You’ve done it: You’ve spent countless hours driving all over town to various flooring stores and big box home improvement stores. You’ve looked at sample after sample, taking them home to see them in your lighting. You’ve shopped, you’ve compared, you’ve pored over the countless samples and made a final decision on brand, color, style, design, and texture. You then went through the same lengthy process to find an installer. The installation went smoothly, your furniture’s back in place and now it’s time to enjoy: You’ve chosen the perfect carpet for your home. Congratulations on your purchase!
You love the way it anchors the room, highlights your furnishings, and pampers your every step. And for added peace of mind, if you’ve shopped at a quality carpeting firm such as Express Flooring, you have a manufacturer’s warranty on your new soft surface, peace of mind guarantee.
Of course, you take pride in your home and will care for your new carpet to ensure years of beautiful wear. But along with knowing the ‘do’s’ of carpet maintenance, it’s extremely important to know the ‘don’ts.’ By arming yourself with a little care and maintenance knowledge, you will avoid some common mistakes that can damage your new carpeting and void your warranty. Here’s a summary of seven deadly carpet sins to avoid, or the Seven Sure Ways to Damage Your Carpet.
Sure ‘Damage-Do’ #1: Perilous Products
It’s heartbreaking to see a stain on your pristine new carpet, and it’s natural to want to jump right in and remove it. But wait! Before you rush in with foam cleaners, bleach solutions or harsh chemicals, take a deep breath and learn what not to apply to the beautiful carpet beneath your feet. Over the counter products for cleaning spills and stains can be a sure way to cause damage, and Botched Stain Removal attempts generally make a stain worse. Pouring soap and water on a carpet spot can actually spread the stain, rather than removing it. Further, once soapy or chemical solutions settle into carpet fibers, remnants will remain to attract and hold dirt, soiling the area in and around the original stain.
Further, beware of infomercial-style products with exciting names. You know the type — KwikKrazyKlean! Shakaboom! StainOutPronto! — and even more exciting claims. These miracle buys can be formulated with little science and a lot of harsh chemicals that can damage your carpeting.
But even natural cleaning solutions should be approached with caution. For instance, vinegar and baking soda, the internet’s most recommended cleaning combo, create a paste that nestles in between delicate carpet fibers.
Hydrogen peroxide, another frequently recommended cleaning darling, may bleach out the color dyes. Ammonia will damage wool carpets, and the high alkaline content can render stain resistant properties less effective on synthetic carpet fibers. Hairspray is another recommended favorite, but this sticky fix will leave behind a residue that bonds to dirt and dust, degrading your carpet’s condition.
Dish soap works well on greasy pots and pans but is notoriously difficult to rinse from carpeting. Ditto with laundry soap; the residue is invariably left behind, compounding stains and dirt accumulation. Even plain water can cause damage, as can using a hot iron, which may destroy carpet fibers and void your warranty.
Products that guarantee to remove pet stains can be particularly damaging to your carpeting. These punishing chemicals can corrode the finish and damage the stain guard protection while leaving behind contaminants and toxins.
If you do turn to these solutions in a pinch, be sure to first check with your warranty specs and follow the manufacturer’s cleaning guidelines.
Sure ‘Damage-Do’ #2: Courting DIY Chaos
With the proliferation of do-it-yourself websites and the many homes focused try-this-at-home programs and videos, it’s easy to believe that with a little elbow grease, a steam machine, and some drugstore cleaner, you can keep your carpets in top condition by following a few fast and simple cleaning tips.
Grocery store steam cleaner rentals may promise results but often fail to deliver. While the dirt extraction technique is on the right track, the machines themselves often fall short. Rental machines can lack the power needed to completely extract dirt and thoroughly rinse the cleaning solution and debris from carpeting, leaving behind residue in the fibers that quickly attracts more dirt and causes further staining. Stains and spots that are over the saturated result in what is called ‘wicking,’ or a reappearance of the original stain. This process can also damage the padding.
Lacking the power to follow through with complete solution removal, this type of steamer cleaning leaves a carpet very damp, resulting in a musty, mildewed state that can linger for days and even create mold. Replacing your furniture on a damp carpet requires plastic sheeting to be placed beneath each surface and rotated out until the carpet is finally dry to protect furniture and carpet alike. And bear in mind that overwetting due to improper cleaning is a sure way to void your carpet warranty.
Sure ‘Damage-Do’ #3: Passing Up Professionals
Failing to call in a qualified professional carpet cleaner at the regular intervals specified in your carpet warranty is a sure way to imperial your warranty protection. Professional hot water extraction can remove dust mites, fleas, mold, and bacteria that can burrow into your carpet fibers.
Deep-cleaning hot water extraction as performed by professionals guarantees that all dirt, pests and a host of allergens are thoroughly removed from the fibers, leaving your carpet clean, safe and pristine. Waiting too long to have your carpet cleaned actually damages the fibers. The Carpet and Rug Institute recommends professional cleaning at regular intervals. They state, “Professionally deep clean your carpets every 12 to 18 months to remove embedded dirt and grime.”
Plan for regular cleanings by keeping a maintenance calendar. There are industry standards that must be followed that dictate specific methods, products and recommended timetables for carpet care service. Neglecting needed maintenance can void your valuable warranty. Express Flooring can provide the specific guidelines required by your carpet’s manufacturer to ensure you remain warranty compliant.
Sure ‘Damage-Do’ #4: Vicious Vacuuming
Regular vacuuming keeps your home free of dust, dirt, and allergens, which impact the air you and your family breathe. Routine vacuuming prevents dirt and dust from becoming ground into and between carpet fibers; this embedded dirt works its way down into the pile, lending a worn, matted appearance to the surface. When left in the carpet, these particles are capable of abrading the pile and degrading the texture and quality of your carpet over time.
Whole house weekly vacuuming should include a thorough going-over, including corners and hard to reach crevices. Depending on foot traffic and pets, more frequent vacuuming should be performed in high-use areas to keep carpets in top condition. High-traffic areas benefit from daily vacuuming, while medium use spots should be attended to twice a week. Areas such as entrances, hallways, and family rooms should be given extra attention, particularly in and around frequent seating (and snacking) locations.
Some guidelines suggest vacuuming frequency should be dictated by the number of a home’s residents, i.e., if there are three people living in a house, vacuuming should be done three times a week to keep carpets in optimal condition.
Be sure to use the right vacuum for your carpet’s pile, paying special attention to flooring tools. For your luxurious wool pile carpeting, you’ll want an extra-soft bristle brush to treat those fibers gently; either an upright or canister model is fine.
Cut pile carpets such as nylons and polyester can better handle a heavier motorized brush, which is excellent for cleaning pet hairs, while loop pile rugs such as Berbers are best cleaned with a gentler, soft bristle brush. Different styles of pile within the home respond best to a vacuum with an adjustable head height to ensure adequate airflow and proper suction. Your Express Flooring professional can explain the benefits of upright versus canister models to best suit your home’s layout, carpet style, and warranty specs.
Controversy abounds over the popular Dyson vacuum machines, as the strong rotating brush can damage certain types of carpet fibers, even voiding a warranty. Certain models of Dyson vacuums, particularly those containing a rotating beater bar or roller brush, are said to deliver overly aggressive cleaning, so do check with your particular manufacturer’s warranty before using this model of vacuum on your carpets. Some claim Dyson models apply too much suction which can be difficult to move over thick pile carpeting, so factor in your carpet makeup before cleaning.
Sure ‘Damage-Do’ #5: Dragging Destruction
While Drag ‘n’ Drop is the preferred method for arranging computer files on your desktop, it is definitely not recommended when it comes to moving your furniture. Heavy furniture dragged over a soft surface can leave drag lines, pull marks and even damage the padded cushion beneath the carpet. Sliding that heavy armoire, dining room table or leather recliner may seem like the most practical way to rearrange a room, but the resulting destruction to your carpet will be a steep price to pay.
Furniture legs on chairs and tables can scratch and pull carpet fibers apart, even tearing them loose from the pad beneath. Professional movers are well aware of these hazards, and always wrap furniture before lifting it into place. Protect your carpet fibers by securing plastic cuffs to table and chair legs, and remember that a gentle pushing slide motion is preferable to a sudden pull.
Inexpensive packs of sliders from the drugstore can rip or shred under heavy furniture pieces, leaving your carpets vulnerable to damage. Professionals use industrial grade sliders and heavy pads backed with foam over carpeted surfaces, and even with this protective cover are careful to lift rather than drag substantial furniture pieces.
Sure ‘Damage-Do’ #6: Neglecting Normal Use Guidelines
Appropriate levels of carpet use, as described on a manufacturer’s specific carpet warranty, are dictated by common sense. It is expected that residents will walk on the surface, place furnishings upon it and generally enjoy the beautiful carpets covering their floors. What is not appropriate is an activity that is destructive or that belongs outside.
A leading manufacturer of quality carpeting, Mohawk’s limited abrasive wear policy, states, that “specifically excluded from this warranty is damage caused by tears, pulls, pilling, burns, furniture, wheel traffic, or athletic equipment.”
Improper use can damage both carpet and padding. What’s underneath counts, too: While it goes unseen, padding is every bit as important as the carpet itself and makes a great difference in both feel and wearability. This component must meet or exceed minimum density and thickness requirements set by the Carpet and Rug Institute, and certain types of padding are mandated for usage with particular carpets.
Perplexed by padding? Express Flooring’s experts will recommend the right size and type to extend the life of your carpet, explaining the material composition and density.
Our sales specialists will review the manufacturer’s warranty with you to explain exactly what is and what is not included.
So skip the unnecessary roughness and protect your soft surfaces to avoid a carpet calamity. No sledding, hockey playing or roller skating competitions indoors, please. Respect the rug! Remember your warranty requires smart use along with regular care and routine maintenance.
Sure ‘Damage-Do’ #7: Recycling Receipts
While it’s hard to take your eyes off your beautifully cleaned carpets when the professional cleaners pack up and prepare to leave your home, do take a moment to glance at the paid receipt in your hand, checking to make sure the date and amount are correct. Your warranty mandates a particular timeline for cleaning, so be sure to track your maintenance to keep it on schedule.
And keep that receipt, filing it safely away for future reference. Organizing receipts, bills, invoices, and statements in a household file will save you time and headaches should you need to produce evidence of maintenance for any warranty or home insurance purpose. Retain those records and protect your investment.
Need more info? To keep your carpeting beautiful and protected, here’s a list of resources for ready reference.
- Certified Cleaning Solutions with the Carpet and Rug Institute Seal of Approval
- How To Organize Your Warranties
- Best Cleaning Methods for Your Carpet
- The Science of Carpet Cleaning
- Carpet Cleaning Services
In the Phoenix and Tucson Metro Areas,
Protect your investment and safeguard your warranty by scheduling regular service with a qualified professional carpet cleaner such as Zerorez.
As always, If you’re ready for a whole new carpet or hard surface floor, we come to you: Schedule your free in-home estimate today with our Quick Appointment Scheduler. Our experts will answer every question and guide you through the process of caring for and maintaining your carpets to protect your investment. Call us Locally owned and operated, Express Flooring prides itself on delivering the very best in-home service experience and unparalleled customer care throughout all metro areas of Phoenix and Tucson.
Working with us is a simple four-step process.
- Call us. Tell us the type of floor you want and the color and space, etc. in order to schedule your free in-home appointment.
- Meet Our Design Consultant and Select Your Flooring from the samples you requested.
- We Measure The Area and Provide a Quote For Material AND Installation
- If You Love Everything, Then We Can Install It The Next Day!
You may even qualify for a fantastic Vacation Getaway!