Did you know that carpeting is a textile, just like upholstery, linens and clothing? When people pay $50 for a pair of jeans, they do not get upset when the knees eventually become faded and worn. Some of the same people seem to think that their carpet should last a lifetime.
Wear is caused by a combination of several things, including soil in the carpet, traffic lanes, loss of fibers, infrequent vacuuming and time.
The main reason carpet shows signs of premature wear is because it is not maintained properly. When major traffic lanes are vacuumed daily and spots or spills are promptly removed, carpeting will look better and last longer.
Traffic Lane Gray
Like all textiles, carpets will eventually show signs of wear. The wear patterns will first show up in the heaviest traffic areas. The wear creates an illusion of soiling, which often causes frustration and misunderstanding between homeowners and carpet care experts. Even though a carpet has been cleaned, it does not mean worn traffic areas will look clean. This situation creates what is know as traffic lane gray, a condition that has been nicknamed “ugly out.”
There is not a lot a carpet care expert can do about “ugly out.” When a 10 year old carpet is cleaned, you will end up with a clean 10 year old carpet. It may not appear to be as clean as you had hoped. Just like when you throw your old pair of jeans in the wash, the worn areas will still be evident.
There is a point when carpet fibers will no longer return to their original shape. As fibers lose their twist, the carpet begins to look flat, bunched together and distorted. This is called matting. Matting will cause the carpet to look dirty and gray even when the carpet is clean and all soil has been removed.
The best way to keep your carpet looking it’s best is to properly maintain it. Vacuum thoroughly as often as humanly possible. Vacuuming removes loose soil before it becomes embedded in the fibers. Use proper spotting methods. Do not use any product on your carpets unless it is advised by our staff. Use of the wrong cleaner can permanently “set” a stain that might have been easily removed with the proper product. Have your carpet cleaned by us at least once a year, more often if you have heavy traffic. The removal of soils and stains will refresh its appearance while ridding the fibers of abrasive materials.
Remember, with proper maintenance, you can prevent “ugly out!”