carpet.
If a single tuft does become snagged or worked loose, just cut it off and let the surrounding yarn fill in the space.
Regular vacuuming is the key to keeping your new carpet young, fresh and beautiful. Dirt and grit can accumulate in your carpet and become embedded in the pile where they will affect your carpet's colour and cause matting of the pile.
You'll want to vacuum heavy-traffic areas daily, if possible, and less heavily used areas can be maintained with once-a-week vacuuming. For best results use a vacuum cleaner with a beater bar or rotating brush and plenty of suction for cut pile carpets.
For Loop Pile, Berber and Needlepoint Wilton Carpets use a flat stainless steel nozzle that doesn't have a lot of bristles. A beater bar or attachments with teeth or ridges is not recommended.
It is a good idea to use your vacuum in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions. Make sure you've adjusted the attachments to the proper heights for your carpet.
Vacuuming should be done slowly - about three passes over the area for a light cleaning and seven passes where there's more soil. And remember, when you're vacuuming, you're adding life to your carpet.
GIVE YOUR CARPET A BREAK
Redistributing the load your carpet bears can do it a world of good and lengthen its life, thereby helping to protect your investment. A room-sized rug can simply be turned around. A room with wall to wall carpeting should have the furniture rearranged periodically to give certain areas a rest.
DON'T LET YOUR CARPET FADE FROM MEMORY
There are two reasons your carpet may fade. One is due to the effects of direct sunlight and can be lessened with the use of curtains, drapes or shades. Airborne particles, dirt, soot and rust can also settle into your carpet unnoticed and cause fading over time. Regular vacuuming will help prevent fading. If you notice fading, a thorough cleaning is called for. Please do not delay, as the problem will worsen over time.