Here at Burritt Bros, we have had a huge number of carpet customers over the past 115 years or so that we have been in business, and we continue to provide high-quality carpet for our customers today. One of the main questions we get asked by customers is “How do we take care of our new carpet?”. This article will go over some of the most common practices for carpet care and maintenance. This applies to brand new carpet as well as carpet that may have been installed some time ago.
Regular vacuuming is likely the most important part of taking care of your carpet. Regular vacuuming will prolong the life of your carpet and keep it looking as good as possible. Vacuuming removes dirt and dust, and it also helps to revitalize traffic areas. The typical timeframe for vacuuming is once per week, although it might be done more often in areas with very high traffic. Vacuuming infrequently can result in dirt and dust accumulating in the fibers and requiring professional carpet cleaning more often.
Your vacuum will likely have a roller brush, or “beater bar”, with bristles on it that rotates in the vacuum head. This roller brush helps to loosen dirt so that the suction of the vacuum can move it to the cannister or bag. The bristles on the roller brush should be relatively soft to the touch. There are some vacuum manufacturers that use stiff bristles on their roller brushes. These are generally designed for hard surface floors (hardwood, vinyl, laminate, etc). Overly stiff bristles can damage the fibers of a carpet.
Many vacuums have different height settings. People often think that setting the vacuum as low as possible will get the roller brush to “scrub” the carpets and get them cleaner. I admit, I was part of that group before I started working here at Burritt Bros. The reality is that the roller brush should only be lightly brushing the top of the carpet to help loosen the dirt. Just as overly stiff roller brush bristles can damage your carpet, using a height setting that is too low can also damage your carpet. It can also prevent the vacuum from working efficiently. Lower height settings are best for carpets with low pile height (or hard surface floors), while higher height settings are best for carpets with taller pile heights.
This might go without saying but wearing outside shoes inside your home can track dirt onto your carpet. All the dirt and debris on the soles of your shoes will get deposited onto and into your carpet and will make it necessary to clean it more often than normal. It may also cause your carpet to become stained to the point that even a professional carpet cleaning service is not able to get the carpet clean.
A good walk-off mat can be an asset in protecting your carpet (or any type of flooring). A walk-off mat is a mat that is placed at an entrance to your home. This type of mat will allow you to brush a good deal of dirt and water off your shoes before entering further into your home. This is especially important if you have an entrance that opens directly onto your carpet. A good quality walk-off mat will be a relatively low cost but can go a long way to help keep your carpet clean.
Cleaning Spills and Preventing Stains
Spills and accidents are going to happen. Getting to the spill or accident as quickly as possible will help mitigate possible stains. Treating the spill properly will also help ensure you don’t leave marks on your carpet. When treating a spill or stain, do not grab whatever bottle of household cleaner is under your kitchen sink. Some household cleaners can cause discoloring of your carpet. Plain water is often the best option for treating a spill or stain.
Professional Carpet Cleaning Services
Having your carpet professionally cleaned regularly is another important step in prolonging the life of your carpet. A general guide is to have your carpets professionally cleaned once per year. The interval between professional cleanings can be longer than one year in areas with low traffic. It can sometimes feel like a chore to pay for a professional cleaner to clean your carpets, but I find that it is a very satisfying result once it is done.
Not all professional carpet cleaning services are well-versed on all carpet types. Care needs to be taken when professionally cleaning carpets, especially wool carpets. Not all detergents are meant to be used on wool carpets, so make sure you research a few services before making your decision. Here at Burritt Bros, we have a trusted carpet cleaning service that we recommend for our clients. For those of you outside the Metro Vancouver area, you can ask your local carpet retailer if they have a recommendation for a trusted carpet cleaning service.
Ripples can sometimes occur in carpet. These ripples are often caused by heavy traffic/heavy use. Some clients only find these ripples to be a bit unsightly. However, for some clients these ripples can become a tripping hazard and should be repaired if possible.
A qualified carpet installer can often re-stretch the carpet to eliminate these ripples. At Burritt Bros, we have highly skilled technicians who are often able to eliminate ripples in a carpet by using the re-stretching process. There are some limitations to re-stretching a carpet. For example, if the carpet is quite old, the backing of the carpet may no longer be pliable enough to be stretched again. If a carpet with a brittle backing is stretched, it has the potential to rip, which will permanently damage the carpet.
Please contact us here at Burritt Bros if you have any questions about the care and maintenance of your carpet.