This guide is for homeowners and professional cleaners. Homeowners should use it to get the best care for their carpet, professional cleaners should provide it as a free resource to their customers after a visit.
Soil Tracking Control
Place walk-off grids or mats at the entry points to your home or business. This will help prevent soil from being tracked from the outside onto the inside carpeting. Vacuum and/or clean these mats frequently. Once they become loaded with soil, their effectiveness is greatly reduced.
Vacuum your carpet frequently with a vacuum with a high-efficiency collection bag or system. In high-traffic areas, carpet manufacturers recommend you vacuum at least once or twice a week. Vacuuming removes the sharp and abrasive soil that can cut, scratch, and abrade the fiber causing premature wear. Particulate soiling left in your carpet has a sandpaper-like effect on the construction of the carpet. Much of this soil is not visible to the eye. Vacuum before the carpet looks soiled. Keep your vacuum in good working condition, check the belts and change the collection bag frequently.
Spot and Spill Treatments
Immediate spot removal is the key to a clean carpet. Great care also must be taken in how spot cleaning is performed. When a carpet is new or has sufficient protector on it, plain tap water will remove many spots. For spots that will not move easily with water, you must use a spotting solution specifically designed for carpeting. We recommend Bridgepoint HomePro Spotter.
Most spot removers that are purchased over the counter leave too much soap residue and can cause rapid re-soiling or yellowing. Avoid using foam carpet cleaners or any product that is not made specifically made for carpet. The longer the spot is allowed to dwell on the carpet, the more chance there is of permanent discoloration.
Blot up any excess spill. Apply spot cleaner sparingly to a white terry cloth and gently massage the spot causing it to transfer into the cloth. Never pour spot cleaner directly on carpet. Blot the area with water. If the spot persists, consult your professional carpet cleaner. Some spots and spills require the professional equipment, cleaning, solutions, and skills of a professional. Repeated attempts to remove the spot may cause the stain to set or cause permanent damage.
As a general rule for residential carpeting, cleaning by a professional, trained, certified firm should take place about once per year. For extremely heavy traffic areas, homes with pets, and homes with people with allergic sensitivities, cleaning may be required more often. A proper professional cleaning will not leave a sticky residue behind and can be done as many times per year as needed. Professional cleaning with truck-mounted hot water extraction cleaning is the method most often recommended by cleaning industry experts and carpet manufacturers. Professional cleaning removes the damaging soil from the traffic areas that vacuuming has not been able to remove.
For commercial carpeting, periodic professional cleaning with hot water extraction may need to be combined with interim Encapuclean low moisture encapsulation cleaning for maximum carpet appearance and performance. The frequency of cleaning will depend on the amount and types of soiling, the traffic load on the carpeting, carpet owner considerations, budget considerations, and other indoor and outdoor environmental conditions.
Residential carpets are treated with stain and soil-resistant treatments when they are manufactured. These protective treatments will wear and traffic off over a period of time. After a period of 1 to 2 years, carpet manufacturers recommend the re-application of a protective treatment such as Bridgepoint Maxim Advanced to enhance the performance of your carpet. The soil resistor will help the soil slide off of the carpet easier when vacuuming, spots will be easier to remove, and professional cleaning will be more effective.
Copies of specific warranties on your carpet purchase may be available from your carpet retailer. Your carpet’s stain and soil resistant warranty, wear warranty, and texture retention warranty most likely requires periodic (at least every 12 months) professional hot water extraction cleaning by a trained, certified professional cleaner. Many warranties on your carpet provide coverage for five years or longer if your carpet is maintained according to the manufacturer’s directions.
The Benefits of Carpeting to Your Home or Business
Carpet makes a room look better and adds to the décor. Using color, patterns, and pile heights, you can create just the image you want for your home or business. Carpet fits into an indoor environment without having to dominate it.
Color and appearance are part of how a décor is “fulfilled”, but carpet also can make a statement deeper than appearance. It can match a style. Through different fibers, different denier, different face weights, and different pile heights, carpet truly can make a statement about a home or business by enhancing individual or corporate expression.
Carpet can help save energy. It is an important contributor to the insulation of the indoor environment. Have you ever gotten up in the morning and walked with your bare feet on a cold, hard floor? Carpet helps keep warmth in, but just as importantly creates a psychological impression that the room is warm.
Have you ever tried to curl up in front of the fireplace on a hard surface floor? A carpet feels so good. It’s soft, it’s easier on the feet, and it provides a “softer feel” to the whole indoor environment.
Carpet eliminates the echo chamber effect. It collects and dampens noise. It absorbs sound and creates a quiet, more controlled, peaceful atmosphere.
Everyone reading this article has at one time or another slipped on a hard surface floor. Try to slip on a carpet. It’s hard to do. Carpet provides a safety barrier that just can’t be ignored, especially in a commercial environment. If someone does trip and fall, a carpet is a lot softer place to land than a hard floor.
Carpet makes a statement about a home or company’s image. It provides a formal, warm contribution to the indoor environment.
Carpet is made to hide and conceal dirt, soil, and other spilled and tracked materials better than other floor covering alternatives. The construction of carpet fiber allows it to conceal soil and spills. Other floor covering alternatives require immediate maintenance when soil is tracked or liquid is spilled.
Ease of Maintenance
One of the most frustrating things a carpet cleaner hears is that many people think that carpet is more expensive to maintain than hard surface floors. Anyone who has ever been responsible for the professional upkeep of a tile, stone, or hardwood floor knows that is not the case.
Equipment, chemicals, systems, and training are available that make a carpet easy to maintain and installed in all types of indoor environments. Add to the fact that carpet cleaning can be cleaned both by interim maintenance “appearance” methods for the short run (such as low moisture encapsulation cleaning) as well as restorative methods for appearance, wearability, and health, in the longer run truck-mounted hot water extraction cleaning). Carpet can be maintained at both an excellent appearance and health level.
Collection And Filtration Center
Carpet acts as a filter in the indoor environment. It filters airborne soiling and pollutants from the airspace. This is a major advantage of carpeting. No other home or business furnishing does a better job of collecting and filtering soil and pollutants whereby they can be properly and completely removed and taken away by periodic professional hot water extraction cleaning. Carpet prevents the migration of pollutants and bio-contaminants throughout the indoor environment. All types of hard surface floors do not. Carpet is a positive indoor filter and collection center. When properly maintained by professional hot water extraction cleaning, it contributes to a healthier indoor environment.
by Scott Warington