The Importance of Vacuuming

The most important step in caring for your carpet is vacuuming it thoroughly and frequently. This is particularly true in high-traffic areas. Walking on soiled carpet allows the soil particles to work their way below the surface of the pile where they are far more difficult to remove and can damage the carpet fibers. Frequent vacuuming removes these particles from the surface before problems occur.

For rooms with light traffic, vacuum the carpet traffic lanes twice weekly and the entire area once weekly. In areas with heavy traffic, vacuum the carpet traffic lanes daily and the entire area twice weekly. Up to three passes of the machine will suffice for light soiling, but five to seven passes are necessary for heavily soiled areas. Change the vacuuming direction occasionally to help stand the pile upright and reduce matting.

Extend the life of your carpet with a quality vacuum
An inexpensive machine may remove surface dirt but will not effectively remove the hidden dirt and particles embedded in the pile. Invest in a good vacuum cleaner to get the dirt you can’t see and prolong the beauty and life of your carpet. To ensure that your vacuum will conform to the highest industry standards, make sure that your vacuum cleaner is certified through the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) Seal of Approval/Green Label Vacuum Cleaner Program. Visit www.carpet-rug.org for details.

Select the best vacuum for your type of carpet
Shaw Floors recommends using vacuums with a rotating brush or combination beater/brush bar that agitates the carpet pile and mechanically loosens soil for removal. Carpet with thick loop pile construction, particularly wool and wool-blend styles, may be sensitive to brushing or rubbing of the pile surface and may become fuzzy. In addition, shag (or cabled) styles with long pile yarns tend to wrap around the rotating brushes causing damage to the yarn. For these products, Shaw recommends a suction-only vacuum or a vacuum with an adjustable brush lifted away from the carpet so it does not agitate the pile. Be sure to test a vacuum with a beater/brush bar in an inconspicuous location before regular use, to make sure it doesn’t produce excessive fuzzing.

Source: Shaw Floors

Five Common Carpet Myths Debunked

 

Photo Courtesy: Tuftex

Photo Courtesy: Tuftex

Carpet has been the most popular floor covering in America for decades for good reason – carpets feel soft, reduce noise and insulate rooms. But some common misconceptions deter people from buying carpets.

MYTH 1: Asthma and allergy sufferers should not have carpet in the home.

FACT: Environmental Protection Agency scientists concluded that carpet fibers, in trapping and immobilizing potential allergy-causing particulates, help people with allergies. If allergens are in the carpet, they’re not circulating in the indoor air stream. Shaw Floors recommends using a HEPA-filter vacuum to fully remove such particles from the indoor environment.

MYTH 2: Carpet is hard to maintain – it stains and wears out very easily.

FACT: Simple steps can extend the life of your carpet and keep it looking new. Frequent vacuuming removes soil particles before they get below the surface of the pile, where they are far more difficult to remove.

Carpet in a typical household should be thoroughly cleaned every 12 to 18 months. Hot water extraction systems provide the most effective cleaning. Professional carpet cleaners generally get the best results.

MYTH 3: Carpet is outdated and boring.

FACT: Carpets come in patterns ranging from traditional hounds tooth to exotic zebra, and in stylish colors like chocolate or mint green. Many consumers use a mix of carpet, hardwood and tile in their homes.

MYTH 4: Carpet emits harmful chemicals that cause health problems.

FACT: Carpet is one of the lowest emitters of VOCs (volatile organic compounds) among household furnishings and building materials. Shaw carpets meet the industry’s highest VOC standard, the Carpet & Rug Institute’s Green Label Plus program.

MYTH 5: Carpet is bad for the environment

FACT: Floor manufacturers now provide many eco-friendly options for environmentally-conscious consumers. Shaw carpets made of Anso or EverTouch nylon can be recycled at Shaw’s Evergreen Nylon Recycling Facility, where they are broken down and remade into new carpet fiber. The process helps turn carpet into a renewable product and keeps carpet waste out of landfills. In fact, Shaw has collected 178 million pounds of post-consumer carpet since 2006.

Source: Tuftex

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why You Want Clean Carpet

Photo: Shaw Floors

Photo: Shaw Floors

Have you ever noticed that only a few days after cleaning, you can see dust everywhere, settled on glass tabletops and the like? Dust happens. Household dust carries bacteria, dander, mold spores, germs and pollen. To add to the flurry of grime, your family, friends, pets and even that open window bring in fresh dirt all the time. A lot of it is settling on your carpet.

Between longer work days, time-consuming commutes, and kids’ activities that keep the calendar full, who has time to worry about cleaning the carpet? Today, we’re spending less time on household tasks, yet we still expect excellent results. Lucky for us, carpet-cleaning products, methods and equipment are improving all the time. Cleaning carpet may seem like more of a chore than dusting a coffee table, but properly cleaning and maintaining your carpet makes all the difference in the world.

How often do you clean your carpet?

Source: Carpet and Rug Institute

Carpets Looking a Little Drab?

Photo: Shaw Floors

Photo: Shaw Floors

Keeping carpets clean might seem like a daunting task, but with some tips from the experts it’s quicker and easier than you think. Carpet provides good traction, absorbs noises, and saves homeowners money because it naturally insulates a room. And, contrary to popular misconceptions, carpet that is cleaned regularly is fine for people with allergies, and even asthma.

Create a Vacuum Schedule

Have you ever wondered if vacuuming really makes a difference? Removing soil when it’s on the surface, before it gets tramped down, is the first and most important step in carpet maintenance. Use slow, repetitive motions that overlap (about four swipes), ensuring you get right up to the edges where dust, pollen and pet dander like to accumulate.

How often do you need to vacuum? Generally once a week with a CRI-certified vacuum is a good place to start, but depending on how frequently the area is used, you’ll likely want to do it more often. For example, high-traffic or pet areas should be vacuumed daily, medium-traffic areas require about twice a week and light-traffic areas can be done once a week. Just as you wouldn’t wear a shirt over and over again without washing it, you don’t want to go too long between vacuuming your carpets.

Treat Stains the Correct Way

Up to 98 percent of carpet is manufactured in the United States, and most is made to be stain-resistant. No matter how hard you try to prevent them, stains do happen, so it’s important to act quickly.

Scoop up solids and blot liquids with a dry, white cloth or paper towel, starting at the edge of the spot moving toward the center. Do not scrub – it can damage carpet and spread the mess. Next, treat the spot with a CRI-tested and approved carpet cleaning solution. If you don’t have one on hand, plain water often works better than untested carpet cleaners.

For wine or chocolate stains, try mixing 1/4 teaspoon clear dishwashing liquid with one cup warm water. Avoid laundry detergent which can cause permanent damage, such as a change in color. For coffee or tea stains, try mixing 1 cup white vinegar with 1 cup water. For ink stains, apply rubbing alcohol to a cloth and blot.

Have a wax spill? Cover the spot with a clean brown paper bag or heavy brown paper and apply low heat from an iron. The paper will absorb the wax as it melts.

Call in the Pros

To keep your carpets looking great and lasting for years to come, you should get them professionally deep cleaned every 12 to 18 months with a CRI Seal of Approval Service Provider. A good carpet cleaning should include vacuuming, a pre-spray and routine spot removal. Many won’t charge for furniture removal either.

Whether you want to get in a better habit with routine carpet maintenance or you simply want to refresh your carpet for the change of seasons or a special event, these tips will keep your carpet and home looking wonderful today and long into the future.

Source: The Carpet and Rug Institute

Prepare Your Home for Carpet Installation

CarpetThe Carpet and Rug Institute offers these tips on preparing your home for carpet installation.

•Remove all breakable items from the area being carpeted and detach and store wiring from TVs, computers and other electronics.

•Determine who will remove and dispose of the existing carpet and cushion. Check for recycling options in your area.

•Think about carpet placement. Ask that the carpet seams be placed in less visible areas, but don’t expect seams to be invisible.

•Understand that carpet installed over a separate cushion must be power stretched to prevent bubbling and wrinkling later.

•Insist that the installer follow the instructions from the carpet manufacturer and/or those set forth in the CRI Installation Standard.

•Vacuum the old carpet before it is removed to keep any dust and particles from becoming airborne. Vacuum the bare floors (or have your installer do this) before they put down the new carpet and pad.

Having carpet installed in your home is a big project, and following these steps will allow the installation to go smoothly so you can begin enjoying your beautiful new carpet.

Source: Carpet and Rug Institute

 

How to Select the Right Cushion for Your Carpet

Photo Courtesy: Shaw

Photo Courtesy: Shaw

A firm and resilient carpet cushion is necessary to form a good foundation for your carpet, increasing its comfort and extending its life by acting as a shock absorber when someone walks on the carpet. The cushion, or pad, helps buffer sound and provides increased insulation, making a room quieter and warmer.

When selecting cushion, check the carpet manufacturer’s requirements for thickness and density. Improper selection of carpet cushion can negatively affect carpet appearance, cause wrinkling and buckling, cause separation of the carpet seams and can cause a breakdown of the carpet structure itself.

Improper cushion selection also may void any applicable carpet manufacturer’s warranties. A general rule of thumb for most residential carpet applications is to choose cushion no more than 7/16 inch thick and no less than 1/4 inch with six pounds per cubic feet density. If the carpet is a Berber or a low profile carpet, choose a cushion no more than 3/8 inch thick with eight pounds density.

Carpet cushion is made primarily from polyurethane foam, fiber or rubber and is available in a variety of styles and constructions to fit your needs. The type and thickness of cushion you need varies according to traffic levels and patterns. For example, bedrooms, dens, lounge areas and other rooms with light or moderate traffic can use thicker and softer cushion, while living rooms, family rooms, hallways, stairs and other heavy traffic areas require thinner, firmer cushion.

Match the Cushion to the Carpet
Residential cut pile, cut- loop or high-level loop carpet requires a resilient, firm cushion with a thickness of 7/16 inch and no less than 1/4 inch with six pounds per cubic feet density. Types of cushion may be various polyurethane foams, including the very common bonded foam product often referred to as “rebond,” fiber or rubber.

Berber carpet or thinner loop or cut pile carpet is made with large, wide loops, and it has been found that a stable, low-flexing, cushion foundation is necessary. A thicker, softer cushion is not acceptable. Cushion thickness should not exceed 3/8 inch for these type products. Again, check with the carpet manufacturer to see if a specific cushion is required.

Source: Carpet and Rug Institute