Petroleum backing on my carpets


Petroleum backing on my carpets

Asked by Christine Henson

I'm having a 'spotting' problem that perhaps you can help me better understand. little brown spots just keep appearing on my 18 year old carpet. They are popping up in different areas (not common to where we walk). We do not wear shoes or bring food around these areas - I'm curious if it could be the petroleum coming up from the backing?? I am currently researching new flooring options and your site has been helpful.... but in the meantime this situation is really concerning me. Thank you in advance! Christine Henson

Answer this question


Gary Shlifer LEED AP+ H, LEED AP+ BD&C's picture

Get the carpet out of the house. It sounds bad. Middle of the road carpets have a lifespan of 5 years or less. I recommend a carpetless house. Depending on what's underneath, you may be able to refinish it. Avoid Carpet when possible. If you have to have carpet, make sure it is Green Label or Green Label Plus. That's for the carpet and cushion below. If you're not using carpet with this or other Green labels, you'll be exposed to VOCs. Also look for recycled content carpets. There's lots. Consider environmentally preferable flooring products such as bamboo, cork, reclaimed woods, FSC woods, coconut palm. Check out for ideas. Yours, Green Gary