There is certainly a great deficiency in the floor covering marketing when it comes to understanding pH and the pH scale. Very few of us realise that a high reading on the pH scale can be detrimental to the carpet in several ways.
The two most common problems that I confront on a regular basis are; the loss of colour on some carpets; and pH attacking adhesives on glue down installations. In orderto understand why this happens, we have to kno and understand pH.
pH is a measurement of acidity or alkalinity. It is expressed as logarithmic base of 10 reciprocals of hydrogen ion concentrates based in grams per litre of solution. On a scale of 0-14, the levels of acidity and alkalinity are measured with 7 being the neutral point. 0.7 is on the acid side, while 7-14 is on the alkali side.
Strong acids from 0.3, moderate 4-6, 7 is neutral, 8-10 moderate alkali and 11-14 strong alkali. The molecular of water is H2O. It has two ions, Hydrogen with a positive charge (H+) and Hydroxyl with a negative charge (OH-). When there are more H + ions, the solution is acid. On the other hand, if there are more OH- ions, the solutionn is alkali.
The acid side (0-7) doesn't concern me as much as the alkali side (8-14) does. As the pH increases in alkalinity, it becomes hotter. Alkali is occasionally called "hot", and this is dangerous. The intensity of the alkality (hot) is the culprit that destroys dyes, adhesives etc.
To easily understand the pH scale, I've included a chart for your review. As you can see, the chart measures from 0-14 as mentioned above. Notice how the chart progresses in multiples of 10. Take a moment to study the difference between 10 and 11. By multiples of 10, the OH- ions have increased 9000 more! Now, look at the difference between 13 and 14 millions! I'm sure you can now see why alkali prescence is so critical.