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Steam cleaning carpet over hardwood floors ??
Old 10-24-2008, 10:14 PM   #1
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Steam cleaning carpet over hardwood floors ??

My house has two parts - the original 1960 house and an addition.

The original part has wall to wall carpeting over the downstairs, but the building inspector I hired when I bought the house told me that it was covering hardwood floors like the rooms without carpet have.

I got a few stains on the carpet and seem to be able to clean them with some 409 spray cleaner that I spray and then blot with paper towels. I did a few of the stains and it seems to have worked.

My mother has a Hoover steam cleaner that she wants to bring over and have me use to clean the rug. I don't think this is a good idea because I am worried that the water it puts into the rug will damage the hardwood floor underneath.

Is this a reasonable fear?

I previously cleaned the carpet with and Electrolux B-8 carpet cleaning machine. This uses a tank of water with some cleaning fluid in it, but it comes out more like a foam that saturates the top of the carpet rather than as a deep down thing like I imagine the steam cleaner does.

For all I know the Electrolux may also have affected the hardword floor or the floor may have had problems before the carpet was put down.

In any case, I am avoiding the steam cleaner for now, but am wondering if I am right about my worries.


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Old 10-24-2008, 10:23 PM   #2
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We had a house that had carpet on the floors. We decided to change the carpet; once we removed it, we were shocked to find hardwood floors. They were stained very badly from crud and water. So yeah, water will soak through and affect the floor.

Had a guy to come in and take a look. He refinished them and they looked absolutely gorgeous! I'd give my right arm for hardwood floors now.

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Old 10-25-2008, 07:21 PM   #3
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All the 'steam' cleaners I've used really just used hot water and low pressure. I think you'll find it easy to avoid saturating the carpet which is not a good thing with or without hardwood underneath. They usually have suction to pull the dirty solution out leaving the carpet damp. You can use a fan to help the carpet dry out a bit quicker.

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Old 10-26-2008, 01:05 AM   #4
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Thanks for the replies.

May not be as busy as it seems today. A severe storm blew out the electricity and it will probably be off for most of the day.

I am currently running on battery backup so not likely to post later.
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Old 10-27-2008, 07:26 AM   #5
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i had hardwood installed years ago when the original 70s vintage carpet (reddish brown short shag ) wore out. one of the things the installer told me was to keep all water, including small amounts from drips, off the wood. it would seep into the cracks between the boards and cause wood swelling. it has a gym floor finish but he said the high traffic areas would be worn down over time.
maybe a dry chemical spray foam (woolite?) would be a better idea?
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Old 10-27-2008, 12:29 PM   #6
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Interesting Topic. I also have a carpet over hardwood floors. House was built about 50 years ago.

I put carpet over the existing floors about 25 years ago. The floors at the time were in excellent condition. Since we don't wear shoes in our home, the carpets have remained fairly clean.

Was considering a licensed carpet cleaner, but now am not sure.

Has anyone actually used a carpet cleaner in the past and when they changed their carpet noticed any damage?

Logically, the pad and carpet would get wet. I know when I had my Rental's carpet cleaned, If you placed your hand on the carpet it was damp to the touch. The pad I assume would also be damp.

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