Few consumers will deny their love of scrunching their toes into a nice piece of fuzzy carpet. By the same token, many will tell you how frustrated they get when something spills or their pet has an accident on that same carpet and the stain and odor becomes a constant reminder of that incident as they weren’t able to clean up the mess quick enough.

Shaw Industries feels it has developed the answer to this with LifeGuard, a carpet protection system that covers the entire product—from face fiber to backing.

Carpets featuring LifeGuard are treated with Shaw’s patented R2X Stain and Soil Resistance Protection, while a second patented technology, a 100% thermoplastic commercial-grade backing, provides a moisture barrier that company officials say is highly resistant to liquids soaking into the carpet padding and subfloor.

The new technology was officially unveiled to rave reviews at the CCA Global Partners winter conventions (Editor’s note: Full details of both the Flooring America and Carpet One conventions will appear in next month’s edition) as both Shaw and CCA officials demonstrated LifeGuard’s ability to retain liquids while they seep through traditional carpets.

“Some carpets promise protection against spills and other accidents, including those caused by pets, but they don’t address the reality of what really happens,” explained Trey Thames, vice president of residential marketing and product management. “Liquids still soak through the backing and spread, leaving stains and potential odors. LifeGuard keeps these liquids from seeping into the backing making it easier to clean and offering protection against odor-causing spills—including pet accidents.”

He added, carpets treated with R2X already “boast an exceptional level of liquid stain resistance,” and LifeGuard backing “provides an unprecedented additional level of protection by greatly reducing wicking of stains and offering consumers the luxury of more time to discover and clean up spills.”

This is important, Thames said, because “spills—and pet accidents—can initially go unnoticed and soak into the carpet backing, padding and even the subfloor. Certain liquids, such as pet urine and its distinctive odor, are extremely difficult to remove if not promptly cleaned. LifeGuard dissipates these odors six times faster than many competitive carpets, eliminating odors in 30 minutes or less.”

When it comes time for a major cleaning, he said “LifeGuard-backed products absorb 50% less water compared to many competitive carpets and dry three times faster than other carpets” when recommended hot-water extraction cleaning methods are used.

Beyond its topical attributes, LifeGuard also boasts ease of installation, he said. “The lightweight, flexible backing system allows installers to easily bend and manipulate the carpet to facilitate installation, and it slides 25% more easily over the pad. The backing is two times as flexible as other backings and can be installed in cold weather conditions. LifeGuard’s backing is also easy to stretch in and trim, making it especially easy to install on stairs, and its softness helps to protect painted baseboards and door casings.”

For more information, call (888) 742-9932 or visit shawfloors.com.