It's difficult to prevent all the mess that's brought in during the winter. Rain, mud, snow, and especially salt wreak havoc on carpet. To help your carpet keep hold its value, you will need to focus on targeting salt and preventing stains and damage. This will ensure the carpets stay clean and the air quality is healthier.
A good carpet care strategy incorporates preventive measures, daily cleaning and interim efforts to keep maintenance costs down.
Statistics show that 80 percent of the soil found in carpets is brought in from the outdoors. There are different ways you can minimize the amount of soil that enters into your home. For one, you can use driveway and sidewalk cleaning services, which can be performed using pressure washing equipment. An alternative is to sweep the sidewalks and walkways.
The next step would be to install matting systems at every entrance. A well-designed mat can trap as much as 80 to 90 percent of soil. In fact, for maximum benefit, it's recommended that up to 15 feet of matting be placed at each exit, entrance, service way and side door. Mats should be cleaned off regularly so that they continue to collect soils effectively.
Of course, one of the biggest ways to prevent soil from being tracked into the house is to institute a "no shoes" rule. Have family and guests remove shoes at the entrance of the home, and keep several pairs of socks or slippers ready nearby, especially in the colder months. This may be a hassle, but it eliminates hours of unnecessary vacuuming and spot removal later on.
Daily Cleaning Routine
A regular cleaning regimen is essential. This should include spot removal, regular vacuuming and washing the mats. Dirt and spots need to be taken care of immediately to prevent damage, so an area of floor that gets regular traffic might need to be vacuumed or spot cleaned daily, even multiple times a day. If you're in an area where there is snow and ice, it's a good idea to switch out the mats throughout the day.
Vacuuming with HEPA filters is essential, since carpet is known to host not just soil and salt, but also mold, bacteria, pollen and dust mites. Vacuuming with a proper filter will help to improve the indoor air quality, which is especially important during those months when you're are inside for the majority of the day.
Treating the carpet in between deep cleanings is another great way to make the carpet last longer. Interim cleaning is the process of applying sprayed or dry chemicals to the floors and then agitating it before picking it up using a machine. It's more comprehensive than a vacuum clean, but not as deep as steam cleaning. Interim cleaning focuses on the top third layer of the floor, also known as the surface. Regular vacuum cleaners aren't able to pick up deeper soil and sludge without causing damage, though, so for tough jobs, special equipment is needed, like commercial carpet steam cleaners and truck mounted cleaning machines.
All in all, carpets can be somewhat of a hassle to maintain, but a little prevention goes a long way, and with a bit of planning and attention, you can keep your carpet looking great through this winter and many more to come!
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