When a flooring inspector is called in to look at carpet tiles, the most common complaint is that they are curling and cupping. There are several significant indicators that the flooring inspector can look for to verify the claims.
Curling happens when the tile is experiencing too much tension. This causes it to pull up along the sides. When curling happens, any adjoining tiles will not meet up. Cupping is similar in that the center part of the tile pulls up the corners. It creates a concave shape that doesn’t lie flat or meet up with the surrounding tiles.
The causes of curling and cupping can range. It’s up to the inspector to figure out what is triggering the problem in the carpet tiles. Common causes include a manufacturing problem with too much tension in the fibers. Also, faulty backing, excessive moisture in the concrete and high alkalinity can contribute. Other causes may be improper storage, poor application of the adhesive, plasticizer migration, and poor sub floor preparation.
When the flooring inspector is trying to figure out the problem, they can look underneath a few of the carpet tiles and check for moisture. They can also look at the adhesive amounts and its condition. An inspector may want to take moisture readings. They can also look for evidence of plasticizer migration. If the conditions meet all the requirements, the inspector may have to take some samples to send to a lab for evaluation. This is to see if the manufacturer may have created the issue. It’s difficult to evaluate this in the field, so the flooring inspector must wait for lab results.
Once the cause of the curling and cupping has been determined, the flooring inspector can finalize their report for the client.