Mohawk to Require CRI Cleaning Seal for Warranty

Dalton, GA, May 17, 2006--Beginning in 2007, Mohawk Industries will require that professional floor care systems used to clean its carpets have the Carpet and Rug Institute’s Seal of Approval. The CRI’s Seal of Approval program was created to establish test methods and performance criteria for cleaning products including professional floor cleaning systems. Since proper cleaning is a critical element in flooring performance, it can “make or break” the consumer’s perception of the quality of a floor. “We are interested in consumer perception of our product throughout its lifetime,” said Ed Williams, Senior Vice President of Marketing for Mohawk. “Our brand is successful if the homeowner is pleased not just when the carpet is installed, but maintains her satisfaction for years. This requires ongoing care that is done right. CRI’s standards help make this happen.” Last fall, CRI unveiled the Seal of Approval program at Kennedy Space Center. The CRI program takes advantage of technology transfer between NASA and private industry, using ideas and methods from the space program for commercial applications. The CRI Seal of Approval for carpet cleaning equipment and systems includes evaluation of vacuums, DIY extraction systems, and professional cleaning systems. It utilizes x-ray florescence (XRF) analysis, which was originally developed by NASA to evaluate the quality of parts used in the construction of the space shuttle. The XRF instrument emits energy and excites the atoms of a target element. The energy generated in response is called X-ray fluorescence, which can be detected and measured by the device. Each atomic element has its own unique energy signature. The XRF instrument measures each energy signature to determine presence and concentration of various elements in a matrix based upon this unique signature. The NASA enhanced instrument used for the CRI evaluations identifies and quantifies the energy signature of a broader range of elements than previously possible. The quantitative measurements allowed by the introduction of NASA’s X-Ray Florescence (XRF) technology provided the floorcovering industry an effective way of looking at not only what cleaning processes removed, but what they left behind--a critical factor for cleaning performance. “Because soil is being extracted doesn’t necessarily mean the cleaning system is performing well. It also depends on if detergents and other compounds may still be left in the carpet after cleaning. Detergents attract and capture dirt. An improper cleaning process that leaves a detergent residue can actually make the carpet dirtier than when it started,” noted Williams. “The Space Foundation Certified XRF Technology allows the CRI testing protocol to see not just the dirt left behind in vacuuming and cleaning, but what cleaning products also remain in the flooring. This is a critical way to identify a good cleaning system,” Williams said. Mohawk residential carpet warranties require that the homeowner show proof of periodic cleaning by a certified professional cleaning service. A minimum of one professional cleaning every two years is required. Depending on level of traffic, family size, soil conditions adjacent to the home, and other circumstances, more frequent cleanings may be advisable. Mohawk Industries is a strong supporter of CRI’s Seal of Approval Program for a number of reasons, but one stands out: Mohawk believes this is an excellent opportunity to enhance the professionalism of the industry--and enhance the value of flooring to the consumer. “For flooring, consumer satisfaction and brand loyalty are built over years. We as an industry have to look at it that way,” Williams said. Two years ago, Mohawk created and introduced its own professional carpet cleaning system that has been adopted by Mohawk dealers wanting to develop a cleaning profit center for their stores.

Related Topics:Carpet and Rug Institute, Mohawk Industries