Written by Duane Zeller
Carpet is one of the biggest investments in your home or business. New carpet installation costs can range from an average of $4.45 to $11.00 per square foot (and it’s possible to even cost more, depending upon a wide range of variables such as: the quality of the carpet to be installed, the type of subfloor the carpet is to be installed upon, how is the carpet to be installed such as is it a “direct glue down” or “stretched install”, is a vapor barrier needed, is there any expected or unexpected repair of the subfloor prior to the installation of new carpet, and many other variables). Also, to be considered is the cost of removing any original floor covering such as old carpet or vinyl flooring and any initial preparation for the installation of your new carpeting. Also, the removal of any furniture and other items and the potential short-term storage for this furniture and other items, and the cost of someone to handle the removal of and furniture and other items. As well as to return this furniture and other back to their original place once your new carpet has been installed. Also, any applicable costs for downtime/lack of use, and the costs of any possible over night stays in a hotels and meals while your new carpet installation is happening. You can see that carpet replacement is typically something that most people try to avoid as long as they can. So, keeping your existing carpet clean, free of dirt & grime, stains, avoiding potential color loss, free of nasty odor(s) as well as many other unwanted contaminates, as well as keeping it looking as great as possible for as long as possible, and actually helping to keep it in a condition that is conducive to a healthy environment all are things that most people stride for. We’ve put together some helpful suggestions that can help you in keeping your existing carpet looking great and smelling great, while not heavily impacting your indoor air quality or the health aspect of your indoor environment, and ultimately your investment:
Stopping dirt & grime at the door. Being proactive and vigilant in stopping soils and grime at your doorways is very important step in keeping your carpet looking great and soil free as long as possible. A great deal of the soil, grime and other contaminates that impact our carpet is track onto it by our shoes after being outside. Many of these contaminates outside and ultimately end up onto our carpet are of a “oily bases” and stick to the soles of our shoes. Besides these oily based soils, there are the typical inorganic soils, water based soils, mud, as well as other such things as heavy metals (toxic and non-toxic), chemicals and pesticides, plant material and organic materials, fertilizer materials, bird and animal waste, ice melt, petroleum products and petroleum based products, bits and pieces of insects, and much more! The list is really unlimited since once you walk out your door and enter into your own yard, then onto public sidewalks, and on into our world you name it and it could be there in our outdoor environment. To help prevent the many different listed contaminates and more from entering your home or building is to place a quality walk-off/mat or rug (as large as you can) at both the inside and outside of each doorway, and keeping these in a maintained and clean and dry order. And If at all possible and if you’re comfortable in doing so, remove all shoes upon entering and place them in a shoe platform box and near the door and place a sign near doorways instructing that shoes be removed. But if this is not within reason or desired, then make sure that your shoes are wiped off and dry upon entering.
Keep your furnace filter changed. By changing your furnace filter at minimum as per the manufacturer recommended intervals is a great idea (we suggest that you check it more often though and replace it even if the recommended interval hasn’t occurred yet). By keeping your furnace filter changed before it’s totally unable to function as it’s designed to, will not only help keep fine dust and other microscopic particles out of your indoor air but also off your carpet. Actually, your carpet does act as a indoor air filter by trapping not only the large soil and other nasty foreign debris, but also those tiny particles that your furnace filter is trying to trap. Often along the base boards, or along the doorways when a door is close underneath it along the carpet, or along the side walls of each step in your stairs you might find what looks like dark shadowing that over time progressively get worse – this is called “carpet filtration soiling”. This can even happen to even if your keeping your furnace filter changed, but is typically a sign that your furnace filter is not being changed enough as per your interior air might need it to be for this symptom to stop or get better. Sometimes, if your changing it as needed and this symptom dose not go away check your HVAC representative about other options to help stop this problem.
Deal with spills, pet related issues, and any other abrupt occurrence. Dealing with things like any drink type spill, blood spots, medication or makeup spill, pet potty, mud or oily soiling, food spill, heavy soiling from outdoors, house hold chemical spills, and even water spills needs to be dealt with as quickly as possible. Check with your carpet manufacturer maintenance and care instructions for specific details on how to deal with specific issues. If not sure, then contact an IICRC Certified Firm and/or a CRI Approved Service Provider, for help with your specific issues.
VACUUM, VACCUM, and VACUUM. This one task is actually one specific task that can not be over emphasized enough. Your carpet manufacturer will provide their own guidelines as to how they recommend the vacuuming of your carpet. The amount of vacuuming and even the areas or rooms that get vacuumed largely depends on the use, the amount of potential for soiling and the types of soiling that can occur, the amount of foot traffic and if there is a lot of in and out from outside or from other say hard floor surfaces that might be soiled, and so much more. And just because a carpeted surface area might look clean, it’s the very fine particles that get down into the fibers, yarn and the carpets backing (and it even can get down onto padding or down onto the subfloor itself) are the places that you can not see that will over time begin to haunt you. The soil you can see can damage your padding, the carpet backing, the yarn and the fibers themselves causing things like premature wear and failure and causing your carpet to look dull. Certain soiling can begin to absorb and hold moisture and this can bring about musty odors, not to mention unsanitary conditions. Also, even though you vacuum you need to make sure that your using a quality vacuum and that you perform regular maintenance of your vacuum. Making sure that your vacuum’s filtration/waste bag or non-filtration/waste bag compartment are emptied regularly, and that it’s roller brush and/or beater bar is working properly and it’s not wound up with hair and other foreign materials. Also, make sure any vacuum hose are not plugged and make sure that you have your vacuum head height adjustment is set properly for the type of pile of carpet your trying to vacuum.Clean your carpet as the manufacturer recommends. Be sure to know what your carpet manufacturer recommends regarding the regular intervals for cleaning and well as other related issues. Changes are your manufacturer will base their cleaning intervals for your carpet based upon things like the environment the carpet is installed in, the amount foot traffic it’s exposed to, the type of fibers your carpets yarn was made with, the type of yarn pile your carpet is, the quality level of your carpet, if there is thing like pets, food preparation on or nearby, and actually there can many other issue that can become reasons for cleaning your carpet. Typically, a general rule is that carpet is cleaned when installed in a home ought to be at minimum cleaned every 12 to 18 months. But, as was mentioned earlier there many other variables that can be cause for a cleaning sooner. Also, be sure to understand what your carpet manufacturer recommends when determining whether your carpet can be cleaned by yourself or it must be professionally cleaned. If it’s determined that you can safely clean it yourself there is likely for to it than that – again consult your carpet manufacturer because often the manufacturer will require that you utilize equipment that is of a professional grade quality level and carries a seal of approval from the CRI (Carpet and Rug Institute), and that the cleaning products to be used also carry seal of approval from CRI. Then, there is a step by step process/procedure that should be followed in the cleaning process, as well as things like leaving your carpet over wet once cleaned and so on. There is really is a lot involved with carpet cleaning when tying to reach a quality cleaned carpet and results. You can also opt. to have your carpet cleaned by a professional carpet cleaning service. We find that this is the choice that many people elect since they don’t have to mess with it by having to round up cleaning equipment and cleaning products, preparing for the cleaning and then returning cleaning equipment back to your rental location, and simply not having to break a sweat. Plus, it’s done for you while your busy doing the thing you like to do. When hiring a professional carpet cleaner, we’d recommend that you hire a cleaner that is IICRC Certified Cleaners from an IICRC Certified Firm. Following this advice first we feel will help you avoid many problematic issues that can happen when hiring just any carpet cleaner. You can simply perform your own research on the positive benefits of hiring an IICRC Certified Cleaner from an IICRC Certified Firm and you should come away with a sense of confidence by using a carpet cleaning firm having these credentials. Next, try hiring a carpet cleaning firm that carries from the CRI organization it’s awarded CRI Approved Service Provider. This to, you can research on the internet yourself the benefits of having a carpet cleaning firm carrying this credential can add additional piece of mind for yourself. Between these two recommendations we just recommended you should hopefully be able to hire a firm that will provide a quality job, not only has time in the industry as in years but the requirements of regular classroom teaching and instruction from as certified instructor and the material being covered meets world wide standards, as well as actual hands of demonstration of knowing how to properly perform cleaning process, and there is actual evening study of material, and there is pass or fail testing of your knowledge. You also be getting a firm that is insured, carries worker compensation, knows how to properly clean your carpet, has equipment and will utilize cleaning products that all carry a issued seal of approval by CRI, and you should receive a quote for your carpet cleaning prior to it’s cleaning, and if you have any issues once the cleaning has been taken place, you should be treated fairly by the cleaner by there handling of your concern(s).