To Mend or to End: What to Do With Old Carpet and Upholstery

Although we may not realize it, our carpet and upholstery represents a significant share of the value in our homes. Carpets, rugs, curtains and furnishings not only help to make our home comfortable and beautiful, they are also an investment that needs to be taken care of. The nature of these soft furnishings is to attract dirt, dust, oil and germs over time, so regular carpet and upholstery cleaning is needed to maintain their functionality and beauty.

But what if your carpet or upholstery is starting to show signs of wear and tear? Is it better to try professional carpet repair, or invest in replacing the carpet in your home? Here we look at how to make the decision that’s right for your budget, needs and lifestyle.

Evaluating Your Carpet

Carpet can last from between 10 to 20 years, with the type of carpet as well as the quality of the maintenance determining your carpet’s total life span. You may notice patches of wear and damage on the carpet for yourself, but a professional carpet inspection can help to more fully assess how to best maintain and repair your carpet. An expert carpet inspection can actually save you time and money by more accurately evaluating the life of the carpet, the areas of damage and staining, and plans for the future preservation of your carpet, as well as the padding underneath. 

Renewing Old Carpet and Upholstery

If your carpet is in fairly good condition, but you still have more than just a couple of stains and marks, it’s worth investing in professional carpet cleaning. Professional carpet and upholstery cleaning can help to remove dirt, dust and stains from deep within the carpet and padding, and lift out old stains, oils and dirt from soft furnishings like curtains and sofas. However, if the carpet is torn, worn down or ‘bald’, more thorough repairs will be needed. In the same way, sofas, curtains and rugs will withstand some repairs, but upholstery that is very heavily damaged will need to be replaced.

Repairing Damaged Carpet

If you are considering trying to salvage your existing carpet by conducting repairs on damaged areas, it’s always best to call in a professional to inspect your carpet and give you an idea of the benefits and costs involved. Professional carpet repair can be highly effective, restoring your carpet to an ‘as new’ condition, at a fraction of the cost of replacing the carpet in the whole room. Carpet replacement can cost up to 6 times more than a repair, and effective cleaning and repair of carpet has been shown to produce a result that’s almost as good as new, while being much easier on your hip pocket. 

When to Replace Carpet

If your carpet is very heavily worn and patchy, doesn’t have much life left and it’s over 10 years old, there’s probably not much hope of trying to repair it. Consult with a flooring expert to choose the best replacement for your needs and lifestyle. Carpet, tiles, stone and hardwood floors all offer something different, and choosing the right flooring for your needs is an investment in your home for the future.

Making smart decisions about repairing and replacing carpet and upholstery can help you to save time and money, while promoting a welcoming, attractive and safe home environment.

Carpet Cleaning Tips

DID YOU KNOW:

Carpets need to be vacuumed once a week and more often in areas of heavy traffic. Frequent vacuuming prolongs the life of your carpet by preventing a buildup of gritty particles that can cut carpet fibers. Every few weeks, take a little extra time and use your crevice tool for cleaning around baseboards and radiators and in other hard-to-reach places.

STAIN REMOVAL

BLOT….DON’T SCRUB: Never aggressively scrub a carpet as it will distort the fiber. BEST PRACTICE: Blot the spill with a white towel or cloth….then apply the cleaning solution to a clean white cloth/towel and blot the stain, thereby transferring it to the cloth/towel. Reposition the cloth/towel to a clean spot and repeat until the stain is completely transferred.

HELPFUL HINT

Never use bleach to try and remove stains from carpet. Yes, it will take the color out of your carpet and not always the stain. If you have any doubts or questions in regards to stains on your carpet call our office for FREE advice over the phone. Our number is 925-833-0408

See more helpful hints on our Facebook page

5 Health Benefits of Keeping Your Home Clean

A clean home isn’t just nice to look at and pleasant to be in, it can also directly benefit your health as well. While we often think of threats to our health coming from outside the home, even the Environmental Protection Agency agrees that indoor air can be up to 5 times more polluted than outdoor air. We might not normally associate carpet with improved indoor air quality, but it does have a very positive effect. Gravity cause common household particles, such as dust, pollen and pet and insect dander, to fall to the floor. Carpet fibers trap the particles, removing them from the breathing zone and reducing their airborne circulation. Frequent vacuuming and professional cleaning effectively removes dust and allergens from the carpet and helps keep them out of the air we breathe.

Other benefits to keeping the floor surfaces (carpet, hardwood, stone /tile) of your home professionally cleaned include:

Reducing Allergies

A misconception is that people with asthma and allergies should avoid carpet in the home. Actually, the opposite is true. Allergies can range from being inconvenient to debilitating, causing breathing issues and cold and flu like symptoms when the allergy is triggered. Some of the major triggers of allergies are found around the home – namely dust mites and pet dander. Dust mites are found in almost every home, in the carpet, upholstery, curtains and bedding, while pet dander is commonly encountered if you have pets at home that live indoors with you.  Studies have shown that properly cleaned carpet helps reduce symptoms. Frequent vacuuming can help to eliminate these allergens in the short term, but a thorough professional carpet cleaning once every 6 months to one year can help to control allergen levels more effectively. Hot water extraction cleaning can be particularly effective for dust mites.

Improving Breathing

Dust mites and pet dander are also a major trigger for asthma, another good reason to conduct regular carpet cleaning. In fact, even people without allergies or asthma will experience some breathing difficulties in a very dusty environment. A common trigger that can affect breathing is mold in the home. Mold can build up on the roof and in tiles and grout, in any room that is high in moisture and humidity and low in ventilation. Keeping an eye out for mold in the bathroom or kitchen will help you to target the problem early.

Decreases Stress

While we think of a clean home benefiting our physical health, a neat and tidy environment positively influences our mental health too. Having a clean and organized home makes moving through the house and finding things easier. It also helps to keep you prepared in case unexpected guests turn up, and certainly makes it easier to find your car keys in a hurry!

Reduced Infections

It’s no secret that we share our home with billions of bacteria, viruses, fungi and other germs that can cause disease. Germs like Salmonella, E. coli and Staphylococcus lurk in most homes, and regular cleaning targets these germs preventing food poisoning and infections. In some cases, we share our space with bigger creatures as well. Pests such as mice, rats, cockroaches, insects and weevils can contaminate food sources and damage the home. Keeping your home clean of crumbs and food scraps and sealing bins discourages these pests from setting foot in your home and maintains a healthier and more hygienic environment.

Did you know- Mold and VOC misperceptions :

When carpet is kept clean and dry, mold simply cannot grow on synthetic fibers. Mold requires a food source, such as wood or cellulous debris, and moisture to grow. Carpet is recognized by the Carpet and Rug Institute as one of the lowest emitters of volatile organic compounds among various flooring choices and interior finishes.

Knowing the health benefits of a clean and tidy home helps you to maintain the right balance of daily maintenance and professional cleaning for a safer, healthier living space.

 

Don’t Touch Another Carpet Stain Until You Read This!

The scenario is all too familiar. You’re sitting in the living room, entertaining friends, and someone has a spill on your carpet. You spring to the rescue to try to blot up the excess …but now what? Do you dab, blot, put vinegar on it, bleach it? The moments just after a spill and your actions could be what determines whether your carpet is left with a permanent stain. Remember, staining is influenced by many factors and no carpet is completely stain proof.

What you need to know:

What type of fiber is the carpet made from? Knowing the type of carpet fiber greatly helps you when selecting the type of spot and stain removing solutions you want to use. Most carpet (60%) sold in the USA is Nylon or Synthetic Fiber. This type of fiber is fairly stain resistant and many of the cleaning/spotting solutions sold through your local retail stores are made for these carpets. Wool/Natural fibers are more sensitive to stains and over the counter cleaning products. Yes, there are variations and brand names that will confuse this issues, but what you really care to know is if the carpet fiber is a synthetic (man-made fiber) or natural.

What was spilled?

Knowing what was spilled on the carpet will help you determine what approach and the types of spotting or stain removing solutions you might select to remove or reduce the likely hood of residual staining or permanent damage.

Spot Removal Steps:

Blot: Never scrub carpet fibers, as this can cause permanent damage to the carpet fibers. If you have solid or semi-solids in, scrape/remove them up with a spatula or spoon. Blot up the liquid with a dry, white, absorbent cloth or white (no print) paper towels. We suggest fold the cloth/ towel(s) to increase the absorbency. (Hint: Applying downward pressure to the cloth/towel will improve absorption. Step or the cloth/towel will help with downward pressure. Change to dry cloth/towel frequently).

Pretest any spot removal solution in an inconspicuous area to make certain it will not damage the dyes or carpet fibers. (Hint… Closet or hidden corner)

Apply a small amount of the cleaning solution to a clean white cloth/towel, and work the solution in to the affected area….gently. Work from the edge of the spill to the center to prevent the spill from spreading. If the spill is large, work with a small portion of the stain and test the result.  Let the spotting solution sit for about 10 minutes and blot-transfer the spill to a dry clean white cloth/towel. Be patient, as the removal or the spill may require repeating the same step several times.

Rinse: After the spill has been removed, rinse the affected area thoroughly with cold water and blot with a dry cloth/towel.

Spot/Stain Removal Guide: Go to www.carpet-rug.org. There is a published guide that can assist you in selecting the appropriate solution for removing various spots and stains.

Call a Professional Carpet Cleaner if you have any doubt or require professional assistance.

Spotting Solutions to have on hand: Make your own and save $$$$$$$$$$:

Detergent Solution: Mix ¼ teaspoon of clear Dawn liquid dish soap with 1 cup of warm water. Caution: Do not use dishwasher detergent, laundry detergent, bleach, as these cleaning products are not made for carpets and will affect the color and dyes.

White Vinegar Solution: Mix 1 cup of white vinegar (NOT WINE) with 1 cup of water.

Although it’s easy to overreact when a spill occurs and run for the bottle of bleach, avoiding cleaning a stain yourself could be the best thing you do for your carpet. If your carpet is an investment you want to preserve and protect, call in the professional carpet cleaners to get the best stain removal results and to extend the life of your carpet

3 Facts You Didn’t Know About Cleaning an Area Rug

With hardwood floors being a common feature of many homes, many homeowners have placed area rugs on their floors to add warmth and comfort, as well as style and atmosphere. Area rugs can be valuable and beautiful additions to your home, but it can also be difficult to know how to clean your area rugs according to their specific needs.

There are so many stunning area rugs available to homeowners today – Persian rugs, Afghan rugs, Pakistani rugs, Wilton rugs and Chinese rugs – and all of them require specific and detailed care in order to maintain their integrity and beauty. Here we look at 3 factors you need to consider when performing area rug cleaning in order to protect your investment and bring life back to your area rugs.

Material Matters

Many homeowners know that effective and specific oriental rug cleaning is important to keep valuable area rugs clean and in good condition. Unfortunately, many homeowners often don’t know what type of area rug they have or what cleaning method is most beneficial. Area rugs can be sourced from a variety of locations such as discount stores, department stores, online, from catalogs, furniture stores, carpet retailers, and fine Oriental rugs dealers, and the care instructions you receive when purchasing can vary. Area rugs area also made from a rage of different materials, including both natural and synthetic fibers and a combination of both.

Before cleaning your area rug, ask yourself whether you know exactly how to appropriately care for your specific type of rug. The best carpet cleaner knows how to identify each type of area rug, and what specific care is needed for each rug type. A professional carpet cleaner knows that blue weft yarns in Persian rugs can bleed, that Afghan rugs shrink like crazy, that many Pakistani rugs have post production side cords that can tear off during cleaning, that Stark wire Wilton rugs must be blocked because the jute foundation yarns shrink, and spot cleaning chemically washed 90-line Chinese rugs can cause color damage. Not being aware of any one of these carpet cleaning factors could spell disaster for your area rugs.

Inspection is Critical

As discussed above, the details that go into effectively cleaning each type of area rug often require the experience of a professional rug cleaner. In fact, carpet cleaning services will often require that the area rug undergoes a professional carpet inspection before rug cleaning is conducted so that the safest and most effective cleaning method can be applied.

Carpet inspections can provide crucial information when it comes to caring for your rugs. Not only can a professional quickly identify your type of rug and the best cleaning method for the rug, they can also diagnose any specific issues your rug may have and apply the best repairs and solutions for your rug’s needs.

Professional Is Best

Because of the amount of work and detail that goes into cleaning an area rug correctly, seeking the assistance of a professional carpet cleaner to clean your area rugs is often the best solution, particularly for heavy duty or in-depth area rug cleaning. While regular maintenance and vacuuming can easily be done at home, more thorough cleaning is best left to the professionals, especially for those more sensitive or precious carpets.

With these tips you can keep your area rugs clean and beautiful, while protecting your investment and creating a more attractive, fresh and healthy environment in your home.

4 Reasons Your Carpets or Area Rugs Need Professional Inspection

Your carpet is an investment in your home’s value and comfort, and so it’s important to protect your carpet with regular cleaning, maintenance and care. But how do you know the right type of care for your carpet? And what should you do about issues such as stains, worn patches and carpet replacement? This is where carpet inspection by a professional who knows all the details of carpet care and cleaning can be a critical part of preserving your carpet.

A carpet inspection can help you identify and diagnose issues with your carpet and determine the right treatment to optimize your carpet’s condition and give you the best results. Here are 4 reasons why you might need a carpet inspection, and how a professional carpet inspection can benefit you.

Carpet Cleaning or Stain Removal

If you are considering a professional carpet cleaning or you have a number of stains or bleach spots on your carpet that need removal, a carpet inspection should be an integral part of preparing for your carpet cleaning. A carpet inspection allows the cleaning professional to check the current condition of the carpet in order to recommend the correct mode of cleaning. The carpet inspection evaluates how old the carpet is, the pattern of wear, how well it has been maintained, and the type of fiber the carpet is composed of. This information allows the professional carpet cleaner to determine the most appropriate and safe mode of cleaning.

When it comes to carpet stain removal, you want stains to completely disappear, without leaving any residue or trace of the stain removal process. Bleach spots are even more difficult to correct because the carpet color needs to be correctly matched and added back in, or otherwise the carpet must be patched. Before these intricate and difficult processes to correct your carpet are undertaken, your carpet professional should provide a detailed carpet inspection.

Area Rug Cleaning

Area rugs are popular in houses with hardwood or tiled floors, in order to add warmth and comfort to the home. But cleaning area rugs can be tricky, as there are so many variations in the types of area rugs, the composition, the dye and the fringing, that expert attention needs to be paid to correctly inspecting and recommending a treatment for these rugs.

Cleaning an area rug incorrectly can lead to the dye bleeding, colors fading and even irreversible physical damage, which can lead to the loss of your valued rug. Many expert carpet cleaners offer complimentary carpet inspection before they conduct area rug cleaning in order to determine the most appropriate and safe methods of cleaning and handling.

Buying A New Home

If you are buying a new home with carpet, you want to ensure that the carpet is worth investing in. Repairing or replacing damaged carpet can cost thousands of dollars, and you don’t want to find out that you need this kind of expensive work on your prospective home’s carpet when it’s too late. If you are thinking of purchasing a new home that has carpet, call your local carpet care company to join you on a carpet inspection of your new home before you decide to buy.

Replacing Your Flooring

Carpet inspection can also be useful when you are thinking of replacing the flooring in your existing home. You may think your carpet is too stained or worn out and has to go, but an expert carpet inspection can help you understand whether it’s time to replace or whether you can simply repair.

A flooring inspection can also help you decide whether carpet, tiled or hardwood flooring would be best for your home if you do decide to replace, by inspecting the current condition of your flooring, evaluating your flooring use and taking into account your family’s lifestyle.

Carpet inspection is often neglected, but can be an extremely important aspect of caring for your flooring and help you to save money on floor replacement and repair in the long run.

Sensitive to Mold and Other Allergens?

allergens, household irritants, clean home

DID YOU KNOW that even the healthiest of individuals can still feel negative effects in the presence of some common things around the house?

It’s not something that necessarily has to start growing in the basement of your house after a flood. It’s something that can “just happen” and it’s not good news. But it can be easily fixed.

First of all, what are we talking about?

New old stuff brought in

There are some items that can come into your home that can trigger your allergies or other sensitivities. These can include cardboard boxes, packages and other items sent or brought to you. The worse of these would be old stuff, things that have been around a while, gathering allergens.

Old ‘normal’ stuff

We’ve all been to a library and sniffed old books. OK, maybe not all of us, but those that remember books and libraries can relate. These old books and documents can be allergen triggers, so be sure to remember this before checking them out or taking them into your home.

Old decorations

Sure, the holidays are a time when you use ornaments and stuff, and this is just a few times a year… but you have to store them, right? Remember that they can bring in allergens. It might be best to give them at least a wipe-down, if not a complete cleaning, before putting them into the attic.

Old mattresses

Ick. This is a tough one, and sometimes a sensitive issue. Sure, it’s OK to pass on mattresses from one generation to another (what is family for?), but what are you getting when you inherit an old mattress or other bedding from someone not close to you? And don’t be tempted by that new-looking mattress at your neighbor’s garage sale. You just don’t know what you are getting into. Did you know that everymattress has dust mites?

Old rugs and carpet

Rugs and carpet are very important to you, but be sure to have them inspected by your carpet cleaning pro before bringing them into your home. These are items that can collect all types of allergens and other contaminants that can affect you and your family.

Don’t be afraid to throw old stuff out. Remember, it’s your home and your family’s health. Protect it!

Just make sure that what you bring into your home is safe for any allergy or asthma issues you or your family may have. 

How to Care for Your Area Rug

Area rug cleaning and care

As hardwood floors have risen to equal popularity as home carpeting, area rug cleaning has become a more common need.  We all know to vacuum our carpets but what should we do to keep our area rugs clean?  Some are old, and made of finer materials than carpets.  Others utilize newer materials that have special cleaning requirements.

Always read the manufacturers cleaning requirements.  Following those guidelines will usually put you on the right track. If you don’t have instructions or can’t adhere to them, here are some tips for cleaning area rugs.

 

Oriental Rugs

Oriental rugs, especially traditional ones, are usually handmade, older, and need careful care.  A normal vacuum’s brushes are generally too harsh and can damage these rugs.  You can use an older vacuum with a beater bar and work with the vacuum attachments to avoid sucking up the fringes of the rug.  A common practice is to use a covering over the hose attachment to prevent sucking it up.  Nylon hosiery or a sheer cloth is usually the best type.

 

Alternatively, if your area rug is on the smaller side, you could utilize an old fashioned but effective method: hanging it outdoors and using a soft brush to clean it off.  Even if you do this, we recommend running a vacuum over the back of the rug as it can gather debris, and won’t be damaged by the vacuum.  It is recommended that you have the rug professionally cleaned annually, or every year and a half if it’s in a low traffic area.

 

Flat-Woven Rugs

These area rugs are usually very similar to carpeting.  It’s recommended that you clean the rug as often as you would vacuum other areas of your home.  You can hang it outdoors and clean it with a soft brush for smaller rugs, or even shake the dust outside if the rug is small enough.  A select few types of flat-woven rugs can be washed.  Read the manufacturer’s instructions, some may require you to hand wash them or put them in a bag when using a washing machine. It’s important to professionally clean flat-woven area rugs approximately annually or depending on the traffic volume.

 

Pile Rugs

If a pile rug is made of wool, then wet cleaning is preferred.  If your area rug is made of silk, then it should be washed with a dry method.  A simple technique to check if you’ll lose color while cleaning is to take a damp cloth and run it gently over the area rug.  If color transfers to the cloth then you know the area rug will lose color if you wet-clean it.

 

Shag Rugs

If you have a shag area rug then a canister vacuum works best.  Traditional upright vacuums will likely damage the shag loops.  Another effective tool for maintaining these area rugs is a carpet rake, as it could help detangle them.

 

Diablo Carpet and Floor Restoration has been keeping Bay Area home flooring professionally clean and in beautiful condition. Please contact us today if you have any questions or would like us to professionally clean your area rug anywhere in San Ramon, Danville, Blackhawk, Alamo, Dublin, Pleasanton, or Walnut Creek.