How to maintain your carpets

If you have just purchased new carpeting or your just trying to prolong the life of your existing carpet, you should follow your carpet manufacturer’s carpet cleaning guidelines to keep you carpet warranty in effect. You should hire a professional to clean your carpets every 12 to 18 months. Keep the sales receipts! Review the warranty and the carpet maintenance suggestions to make sure your carpet lasts through their warranty period.

Most carpets don’t wear out, they ugly-out! When your carpet loses it shine, it will look dull and worn. Once this has happened, there is no magic that any carpet cleaner can do to bring your carpet back to life. Dirt and soil brought into your house from the outdoors and oils (like from you feet or skin) are the main contributors leading to this condition. The dirt attaches itself to the carpet fibers and begins to scratch the fibers as people and pets walk on it. Make sure that you have a vacuum cleaner that has enough power to get the dirt out of your fibers (see below for more on your vacuum cleaner).

When it comes to choosing a carpet cleaning company, some are definitely more reputable than others. Be careful who you hire. Hiring the company with the lowest price may not be the smartest answer. If the cost is too good to be true, then it probably isn’t the best solution. An inexperienced carpet cleaner may do more damage than good. Too much moisture in your carpet may not dry quickly enough and lead to mold and mildew odors. Worse yet, it may lead to delamination of the backing, a process in which the primary and secondary backing of the carpet begins to break down, thus separating the fibers from the backing of the carpet.

Also, dry cleaning methods (not recommended by the manufacturers), will only clean the top 16 – 20% of the fiber and leave residues in the fibers that will scratch and abraid the fibers causing premature “ugly out” conditions in high wear areas. A bad carpet cleaning job can void your carpet warranty and ruin your carpet.

How ofter should you vacuum your carpets?

A rule of thumb is to vaccum your carpets once a week for every individual that lives in your house. If you have three people in your house then vacuum three times a week. However, even vacuuming everyday won’t help if you don’t have a good vacuum cleaner. If your vacuum is not doing a good enough job, the dirt that penetrates the nap of your carpet will scratch or abraid the fibers. Abrasion is a main contributor of carpet wear. You’ll see it most prevalent in high traffic areas such as hallways, main walkways throughout your house, and stairs. These are the areas that “ugly out” the quickest and should be vacuumed most frequently. Carpet fibers can only tolerate a certain amount of abrasion before they start matting down and wearing your carpets.

If you have children that are active, they can significantly increase the wear and tear of your carpet, by forcing dirt and debris further into the nap of your carpet. This is another good reason to have a high quality vacuum cleaner that has a significant suction power to remove particles deep into you nap.

Check the mechanical parts of your vacuum and clean them.

The vacuum cleaners motor creates suction and rotates the the beater bar which lifts the carpet fibers, and loosens the particles from deep inside the carpet, allowing these particles to be more easily suctioned up into the vacuum dust bag or dirt receptacle.

The beater bar should be checked monthly for build-up of debris, which should be carefully removed from the brushes on the beater bar.

Check the drive belts to make sure that are moving the beater bar appropriately. The brush bristles also wear out over time and may need to replaced over time.

Taking care of your carpets in between professional cleaning will lead to a healthier environment for you and your family and extend the life of your carpets, and save you a lot of money in replacement cost in the long run.

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