home staging, staging homes, how to stage homes
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home staging, staging homes, how to stage homes
home staging, staging homes

Care of Carpets / Carpeting

Here are some tips to help your carpets last longer. You invest a lot of money in them. You can help make them more durable and keep them clean with some due diligence.

Day to Day Care
1. Vacuum frequently
2. Clean spills promptly
3. Have periodic professional carpet cleaning - at least once to twice a year, especially if you have small children that crawl around on your floors.

Maintaining the Appearance
1. Sprouting - Shoe nails, pet claws, or defective cleaning equipment can pull tufts up above the level of the rest of the carpeting. Carefully trim these sprouts with a sharp pair of scissors.
2. Shedding - During the yarn making process, short broken fibers can become trapped in the yarn. After the carpet is installed, these short, unattached fibers may show up on the surface as fuzz. Some shedding is normal. A few weeks of vacuuming will eliminate the problem.
3. Shading - Tufts can sometimes lie in opposite directions due to heavy traffic. The tufts that remain upright might appear darker than those lying on their side. A thorough vacuuming or combing with a pile rake will lift compressed tufts and reduce shading.
4. Mildew - When humidity is high or the carpet is continually moist, your carpet could develop mildew. If mildew should appear, first eliminate the moisture problem. Then have a cleaning professional treat the carpet with fungicide. If that doesn't correct it, have it cleaned again.
5. Pilling - Pills are small, fuzzy balls that stick to the carpet surface. They are caused by strong, unbroken fibers clinging to weak fibers broken by defective or improper cleaning equipment. If pilling continues, the fibers should be carefully trimmed and all cleaning equipment inspected for worn or broken rollers, beater bars and brushes. Pets may also cause pills in the carpet. If you have cats and you notice them using the carpet to sharpen their claws, place a scratching post nearby to encourage them away from the carpeting.
6. Furniture Dents - The weight of heavy furniture will crush the pile underneath and cause an indentation. Depending on how long the furniture sits in the same place and how heavy it is, these dents might be very hard to remove. Holding a steam iron over (never against) the indented area will help restore the pile. If possible, you should rearrange your furniture periodically to reduce permanent indentations.

Preventative Care
1. Dirt isn't just dirty. It can actually harm your carpet and cause it to wear out sooner. If allowed to accumulate, small particles will wear individual fibers, weakening the carpet. 
2. Place walk-off mats at all outside entrances, use runners in high-traffic areas, and rearrange furniture periodically to reduce wear and dirt. The most important preventative measure you can take is proper vacuuming. Vacuum your carpet at least once or twice week, depending on the amount of traffic it gets. Just because it's dark in color, that doesn't mean you can get by with less vacuuming. 
3. A vacuum cleaner with a motor driven brush attachment will work better than one that uses suction only, hence upright vacuums tend to help more. Follow your machine's directions for carpet height adjustment. Do not vacuum sticky or greasy stains.

Spills and Stains
1. As soon as you discover a spill, remove it immediately. The longer a stain is allowed to remain, the tougher it is to remove it. If you can't remove the stain yourself, call in a professional.

Quick Links for this Issue
February's Decorating Issue I
Stylish Bedroom
Stylish Kitchen
Formal Kitchen
Contemporary Kitchen
How to Buy Carpeting
Carpeting Protection
Tips for Painting Walls
Tips for Cold Weather

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Barbara Jennings is author of 10 decorating books: Decor Secrets Revealed, Rearrange It, Home Staging for Profit, Home Staging for Yourself, Arrange Your Stuff, Advanced Redesign, Pro Art Consulting, Where There's a Wall - There's a Way, The Art of Hanging Art, Great Parties! Great Homes!

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