One of the most frustrating things our clients mention is the black lines around the edges of some of their carpeted rooms. They vacuum, vacuum, and vacuum, and the dark lines are still there! This is a condition known as soil filtration. Basically, your carpeting acts like a filter and catches very fine particles that are suspended in the air. These particles are so fine, almost like copier toner or graphite, that they won’t completely vacuum out of the carpet.
What causes this condition in some carpeted rooms? Quite often, there is no specific cause. However, we have noticed that it can be exaggerated by a few different factors. One thing that can make the situation worse is excessive use of candles in the home. Some of our clients have candles burning all day to act like an air freshener, and the residue from these candles can create a real problem. Infrequent vacuuming can also be a contributing factor, as dust and other soil can collect along baseboards. We have seen problems caused by homes being improperly insulated, and air can “rush” along baseboards (or even UNDER the baseboards), and this problem of soil filtration can quickly become an issue.
How can soil filtration lines be prevented, or at least reduced? Regular vacuuming, using a crevice tool along the baseboards, can help, although it will likely not remedy the situation. In addition, leaving interior doors open can help, as air is less likely to be forced along walls if there are more ways it can move. Another way to help the problem (sometimes) is to seal the area where the subfloor meets the wall, using caulk or duct tape. This will help especially if air is being forced under the wall.
As shown in the accompanying photo, a professional carpet cleaning service provider can often help reduce this problem. Often, the results are quite dramatic! Usually, you should see an improvement in visual appearance by about 75 percent. This is very detail-oriented work and is not normally included in a routine carpet cleaning package. Ask your service provider for a quote today!