Baby The Carpeting In Your Home To Extend It’s Life
When your carpet is installed, it no doubt appears perfect and pristine and even smells good. But take a snapshot, because it’s like that “new car smell” and appearance that doesn’t last long. It’s what happens later, as it starts to show age, gets stained (including the stains you can’t see), or is just plain dirty that should be your focus. Brightnest.com reports that the average carpet replacement happens every seven years, which can really add up over the lifetime of a house. If you have carpet in your home, however, there are ways to extend the life of your carpet.One is to insist on a no-shoes policy. Most cultures throughout the civilized world do not wear shoes into their homes, whether carpeted or not. They either go barefoot, scoot around in their socks, or provide light slippers for guests to wear, since shoes track dirt, grime, and worse (poop) into your house. “More than 96 percent of shoes come into frequent contact with fecal matter from public restrooms, and that fecal matter is being rubbed all over your carpet when you stomp around inside.” says Brightnest. “Think you’re safe because of an entryway or mudroom? Not so fast. Tests show that it takes up to 17 steps before the soles of shoes are clean (and fecal-free).”
Provide your guests with a basket near your entry in which to toss their shoes, buy some cheap slippers or a bowl full of rolled-up socks in several sizes for them to wear, and avoid awkward conversations by posting a sign nearby to explain your shoe policy.
Most restoration and even carpet companies recommend you get your carpets cleaned at least once a year. While that’s a minimum for average-to-high traffic areas, it may not apply to those places feet don’t tread very often. If you have kids, pets, or a smoking habit, however, cleaning everything 2-4 times per year is a good idea. Look for Angieslist and Groupon deals for discounts. Professional carpet cleaners will use chemicals that are safe for your carpet and your family, removing excess water, so the carpet dries in hours, not days. Wet or dirty carpeting attracts dirt and makes the carpet re-soil quickly.
The amount of dirt you breathe in on behalf of your carpeting is directly related to the frequency of vacuuming as well as the quality of the vacuum you own, and as with everything else, with vacuums you get what you pay for. “Not only will cheap vacuums not pick up dirt and grime, they’re tougher to clean and don’t filter the air very well,” says Joyce at Brightnest. “Instead, opt for a middle-of-the-road price (around $200). If you’re vacuuming a massive amount of area, you may want to go even higher on the purchase price to make life easier. One of the priciest vacuums (Rainbow) is not sold in stores, but its water filtration system can rid your house of the nastiness that contributes to your allergies. Its life span, if appropriately maintained, often lasts for decades, so if you have allergies, the upfront cost might be worth it.
The most common vacuums either use bags or contain cartridges that must be emptied. It’s essential to keep your vacuum maintained by checking the bag or cylinder before each use. It should always be less than half full, and empty is even better so that the motor is not taxed as heavily. If your device has a removable air filter, rinse it out before and after each use. Then vacuum a LOT. The more frequent, the better.
To keep your carpeting in good shape, move furniture around so that divots are not permanent. A five-year divot becomes part of the carpet even if you have those tiny little plate protectors underneath each foot.
And then there are stains. When something happens, don’t wait. Make like Felix Unger in the Odd Couple and immediately clean up anything solid (like nacho chips) and sop up any excess liquid. Have club soda handy pretty much all of the time. Keep the original paperwork that accompanied your carpet for cleaning guidelines, or look online for the best ways to remove certain types of stains. Carpeting stores will also answer just about any question you have, hoping your next carpet replacement will theirs to install.