Most homes have a carpeted area or two, and why not? You have plenty of choices; they are pretty cost-effective and look better than most laminates. But a common stressor when it comes to carpets is the maintenance. Unlike flooring or bathroom laminates, carpets requires a little extra effort. Today we’ve listed down 5 ways and then some more to keep your carpets looking like new. They range from pro tips to DIY-hacks; we’ve even got emergencies covered! Let’s get started.
Make the vacuum cleaner your best friend
Vacuum regularly, and once or twice a month does not count. Vacuum at least once every week! Go over it vertically and then once again horizontally. Don’t vacuum the carpet as you would the floor. Dirt particles get embedded in the fibres of the carpet and it takes time for them to be sucked out by the machine. The more time you take the more time the machine gets to do its job. Don’t do a hasty job; it won’t do you any good in the long run. Go over the entire area carefully and get into the nooks and corners with the different hoses of your cleaner. If you have pets, investing in a robotic vacuum cleaner could be a good bet.
Time is of the essence when it comes to treating a spill, so act on your feet. The trick is to dab not scrub, avoid any temptation to do this! Trust us, scrubbing only makes matters worse. When you scrub a liquid you are just further pushing it into the fibres of the carpet. There’s no cookie cutter formula that will get rid of all the stains. Different spills need different remedies, for example for water damage you’ll need proper carpet water damage specialists, versus stains which you might be able to DIY out. you can find information on how to get rid of common spill stains here.
Go to the root of the problem
It’s impossible to not get dust and dirt in your carpet unless you live in a vacuum, literarily! However, there are some preventive measures that can help curb the inflow of dirt into the household. Doormats are a great option, as they help avoid the shoe debris from spreading all over the house. We’re biased towards the micro fibre ones as they can absorb wet debris and can be washed in the machine. Easy peasy! Coconut fibres mats work well too for those looking for an eco-friendly alternative.
Having a no shoe policy in the house nips the problem, well part of the problem, in the bud. Going shoe-free is great, but walking around in your socks, not so much. The lint from the socks can be quite a headache to get rid of as it interlinks with the fibres of the carpet and can be pretty stubborn. The best solution is home-slippers. Get everyone a pair of cute comfy slippers to keep warm and carpets dirt-free. It’s a win-win really!
Move things around
Moving your furniture around once in a while not only gives the room a makeover but also lengthens the lifespan of your carpet, as it avoids the formation of darker patches and excessive wear. The furniture dents also look less severe as the carpet backing and underlay get a much-needed break. Be careful while handling heavy furniture, do not drag it across the carpet, use furniture sliders instead. Sometimes moving heavy furniture, humidity or even incorrect carpet installation can cause it to ripple and ruche in places, getting it fixed in time will prevent your carpet from creasing. Here’s a quick video to help you re-stretch your carpet. If you are not the DIY kind, you can even hire professionals to do it for you!
Sunlight causes the carpet to fade in the areas that are exposed to direct sunlight. To maintain the health and the vibrancy of your coloured carpet, install drapes or blinds to shade them from the sun, around the windows and the glass doors. Another alternative is to get your windows tinted to block the UV rays out.
Add an extra layer to extend the life of your carpet. Lining a heavy traffic area with a beautiful rug not looking looks great, but helps create a protective layer for your carpet. You can use carpet pads to keep heavier rugs in place.
Change your air filters. Think of your carpets as your lungs, it will absorb any pollutants and dust particles that it encounters in its surrounding. To keep your lungs and your carpet healthy change your filters routinely to keep your air purifier in top shape.
Now, let’s move on to emergency measures
Water may as well be named the arch-enemy of carpets, and any moisture for that matter. What happens when your pipe breaks down and now your carpet is soaking wet or even worse, there’s a flood, and your carpet along with most of your other belongings are sitting under six inches of water?
The first step is to take proper preventive measures. If you live in a flood-prone area, investing in some flood equipment can be a good bet. Second is damage control, the carpets can be saved from water-damage based on the type of water damage, the age of the carpet, the quality and the duration for which the carpet has been exposed to the water. To summarise, whether your carpet can be saved or not, depends on whether the water that infected it was clean, black or grey. In the case of the first two, there is hope. If it’s black water your carpet will have to be disposed of.
If the carpet you are trying to save is old, it is often better to get it replaced. There are certain measures you can take when the damage is not too severe. Stop the leak by placing towels or linens or any other barriers over the water source. It’s not enough to just clean the carpets, remove the padding as well. Clean the carpets, and make sure they are disinfected and ventilated properly while doing so. Dry it out using industry sized fans and dehumidifiers.
Lastly, report your flooding as soon as you can to claim your home insurance. It is always advised to get professional help in case of flooding or contaminated water flooding as there are several health hazards at risk here. The experts generally have water damage restoration equipment that a common household most likely will not possess, which at times make it economical to call in the professionals rather than DIY-ing it.