When you consider the opportunities for spills and pet stains, your carpet is at more risk on a day-to-day basis than even your roof. It is vulnerable to damage, so you'll want to avoid wearing out your carpet as much as possible. |
How to Care and Reduce the Problem
One of the best ways to avoid wearing out your carpet is to change up your traffic patterns. Moving furniture around from time to time will mean that wear and tear will be evened out, and worn out spots will be less noticeable.
Of course, every home has areas of carpet that get more traffic than others -- hallways, near doors, steps, etc. No amount of moving furniture is going to protect these areas. Consider using area rugs in high traffic areas. If you're installing new carpet, you can get area rugs to match, if you like. Also, when installing new carpet, be sure to install a quality pad underneath it.
Clean Up Spills
When you see a spill, clean it up immediately. The faster you do, the less chance of a permanent, noticeable stain.
You might want to ask guests to take of their shoes when entering your home. This is becoming more and more common, so it shouldn't be too much of an inconvenience for people. If you're uncomfortable asking them to do so, you can always make it optional.
Be sure you vacuum high traffic areas as frequently as once a day, lower traffic areas several times a week. Vacuuming removes dirt and grit that will invariable damage your carpet's fibers. Vacuuming also helps prevent matting, which is when carpet fibers can no longer return to their original shape. For carpet with longer fibers, you should also rake. Yearly carpet cleaning either done yourself or by a professional service will also extend the life of your carpet.
Though a good looking carpet is the most important component to a homeâ€™s appearance, replacing a carpet is expensive! Since you want your carpet to last as long as possible, use the following tips to extend the life of your carpet:
Tip 1: Padding is important because it absorbs shock for the carpet. Carpet without padding or with crushed padding has a small fraction of the useful life as carpet with good padding. Padding should be no more than 7/16-inch thick, unless your carpet came with it attached. Also use pads under small rugs, and rotate them from time to time.
Tip 2: In carpet areas that get a lot of direct sun exposure, keep your drapes or curtains closed to prevent fading or browning.
Tip 3: Leave dirt outside. Dirt wears out carpet. Though you may feel a bit uneasy about asking guests to remove their shoes, leaving footwear at the door keeps the dirt out. Take the time to sweep your homeâ€™s sidewalks. Invest in heavy-duty doormats to prevent excess dirt from entering the house.
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