is the secret to carpet longevity
Some carpets look like new for years and others get ratty in no
time. Vic Joffe and Bill Gordon, two carpet cleaning professionals
from Ann Arbor, Michigan, with forty-five years experience between
them, have cleaned every type of carpet under every condition imaginable.
Their advice: pick a fiber, texture and color according to the use
and amount of foot traffic you expect in each living area, catch
spills promptly, vacuum frequently and clean periodically.
To get yourself off to a good start, both experts said that a good
installation and a good pad are essential. The three most commonly
used materials for padding are solid urethane, rebonded urethane,
and synthetic fiber. All work well as long as you get one with a
good density, which is designated by the number of pounds per cubic
foot. Some pads are so thin and unsubstantial, they feel "wimpy"
and you can tell they won't do the job, Gordon said. In areas with
heavy foot traffic, such as a hallway, a lightweight pad will quickly
collapse to the thickness of cardboard and loose its ability to
cushion the impact of footsteps on the carpet. When this happens,
every step will pound the carpet directly against the floor, causing
the carpet fibers to loose their "memory retention", their
ability to spring back up after being crushed under a footstep.
The carpet will quickly look ratty and no amount of cleaning expertise
can restore it.
But, don't judge a pad by thickness alone, Joffe cautioned. A thicker
pad may look more substantial, but if it doesn't have enough density,
the carpet will flex, stretching up and down like a trampoline when
you walk on it. These will eventually break down the carpet backing,
and cause it to delaminate. You need at least a six-pound pad and
preferably an eight pound one with a thickness of 3/8-inches. Since
a production builder's base grade pad many only be a four-pound
type, you should upgrade it even if you decide not to upgrade the
base grade carpet.
The key to a good installation is adequate stretching, which must
be done with a power stretcher. If this is not done correctly, you
may not notice anything amiss when you move in. But, wrinkles can
appear the first time the carpets are steam cleaned because the
hot water and heat relax the backing. The wrinkles may disappear
as the carpet dries; if they don't, the only way to get rid of them
is to restretch the carpeting. This can get expensive if the wrinkles
appear in doorways, or in areas where the carpet has seams.
You'll get the most value for your money when you match the fiber
type, color and texture to the use and amount of foot traffic in
each area of your house. Wool wears well and dirt comes out easily
with cleaning, but this natural fiber also stains easily. Moreover,
the stains can be hard to remove and, Joffe noted, some do not come
out at all. In a high traffic area where you won't be eating such
as a hall way or low traffic area such as a formal living room,
wool can be a good choice, but think twice before putting it in
your dining areas, especially if you have pets and small children
who spill frequently.
Of the synthetic fibers--polyester, nylon and olefin--, polyester
is the hardest to clean and olefin the easiest. It is also the most
stain resistant because unlike wool, its fibers do not accept dyes
and colors easily. Though not as strong a fiber as nylon, olefin
wears well when used in a berber style carpet with a looped fiber
instead of a cut one. Another plus with a berber style-- its knobby
textured surface and flecks of color hide dirt.
A carpet with a light color will make a smaller space look larger,
but you will see every spot. If you really want the lighter colors,
Joffe suggested a carpet style that will hid the dirt and spots
such as a berber or a sculptured type with a speckled color and
a sculpted surface pattern created by mixing cut and looped pile.
If neither of these types of carpeting appeal, consider the multi-colored
pattern approach, a strategy long been favored by decorators for
heavy traffic areas such as hotels lobbies and commercial dining
rooms. The dirt- hiding subterfuge here: the dirt blends in because
you can't focus on six different colors at once.
Even if you make prudent carpet choices, wear and tear will eventually
show in the way that light reflects off the carpet fibers. When
a carpet is new, the surface will be flawless because all the fibers
are uniform and light reflects off them evenly. But as you walk
around your house, the hundreds of thousands of dirt and sand particles
that are on you shoes or your dog's paws will be ground into the
carpet. The grinding action cuts the fibers, making thousands of
microscopic scratches. As these accumulate, the light will reflect
in "a million different ways" and the carpet will start
to look worn.
You can reduce the grinding action with frequent vacuuming. For
heavy traffic areas, some manufacturers recommend doing this every
other day. You probably won't be that vigilant, Joffe advised that
you vacuum at least twice a week in heavily used areas.
Frequent vacuuming won't remove all the abrasive particles that
can accumulate there, however. The only way to remove the dirt build-up
is to clean the carpets every six to eighteen months, depending
on the number of people and pets in your household and the colors
that you pick--lighter colors need cleaning more frequently that
You can rent a machine and do the cleaning yourself, but and experienced,
professional carpet cleaner will have a bigger, more efficient machine,
and with it he can remove more abrasive dirt particles. This will
help the carpet to look newer longer. If you get a high-density
carpet with a face weight above 50 ounces, however, you should engage
a professional and not try to do it yourself. The carpet fibers
will be packed so closely together that only a professional's truck
mounted, hot water extraction equipment will be powerful enough
to penetrate all the way through to the backing and get out all
the layers of dirt that can build up. If you don't get out all that
dirt, the carpet won't wear as well or last as long.
Between carpet cleanings, both cleaning experts emphasize that
vigilance in cleaning up spills--the faster you get them up, the
better. Many people interpret "stain resistant" to mean
"stain proof", but , Gordon explained, "the treatment
only makes the carpet easier to clean and buys you time; you still
must attend to the spill right away". Since a carpet disaster
can always occur, even with the most conscientious care, Joffe suggested
that you ask the installers to leave any remnants for future use
as patches, should the need arise.
Your Hometown Carpet Cleaner - Wilson - Rocky Mount
Carpet Magic is a family owned and operated carpet cleaning &
hard floor cleaning business. We are located in Wilson, North
Carolina, but our mobile cleaning plant comes to your Wilson
or Rocky Mount area home or business. Ades takes all IICRC classes
( Institute of Inspection Cleaning
and Restoration Certification ). This means he is an educated
carpet cleaner. He knows what type of carpet needs what kind of
cleaning and the best method to restore carpet to like new again.
He will be on every job.
Certified Carpet Cleaning Services in WIlson NC
Hello my name is Ades Gros, I started Carpet Magic Carpet
Cleaning in Wilson, NC. in 1992, from then on have been
taking IICRC ( Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration
Certification ) training classes. For Carpet Cleaning - Odor Control
- Upholstery Cleaning - Tile & Grout - Mattress Cleaning - Water
Call Carpet Magic today to schedule your cleaning appointment.
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