Olefin- 90 of all wall to wall carpet backings  have been of this materials. Olefin dislikes water and if you place a fiber in water it actually floats. This material s also inert and will not react with acids or alkaline . It is the least absorbent of water of all the modern carpet fibers. Unfortunately it is loves oil and oil based stains can be difficult to remove. Because of these characteristics professional cleaners often work a slower pace and place air movers in the area to prevent water from wicking back up and re-soiling an area that was just cleaned.

Strengths

  • Very affordable and long lasting, making it the #2 most popular construction in the US. Olefin is a synthetic or man made material
  • Chemically inert  or will not chemically react.
  • Does not shrink this material only absorbs 1% of water , making this common backing of most constructions.

Weaknesses

  • Least resilient of all fibers especially with the popular Berber style carpeting. If the nap crushes it cannot be made to spring back with a steam cleaning. Common in commercial carpet mills will make it denser which helps with reslientcy.
  • Lowest melt temperature, cleaners need to be careful of using high heat or can melt areas accidentally.
  • Homeowners need to be careful moving furniture also because friction can cause permanent damage
    Normal wear and tear will leave permanent traffic lane patterns because the face of the yarn is scratched and not dirty. Although it often looks dirty.
  • Water Hating= wicking.  Berber easily overwets and is the biggest problem with this material.