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Preventive Maintenance for Carpeting

Easy, proactive steps will keep your carpet looking good over time.

Don’t track dirt inside

Placing walk-off mats outside all entrances will help absorb soil and moisture and trap excessive dirt, sand, grit, oil, asphalt, or driveway sealer that might otherwise be tracked into the home. Clean mats on a regular basis (or sooner, when they need it) so they don’t become sources of soil themselves.

Use a quality pad

A good carpet pad not only gives better resilience and comfort underfoot, it can extend the life of your carpet, especially on stairs. Because some carpets carry warranties with specific density and thickness requirements, be sure and review your warranty before purchasing your pad. Explore varieties of carpet pad.

Occasionally move heavy furniture

Moving your furniture on occasion won’t just renew the feel of your room, it will also help avoid excessive pile crushing. Also consider using carpet protectors under the legs of tables, chairs, and other furniture to help distribute the weight. Damage can occur if you use chairs or appliances with rollers or casters without a chair pad designed specifically for carpet.

Protect carpet when moving furniture

When moving heavy wheeled furniture (pianos, buffets, etc.), prevent damage by placing a protective barrier of heavy cardboard or plywood between the wheels and the carpet.

Clean your area rugs

If you use area rugs on your carpet, be sure to clean them regularly, and make sure you clean and restore the pile of the carpet underneath as well. Also, be sure to check area rugs for colorfastness before placing them on carpet because the color in some rugs may bleed through. After cleaning your carpet, allow it to dry completely before replacing rugs.

Reduce periods of direct sunlight

Protect your carpet from prolonged periods of direct sunlight with blinds, shades, or awnings.

Selecting the right vacuum

Because regular vacuuming can literally extend your carpet’s life, the type of vacuum cleaner you use is important. A vacuum’s performance will vary based on the carpet’s fiber type and construction.  A good vacuum typically has features that allow you to adjust the height, beater bar rotation and fan speed.  Vacuums with large wheels, self-propelled vacuums and /or specialty tools can also help ensure easy and effective carpet maintenance.

Vacuum Features

Adjustable height is the most important feature because this enables the machine to be used on a wide variety of carpet constructions. If your vacuum is set too high above the carpet surface, the vacuum can’t attract the gritty soil below. If the setting is too low, the vacuum’s beater bar or brushes can “fuzz” the carpet’s surface, causing it to look worn and frayed

  • When vacuuming thick loop, casual frieze or long pile carpets such as “shag”, you may need to completely disengage the beater bar and vacuum with suction only.
    • Adjustable Height: Use the highest setting where appropriate
    • Adjustable Motor Speed: Use a medium or low setting where appropriate
    • Large Wheels: Vacuum should glide easily across the carpet
  • Additionally, when vacuuming high pile, wool, wool blend, and premium soft carpets, look for the following features that will allow you to easily maintain your carpet:
  • For all other carpet constructions not mentioned above, use a vacuum with a rotating brush or beater bar. Change the bags often and check the beater bars for burs and gouges to prevent damage to the surface of the carpet.

If you’re unsure about the proper height setting, use an inconspicuous place like a closet to test your vacuum. It’s beater bar or brush should just lightly touch your carpet surface. Make sure it doesn’t dig into or gouge the carpet pile.

You can also set your vacuum to the proper height and vacuum multiple times against the nap, always keeping the vacuum in the same area each time. After about 100 back and forth passes, get down at eye level with the carpet and look first at the vacuumed area, then at the adjoining area that wasn’t vacuumed. After comparing, if you see any fraying or damage to the vacuumed area, you should change the setting or use a different vacuum on your carpet.

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