Salt is both abrasive and very high in alkalinity. The abrasive nature of the salt will damage the ability of light to pass through the fibers leaving the appearance of a darker shade. The alkalinity will break down the physical structure of the fibers resulting in vulnerability to both staining and fiber damage. When salt is mixed with water, it will dilute and then reform, often feeling and looking crunchy.
Sand in Minnesota? Not everyone goes to the beach in the summer… No, not sand from the beach. In communities that deal with snowfall and freezing rain, like the Twin Cities, sand is applied to the roads, some parking lots, and sidewalks. This sand finds its way into our homes and businesses with ease. Like salt, sand is very abrasive and will wear down the fibers causing discolorations in the high traffic areas, as well as fiber loss.
Mud shares properties with both sand and salt. Dirt mixes with moisture and dilutes itself, mixing with the liquid and sticks to everything it touches. Spring and Fall in Minnesota are no strangers to mud. Sometimes it feels like mud is everywhere. When wet, mud will stick to carpet and seep down into the fibers clinging to them from the inside. Mud inevitably dries and becomes hard, like very small sand particles. These particles are also abrasive and will chew up fibers from the inside out.
Does your basement smell musty? One of the neat things about living in Minnesota is that the water table is low enough to build basements into our homes. Whether a play room, game room, or home theater, smelly basements can greatly reduce a homeowner’s enjoyment and even lead to embarrassment. The reason for this musty smell is moisture is evaporating up through the concrete in the basement, traveling up through the pad and carpet depositing some of the moisture particles in the carpet itself. Furnace vents in basements are usually located way up on the ceiling, so most of the airflow is also located near the ceiling. When the moisture evaporates into the air, the air becomes full, like a sponge. As we all know, a wet sponge at capacity will not take any more moisture in. This remaining moisture will mildew and become “musty” or “stale” smelling. A professional carpet cleaner will not only clean the fibers of the carpet, but can also apply an anti-bacterial enzyme deodorizer to feed on the particles that lead to the bad smell.
Whether mildew, dust, or pollen, Minnesota is well-known for allergies. Life is a trade-off and one of the prices we pay to live in such a beautiful and variable climate is exposure to allergens. Allergies can be annoying but can also be very dangerous for people who are particularly allergic. A professional carpet cleaner and upholstery cleaning, combined with replacing your furnace filter regularly will remove most of the allergens from the carpet and the furnace filter will help keep from spreading them throughout the house.
Hard to believe the way your carpet looks is as far down the list as this. This is mainly because, by the time your carpet looks dirty, it should have already been cleaned. What I mean by this is that carpet has about an inch of depth from the backing of the carpet to the tips of the fibers (in most cases). The only portion you can easily see is the very tips of the fibers. Sand, dirt, salt, dust, etc. follow the same laws of gravity as everything else. The majority of what lands on your carpet falls right through and gets caught up somewhere along the stalk of the fibers. Then while walking on the carpet, these fibers rub together and that unseen debris slices into and scrapes the fibers. This leads to fiber loss and fiber damage. Each of these eventually contributes to wear patterns and discoloration. It is best to remove these particles before they have the chance to harm your carpets. We also highly recommend having carpet protection re-applied once a year or more.
Re-application of carpet protector –
Carpet protector is a thin coating that is applied to every inch of carpeting that is manufactured in the United States (and most of the world). The wealthiest companies in the carpet industry are Mowhawk and Shaw industries (8.1 billion and 4 billion a year respectively). To make sure that carpets live up to their warranties, they began applying carpet protector to all of the carpet they manufacture. What we have noticed is that this protection lasts about as long as the warranty (about 2 years in most cases). In my experience, the fiber protectant needs to be re-applied at the 2 year mark and then every year after that. This re-application of the product is done right after the cleaning of the carpet while the carpet is still damp.
We love our pets in Minnesota! It’s no more possible to keep our furry friends from effecting our carpet than it is to keep ourselves from loving them. Most dogs and cats shed. Not only do they shed fur, but they shed skin cells called “dander” and transfer oils from their skin. Cats also sometimes cough up fur balls, miss the litter box, and even “spray” ammonia to mark their territory. Dogs can do their share of marking as well, also drool, urinate,
poo, and throw up after eating the black walnut seeds in our yard for the 50th time without learning his lesson. All of these are classified as organic bacteria. Organic bacteria can cause odors and of course is not sanitary. A professional carpet cleaner can apply an anti-bacterial enzyme deodorizer after cleaning the carpet and upholstery. This enzyme basically feeds on organic bacteria for up to 3 months after application. This is the best way to
sanitize the carpet for safety and smells.
How long would you like your carpet to last? In my experience, following 4 simple steps can help you keep your carpet looking close to its original state nearly indefinitely. First, always remove shoes and boots when walking on the carpet. Clean shoes that are not worn outside of the home are fine. Secondly be sure to vacuum the carpet regularly. I would suggest weekly for most families in the areas that they walk. Thirdly, have your carpets cleaned by a reputable carpet cleaning company once a year or more depending on your lifestyle and family size. Check their reviews and be sure they use a truck mounted carpet cleaning unit. Lastly, have that same reputable professional carpet cleaner company re-apply the factory protectant to carpet. This protective layer will help the first three rules do their job a lot better and you will have to wear through the protector before you wear through the fibers.
Peace of mind –
We can only see the very top of the carpet fibers in our homes and many parasites and allergens are too small for the naked eye to see. A deep cleaning form a reputable carpet cleaning company can remove most of the parasites and allergens from your carpet. This will help give you peace of mind in knowing that your carpets are as clean as they can be and reduce the risk that they will be a major contributor to any health issues that could arise. After all, what could be more important than the health of your family and pets?
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