Thursday, November 17, 2011

Carpet Care Tips: Preserving Carpet Beauty

Preserving Carpet Beauty – Carpet Care Tips to help prevent “pile crushing” from Werner Braun

In his October 30, 2011 column titled Presearving nap or pile for the Dalton Daily CitizenCarpet and Rug Institute president Werner Braun  provides a few carpet care tips on how to preserve your carpet’s appearance by caring for its fibers. Mr. Braun discusses how, over time, carpet can begin to show signs of wear, in the form of high-traffic areas that appear crushed or flattened, or hollow spots where furniture legs have indented the carpet’s face. He offers readers a few basics about carpet construction and tips on choosing carpet that will “stand up” to a busy lifestyle.

“First, ‘pile’ — the visible surface of carpet — is a term sometimes used to identify the texture of rugs and carpets. Popular choices are cut, loop, patterned loop or cut and looped. CRI offers a Texture Retention Rating Scale that compares several types of carpet pile and rates them by the degree to which their appearance and surface changes over time. This can be found on our website,”

The article continues to point out that a number of things can be done to keep the pile standing at attention. Installing carpet with a higher resilience in heavily traveled areas can help. For better appearance and longer carpet life, small rugs can be used to reduce the amount of direct traffic on the carpet — the rugs take the abuse, not the carpet. Although some change will eventually occur in the texture of your carpet, reducing the wear paths in high-traffic spots and in front of furniture will slow this change.

“Crushing is the loss of pile thickness because of foot traffic. Crushing is not considered a manufacturing defect unless it is specifically cited in the manufacturer’s warranty. Regular vacuuming will help reduce crushing that results from traffic. Some carpet cleaning professionals also periodically use a “pile lifter” before, as well as a “grooming rake” after extraction cleaning carpet.

The next fall question: What about the depressions or indentations left after moving furniture around?

We know people say they clean the most in the spring, but the changing of seasons always leads to change — and movement of furniture is no exception. Due to the heavy weight of some furniture, and depending on the type of carpet, some depressions may be permanent.

Use of furniture gliders or cups under the legs of the heavy pieces can help minimize the indentations; or move your furniture a few inches backward or sideways from time to time so that the weight is not concentrated in one place. To also remedy depressions, work the carpet pile back into place with your fingertips or the edge of a spoon, dampen the area and heat it with a hair dryer, working the fibers with your fingers or a spoon.”

Thank you, Werner

~ Bethany


Sue Marshall, Carpet for Less said...

To diminish furniture marks, place an ice cube in the depression. This seems to help shrink the expanded backing. Remove excess water, steam fibers with hot iron or hair dryer to lift the matted area, then let dry completely before walking on that area.

Bethany said...

Hi Sue,
What a cool tip! Thanks for adding this to the post. Bethany

Anonymous said...

Hi, Sue,
The ice cube is an old trick that can work but almost all carpet is synthetic today and the backing is typically hydrophobic (hates water and pushes it away) so there may be no reaction to the ice cube. Best thing to do is to steam the furniture mark out. Hot iron with steam can work but is dangerous. If the iron touches the carpet surface it will melt it. A clothing steamer, even the small ones you can buy as seen on TV, will work. Dress shops use a Jiffy Steamer to relax wrinkled clothing. This is the same machine we've used for years to take furniture or crush marks out of carpet. Lew Migliore

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