The overall price of commodities has increased 326% over the
past four decades, yet the price of carpets has only increased
77.8% according to The Carpet and Rug Institute, the national
trade association for the carpet and rug industry, Dalton,
Georgia. Carpet is a tremendous value, but it is still one of
the largest purchases you will make for your home or business.
How can you best protect this investment?
The durability and soil hiding characteristics of today’s carpet
can disguise the need for maintenance. Proper maintenance of
carpet can enhance the beauty and extend the useful life of
carpet and protect your investment.
Clean carpet contributes not only to the overall aesthetics of a
structure, but it plays a significant role in the healthful
state of the indoor environment in which people work, live and
spend the majority of their time.
The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration
Certification (IICRC), the Certification body for the
professional carpet and upholstery cleaning and restoration
industry, Vancouver, Washington, offers the following steps for
proper carpet maintenance:
Most abrasive particulate soil accumulates initially within the
first few feet of major entries to homes and commercial
buildings. Once inside, this soil takes its toll on carpet
fibers and on the general appearance of the structure. It also
contributes airborne particles that affect overall air quality.
Every effort should be made to keep this soil accumulation
outside by the use of properly selected entry mats.
Entry mats that collect or absorb soil and moisture should be
placed adjacent to carpeted areas in entries of homes and
businesses and, if possible, not on top of the carpet. They must
be maintained by periodic vacuuming, shaking and cleaning.
Routine vacuuming with properly maintained, quality equipment is
the single most important step a home or business owner/manager
can take to extend the life and appearance of carpet.
A top-fill upright vacuum with brush agitation or a canister
with a “power head” incorporating brush agitation should be
selected and used with routine frequency.
Equally important, soil that is loosened and vacuumed from
carpet must be collected in the vacuum’s recovery system and not
allowed to re-enter the air within the structure to contribute
to indoor air pollution. For this reason, a high efficiency
particulate air (HEPA) filtering system or bag should be used in
any vacuum equipment employed.
spots can be removed easily if the excess is lifted or blotted
and the area is treated immediately by carpet owners with plain
water or with spotters containing mild (ph range of 5-9), dilute
detergents that do not leave residue. If ignored, those spots,
components thereof, may bond with fiber dye sites, forming
permanent stains. Immediate spotting is an essential
responsibility for home and business owners/managers.
Installed residential carpet exposed to routine use should be
programmed for cleaning at least annually. Carpet that is
subjected to extreme soiling or heavy use, particularly high
traffic areas, or carpet installed in homes occupied by persons
with allergy or respiratory
problems requires greater cleaning frequency. Carpet in low
traffic areas, such as formal living rooms and dining rooms,
needs less frequent cleaning. Cleaning frequency recommendations
are available from The Carpet and Rug Institute or the
manufacturer of your carpet. The Environmental Protection Agency
has also compiled a chart published in the IICRC Standards
Commercial carpet should be analyzed according to its
construction, the type and frequency of traffic, and the soiling
conditions encountered, and other extenuating circumstances,
such as occupant activities, structure design and indoor air
quality. Specialized maintenance and cleaning programs (e.g.
weekly, monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, etc.) should be
developed based on individual needs. Moreover, frequent cleaning
of entrances and high traffic areas reduces the contaminants and
soil particulates tracked in from outside the structure that
accumulate in these areas.
One of the most critical, though often neglected,
responsibilities of carpet owners involves routine maintenance.
The useful life and appearance of carpet are affected
substantially by the type, quality and frequency of maintenance
procedures. Carpet that is properly cared for will provide many
years of beauty and service.
the IICRC recommended four steps of carpet maintenance will
protect your carpet investment.