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What Exactly is Carpet Wear?

Is your carpet is beginning to look dingy in the high-traffic areas? Maybe professional cleanings don’t bring your carpet back life like they used to?   Find yourself wondering what’s going on and is there anything you can do to fix this problem?

carpet wear

The first thing you should know is that carpet wear is a gradual process that happens over an extended period of time.  It is the breaking down of the carpet fiber, carpet backing, or carpet pad on a microscopic level.  Carpet wear typically happens when there is an increased combination of foot traffic and soil deposits.  Carpet wear is visible in several forms such as matted carpet and/or dingy or discolored carpeting in specific areas.

Carpet wear is usually seen in areas that have repetitive traffic, like a hallway, stairs, or the entrance to a room.    Walking by shuffling the feet is certain to cause carpet wear.  Look for carpet wear in areas where a direction change takes place – like making a right turn each time you enter a room.  Carpet wear can also happen in transition areas, or areas where the flooring changes from a hard surface, like tile, to carpet.  A good example of this would be the transition from the kitchen to the living area.  Soil will sit on top of the hard surface, just waiting to be tracked onto the carpet.  Each time you walk from the tile to the carpet, the soil deposits fall from your shoes down into the carpeting.  Even with regular vacuuming and professional cleanings, you will always have soil deposits in your carpet.

carpet wear

Visible carpet wear, identifying transition area.

These little pieces of soil and dirt can act like sandpaper on your carpet fiber.  Each time you step, twist or turn, those little pieces of soil move too. They gently grind away on carpet fibers and your carpet backing.  Think of it like the jeans of a 5 year old little boy – they eventually wear out, not because you don’t wash them, but because the fabric is worn down from soil and use.

You can’t stop carpet wear, but you can certainly slow it down.  Obviously, regular vacuuming and an annual, professional carpet cleaning will extend the life of your carpet.  Read these Carpet Care Tips for more information on how to vacuum and spot clean correctly.  In addition to the obvious, you may want to consider changing your main walking paths by re-arranging your furniture.  Throw rugs can also prevent increased carpet wear by taking the brunt of the soil in a transition area.   Some people avoid carpet wear by removing their shoes before they enter their home.  If your home is prone to increased soil from kids and pets, you may want to speak with your professional carpet cleaner about carpet protection in those high traffic areas.

 

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