Quality carpets come with expensive price tags and replacing them can be costly. To get the most from their investments, practical homeowners want to extend the life of their carpet for as long as possible. Well-kept carpet floors can improve a home’s interior by making it appear comfortable and luxurious while unkempt carpets make a house seem uncared for, dingy and messy even if the rest of the home is well-maintained.
Why Carpets Deteriorate In Appearance & Shape Over Time
Carpet suppliers recommend proper carpet cleaning and maintenance to decrease the frequency of replacing carpets and saving on costs. Carpets are usually made from olefin or polypropylene, nylon, acrylic, wool, or cotton. Most carpets are made from synthetic materials that have higher resistance to stains, are much less expensive, and have higher tensile strength than those made from natural materials. Synthetic fibers have greater resistance to friction and seldom wear out, depending on the placement and carpet use.
However, these synthetic fibers can be flattened, scratched and faded by grainy soil and sand that accumulate in the carpet. When the carpet is placed on a commonly walked on or traffic area of the house, walking on them can create friction between dirt, soil and fibers that can cause scratches. Damaged fibers appear faded and dull because they no longer reflect the light the same way as before, even after carpet cleaning.
What To Do To Make Carpets Last Longer
The subsequent tips are simple, easy-to-follow instructions to extend the life of carpets:
1. Put Area Rugs & Mats Strategically In Certain Areas Of The House
Adding Welcome rugs at the entrance of the home can absorb some of the dirt from footwear before someone enters the house. Some areas inside the house like the kitchen and bathroom have the tendency to cause moisture, cooking oils or food particles to get into the carpets. It would also be beneficial to put inside mats on other hard surface areas that connect to any carpeted rooms.
The use of stair treads & roll runners can also help tremendously for high trafficked areas like stairs or room corridors. They can also add to the decor of your home.
These area rugs and mats should be included in regular carpet cleaning routines. They can be replaced when worn. Although they may add to your household expenditure, the benefits of not having to replace your entire carpet as often makes them a good investment.
2. Have Separate Footwear For Inside The Home
In Japanese culture, people often remove their shoes and change to slippers before entering a home. This is a great habit as it means that the dirt from the outside is not brought indoors to wear out or stain the carpets.
What about walking barefoot? The skin produces sebum, a kind of oil that settles into the carpet, causing clumps of dirt, soil, allergens and fibers to form. Oils are difficult to remove from carpets even through vacuum cleaning.
3. Vacuuming As A Carpet Cleaning Routine
There are no strict rules on how often should carpets be vacuumed. The suggested frequency is at least twice a week or more often for homes with children or pets. Focus on areas that are walked on often and where people sit to prevent soil and dirt from scratching and dulling the carpet.
Develop a system on vacuuming carpets such as dividing the carpet into quadrants and finishing a part before moving onto the next in order to avoid missing a spot.
4. Service The Vacuum Cleaner
Vacuum cleaners use air pumps to create negative pressure that allows them to suck up dust and dirt which are deposited through filtering systems into bags for later disposal. When these bags are over half-full, the vacuum cleaners lose almost seventy percent of their efficiency to clean out dirt.
Remember to change out any removable filters according to instructions. Otherwise, it could lead to germs and allergens being circulated back into the air and carpets despite the vacuuming. There was once a case of a family where the kids were repeatedly attacked with salmonella because of a bad filter in the family’s vacuum cleaner.
5. Clean Spots And Spills Immediately
Most fresh spills, when cleaned immediately, can be totally removed without leaving any trace, while delaying stain cleaning will surely damage the carpets. Blot or remove as much of the stain as possible before applying a quality general spotter cleaner product. Keep this product on easy reach and it may be better to invest on a multi part professional spotting kit. If you have time, run the home carpet cleaner over it, or use a spot cleaner machine to deep clean the spill and thoroughly get the carpet fibers cleaned.
6. Have Your Carpets Deep Cleaned Once Every 12 to 18 Months, Or More
According to the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration (IIRC), carpets should be professionally deep cleaned every 12 to 18 months, as the very least. It is not sensible to wait until the carpets are obviously grubby before cleaning them.
Regular cleaning prevents oil from causing color fading and compression of carpet fibers. However, when the carpet is too dirty with visible signs of wear and tear, the damage is already very apparent. Steam cleaning by professional carpet cleaners can remove oil by using specialized equipment that utilize heated water with cleaning chemicals, while vacuuming the sprayed water, dirt and oils without scratching or dulling the carpet.
Many allergens can settle into the carpet that can cause health problems. The IIRC recommends carpets should be cleaned professionally as frequently as every three to six months for those households with smoking or pets. This will help to prevent respiratory, dermatological or other health problems that can be caused by these allergens, and to maintain a healthy indoor environment.
If you are on a budget, consider renting or buying a home carpet cleaner as it will allow you to deeply steam clean your carpets using the same hot water extraction method that professionals use. The results are great, and it not only maintains the carpet, but keeps the environment free of germs and allergens that are hiding in the carpets.