Carpet Spotting and Staining From Wicking
This is a fire sprinkler head. Part of our fire suppression system. It developed a drip. It was dripping for several hours before anyone noticed it. As a result. It got the carpet underneath the area. As the wetness was discovered, somebody grabbed a garbage can and set it there to catch the drip so that it was not getting the carpet anymore wet.
It is a light blue carpet. You will notice the brow stain around the garbage can where it was wet. That’s a stain that developed as the carpet dried. It wasn’t visible as the carpet was wet. The carpet was a little darker. It was squishy. It was obviously wet. That stain developed as it dried.
When carpet or other materials especially cellulose materials get really wet, just water, plain water will find and dissolve materials. Cellulose coloring out of the materials itself, soil, whatever is deposited in the carpet or below the carpet it will dissolve those materials. As the water wick the the surface where it has to in order to evaporate. In order to evaporate into the air, the water works its way up the fibers and then evaporates off of the top of the carpet or tips of the fibers. It carries those dissolved materials with it. When the water evaporates, it leaves those materials or the staining behind.
What’s curious is when we move the waste basket, notice that there is significantly less or almost no staining directly under where the waste basket was sitting. That’s an example of the wicking action. The plastic garbage can sitting on the carpet gave very little opportunity for the water to evaporate off of the tips of those fibers. There was very little wicking. Instead, the dampness that was wet there wicked out and around that area to the tops of the fibers around it.
Just accidentally, we happened and we noticed and does a good job of demonstrating wicking. That it actually is water moving to the tips of the fibers and evaporating and leaves the coloring. It doesn’t have to be anything else int he water. The water doesn’t have to have any color to it originally. The water water will find materials to dissolve.