Not many people restore carpets like Chris Howell.
The founder of Maryland-based Colorful Carpets estimates he’s taught about 130 people his color-clean process in the past five years, and one of them is Rick Thomas.
In 2013, Thomas opened Hydro Theory — a cleaning and restoration company that specializes in work with commercial, real estate and property management companies — here in Morgantown.
In that time, he’s focused on learning as much as he can about his profession. And so he jumped on the opportunity to take a vocational training course in carpet dyeing, which Howell offers free of charge to veterans like Thomas.
“He did very well with it,” Howell said.
So well, in fact, that he invited Thomas to join him to clean the carpets in the White House — a client of his since 2002.
“He called me, I guess the week before, and said, ‘Rick I’m working on New Year’s Eve. Are you interested in coming to check out a job with me?’ ” Thomas said. “I’m like, eh New Year’s Eve, that’s not my idea of a good time.”
Once Howell revealed the job was at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. though, Thomas couldn’t pass up the opportunity.
“I actually did the room where they watched the Osama Bin Laden raid, so that was something that as a veteran — to be in the heart of where those decisions get made — it was a humbling experience,” Thomas said.
“The process we did in the White House is called color clean,” Howell said. “You add a small amount of color to the cleaning solution, and as [the carpet] is being cleaned, you’re restoring the color.”
He said carpets lose about 2-3 percent of their original color every year, due to normal fading.
And, Thomas added, the color-clean process is especially helpful for businesses that see a lot of traffic, such as hotels and law firms.
“It makes people fall in love all over again with the color,” Howell said.
With the method, Thomas is also able to tackle bleach stains.
“That’s a skill that I think really sets us apart,” he said.
LOCATION: The Monongahela Building at 235 High St., Morgantown, W.Va.
HOURS: 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday.