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Complete Homeowners Guide To Carpeting


Whether you're installing a new carpet, pulling up an old carpet, or repairing stains, water damage, or other forms of damage, it's important to regularly clean and maintain the rugs, carpets, and upholstery in your home. You might be surprised to learn of the number of bacteria, dirt, and other debris living in the fibers beneath your feet, but the number is seemingly endless, and if you have pets the problem can be even worse.

It's important to treat your carpets the way that you treat the rest of your home; you're not likely to let your dining room floor, or kitchen counter go unwashed, so why would you leave your carpet dirty and unmaintained? It's easy to forget about carpets sometimes because dust and hair blends in with the natural fibers that you walk on each day, but that doesn't mean that it isn't there. These hidden bits and pieces can also cause allergic reactions and respiratory problems as they are kicked up to mix in with the air in the room.

Before you begin trying to clean and repair your carpets and rugs on your own, you should think about what needs to be fixed or maintained, what equipment or products are needed to do this, and whether or not you should use a professional company to complete the process.

Regular Carpet Maintenance Projects

Regular carpet maintenance projects can range over a variety of services, and while many carpet companies specialize in car interiors and industrial cleaning as well as residential, as a homeowner, you may want to use a company that is better suited to household cleaning and installation rather than that of businesses or other industries. Some of the more common ways that a professional carpet company can be of service to you are listed below:

  • Construction cleanup
  • Disaster and flood repair and cleanup
  • Water damage and mold removal or repair
  • Carpet removal and installation
  • Shampoo and stain removal
  • Deodorization due to pets

Carpet Cleaning Tips And Tricks

For do it yourselfers, and homeowners who prefer not to get professional carpet maintenance businesses involved, or for small jobs and simple preventative measures, there are a few tips and tricks that you can use to make your carpet cleaning endeavors a little easier on you and those involved.

  • Clean your carpet on a regular basis; whether this is once a week or biweekly, as the more often it is vacuumed and cleaned, the less likely it is to require a deep cleaning on a regular basis.
  • Remove all furniture and tell family members not to walk across the carpet until it's finished being cleaned.
  • Before you begin shampooing or deodorizing you should vacuum up any dust, hair and additional debris trapped in the fibers.
  • Start your cleaning as far from the doorway as you can, in the opposing corner of the room so that by the time you finish you've reached the exit.
  • When using powder, sprinkle evenly over the carpet and leave on as long as possible. If you can put it on before bed and wait overnight you'll get the best results before vacuuming it up in the morning.
  • For shampooing, use a hard-bristled brush on stubborn areas, and use stain remover or additional detergent on stains. Only use enough shampoo to cover the area of the carpet or it will take forever to get the soap out.
  • For sticky stains like gum you can harden it with ice so that it cracks and comes out without a fuss.
  • Bad odors and pet stains can be removed with equal parts vinegar and warm water and baking soda.

Costs For Professional Carpet Services

Professional carpet services vary in cost depending on size, type of project underway, and how many hours it takes to get a job done. Some companies require you to pay for equipment and products being used as well, while others include it in their base price at no additional charge. Based on these specifications the average homeowner can spend anywhere from $100 to $160 for cleaning services, and $200 to $250 for repairs depending on extent of damage and materials required for the fix.

How To Choose A Carpet Cleaning Service

Carpet cleaning services are often offered through companies that work in home repair and carpet installation, although they can also be found through specialized cleaning and damage repair services. When you're choosing a carpet cleaning service for your home, you should consider choosing somebody with a good reputation that charges fairly. This might seem like a tall order, but if you take the time to do a little research then you can find yourself with a new carpet, or a spotless one without spending an arm and a leg.

The best place to find affordable, reliable carpet cleaning services is right here on ShoutWire. You can also ask around to friends, family members, co-workers, or people you see regularly in other areas of life that you trust. Getting a second opinion from somebody who's had their carpet cleaned or replaced by a certain company can reinforce your opinion of that brand, and make it easier to trust the professionals that come into your home.

Is Carpet Replacement Needed?

Whether you're looking at an old carpet that you've had most of your life in a certain home, or one that's only been around for a few years but looks worse for the wear, deciding when it's time to throw away a carpet and get a new one can be a tough call, especially when replacing one can sometimes mean replacing multiple rooms worth of carpeting which can be pricey if you're not careful. Fortunately, if you're truly confused about the telltale signs you can become informed by having a professional cleaning service in to shampoo and vacuum your rugs. These professionals are trained to notice small details in carpets and upholstery that others would easily overlook, and they should be able to give you an idea about what should stay and what should go.

To determine whether or not it's time to get rid of a carpet without an expert opinion there are a few surefire ways to make the call on your own. Damage, odors, and stains that stick around even after you've cleaned it can mean that it's time to let go. Rips and tears are a little more obvious than other signs that you need to start looking for new carpet, but some can be repaired, so in this instance a maintenance service would serve well at least for an inspection. Bare spots in your rug can be a bad sign, and while this doesn't pose a health or safety risk, it certainly isn't appealing aesthetically or as a form of comfort. Allergies can also be a good indicator, as the more dust and allergens getting trapped in the fibers could be caused by overly porous fibers.

For pet owners, or families with small children, there's always a possibility for stains from spills or other accidents, and while it's often a simple matter of using odor and stain removing products, or calling in a cleaner for topical treatments, if there is anything left throughout the bulk of the rug or the padding underneath it could lead to mold in the future. If none of the above seem to be of trouble for you then you should simply stick to the 15 year rule, and watch for patterns of usage in areas of your home where foot traffic could be fading color or condensing materials.

Carpet Installation Costs

The average price of carpet installation ranges between $900 and $1,300 on installation, although this tends to be pricier and can cost more or less depending on how much carpet is being installed and the quality and cost of the materials being used. Patterned, shag, zigzag, plush, and textured plush all have individual price points in place.

By getting a quote from a few different carpet businesses for the project you need serviced you can get the best possible rate, and also get an idea of what that company will be like to work with. You might also find yourself paying for carpet padding during installation which can be an important feature for insulation, durability of the product, as well as other factors that influence both aesthetics and quality of your flooring.

How To Keep Your Carpet Looking New

If you want to be able to steer clear of all the additional costs, wondering about aging fibers, and cleaning up spills then you should work at trying to keep your carpet looking new through preventative measures rather than repairs. You can begin with your trusty vacuum by selecting one with adjustable brushes, or simple choosing one based on the length of your carpet fibers. You should also use the accompanying tools to get into corners and hard to reach regions to keep your rug clean and fresh on a regular basis. Make sure you always start with a fresh bag or canister as well, so that any dirt from previous vacuuming can't somehow find its way out and back into your home.

Snags in your carpet can make it look tired and old, and of course pulling at these can cause tears in the carpet as fibers begin to unravel. Rather than tugging at bits and pieces of your rug, use scissors to snip out the snag. If you have dents left from chairs, couches, and other heavy furniture you can smooth them out by rubbing a bit of warm water into them with a wet cloth and blowing them with the warm setting of a hair dryer as you finger comb the fibers.

You can also keep a carpet new by attending to stains, odors, and spots as soon as they happen, or at least as soon as they're noticed. The longer that a mark stays on any sort of fabric or fiber, the longer it has to soak it and make itself at home. These stains become much more difficult to remove if you let them bond with the rug, not to mention food and drink gets ground in more deeply every time somebody walks across that spot.

Final Thoughts on Carpeting

Keeping your carpet clean and looking new can take a little bit of work, but it's well worth the effort as it is a staple and focal point in your home whether you realize it or not. People may not walk in and look at the floors right away, but they'll notice them at some point, especially if it's something they can feel underfoot like a plush rug. Whether you choose to clean and maintain your carpets on your own or hire a professional service, it's still important to use preventative measures.

In order to give your home the TLC it deserves, you should be prepared to treat particular stains appropriately. An example of this can be seen when treating protein-based stains which include items such as baby formula, dairy or eggs, these kinds of stains might not be as common as some others, but if they do get down into the fibers of your carpet you're going to need to work with an enzyme-based stain remover to get them out. Similarly, you'll want to deal with ink or strongly colored food and drink stains by soaking the spot, or using a strong stain removing agent specifically designed for red wine, grape juice, blueberry pie, and whatever else might fall off of somebody's lap.

Finally, you must know when to let go, and do your due diligence in choosing a great company that will work well with you and with your home. Shop round and find a business that specializes in the services you require, check reviews, and ask friends for referrals. You should also get in contact with various outlets for price quotes.