Prolong the life of your carpet
photo by sallypics
Carpeting is cozy, inviting and adds value to your home, but it’s expensive. Whether you’re making do with older carpeting or have new carpeting installed, you’ll want to preserve, protect and extend the life of this home investment. Carpet that is well cared for should have a lifespan of about 10 years. Since replacing it isn’t cheap, here are tips to ensure your carpet’s longevity.
USE AREA RUGS: High-traffic areas can show wear quickly, so use area rugs to keep your carpet in good shape. Consider putting area rugs under tables and at the foot of chairs and sofas; runners in hallways and entryways; and mats at doorways inside and out. Kitchen doorways are often overlooked, but it’s especially important to keep oils and food from damaging your main carpet. These rugs will take the heavy wear and tear and help prevent dirt, water and mud from being tracked in. Don’t forget to clean area rugs and mats regularly, too.
MOVE FURNITURE: Rearrange furniture to prevent indentations and keep your carpet wearing evenly. Consider caster cups for furniture legs. If indentations do occur, try steam cleaning, or simply dampen the area and work the indentations out with your fingers.
VACUUM REGULARLY: Avoid powder carpet fresheners. Vacuuming carpets as needed prevents the crushing of pile. Consider investing in a quality vacuum, and don’t forget to use a crevice tool for edges and corners. Take your time vacuuming so your vacuum has a chance to lift embedded dirt.
CALL THE PROS: Have your carpet cleaned professionally at least once a year. Don’t wait until your carpets are soiled heavily. Although doing it yourself can initially cut costs, improper cleaning may damage your carpet. Read the manual to be sure you’re using the machine properly. A steam cleaner will give you the best results.
EAT IN NONCARPETED AREAS: To prevent spills and stains, designate your carpeted areas as no-eating zones. If a spill does occur, clean it immediately.
PLEASE, NO SHOES: Removing shoes at the door reduces the amount of dirt on your carpet. Get into the habit of wearing slippers instead of walking barefoot, because the oil from your skin can attract dirt and grime.
MISCELLANEOUS CARE TIPS
— Read the fine print to see whether certain retail cleaners, fresheners or other products void the carpet manufacturer’s warranty.
— Avoid extensive exposure to sunlight by closing blinds and curtains. Not doing so can result in color fading.
— Keep pet nails trimmed so they don’t pull on loops or cause snags.
— Save carpet remnants for any repairs you might need to make and to use as mats in entrances.
— Blot stains; don’t rub them in. Rubbing can spread and set stains. Try water before other cleaning products, but don’t over-wet carpet because it can cause mildew. Always test cleaners in an inconspicuous area before applying to larger areas. If you have Internet access, visit www.fabriclink.com/stains/carpet.cfm for a carpet-stain guide.
— Maintain your vacuum in good condition. Simple measures such as keeping bags, dust receptacles and hoses clean and empty can make your vacuum more efficient.
— Regularly change the air filters in your home so dust is filtered out.