Cleaning and Maintaining Carpeted Floors
03/24/2016 11:25AM ● Published by Hood Magazine
Pollutants from car exhaust, pollens, pet and human dander, and just plain old dirt can cause damage to a variety of surfaces in your home including carpet, tile, wood, and fabrics.
To prevent it from entering your home in the first place, according to one independent study, it takes as much as 12 times more effort, time and money to remove soil as it does to prevent it from entering a structure. One effective strategy is to place doormats outside and just inside the entrances to your home.
The mats you place outside should be a water resistant, synthetic, non-absorbent fiber such as olefin or polypropylene. Avoid natural fibers outside, since the elements will cause them to degrade, mold and rot. Make sure outdoor mats are textured to scrape heavier soils off your shoes. The inside doormats should be constructed of an absorbent material such as nylon, cotton or wool. Get one as large as is practical to remove moisture as you walk in. Keep this mat vacuumed and wash it periodically to remove built-up soils. Naturally, the best course of action is to remove shoes upon entry to your home. But don’t make the mistake of going barefoot all the time. The skin of our feet contains natural oils that can attach to carpet and become a soil-attracting magnet. Wear clean house shoes, socks or slippers inside your home.
Vacuuming your carpets is the most effective thing you can do to maintain them and prolong the usable life. A study on indoor soiling revealed that 74-79% of soil in carpet is dry, particulate soil that can be removed by regular vacuuming. If these dry soils are allowed to remain undisturbed, some of them will break own and oxidize, creating a breeding ground for fungi, bacteria and odors. Others adhere to sticky or oily residues and bond to carpet fibers causing abrasion and permanent damage. Regular vacuuming reduces these effects so your carpet lasts longer.
Regular cleaning is also important. Don’t wait until your expensive carpets, rugs and upholstery have reached an overall soiled condition before calling a professional carpet cleaning business. By the time fibers have reached a visibly soiled state, damage has already taken place, and even with the best efforts, the results will be limited. Your carpet can last a long, long time if properly cared for. Annual cleaning is recommended in most homes. However, busy homes with children and pets will require cleaning two times per year a year or more depending on lifestyles.