Did you know that higher quality carpets that have extended appearance and texture retention warranties require a certain type of cleaning every 18 months in order to retain the warranty coverage?
The type of cleaning we are talking about is hot water extraction. This is commonly referred to as “steam cleaning”. Actually, this is a sometimes misunderstood term; we’re not cleaning with “live” steam. The term “steam” is referring to the use of water that is sprayed in small droplets under pressure. In this method, hot cleaning solution is sprayed under pressure onto the carpet and is immediately extracted with a vacuum source. The dirty solution is collected in a separate recovery tank and is poured into the sanitary waste system. The advantage of this system is that it has the ability to flush out large amounts of soil and contaminants in carpet. It is the more preferred method by all of the major fiber producers such as DuPont, Monsanto and Allied Signal as well as the carpet manufacturers like Shaw, Mohawk, World, and Queen. Because this method removed more contaminants than the other carpet cleaning methods, hot water extraction is favored by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and is the preferred method of the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC). It does have the disadvantage of having longer drying times and the possibility of wick-up spots if they are not thoroughly extracted. Higher quality carpets that have extended appearance and texture retention warranties require this type of cleaning every 18 months in order to retain the warranty coverage.
Are you unsure about how old your carpet is? Does it even have an active warranty? If it’s been more than 2 years since a professional cleaning, it’s probably time to call a carpet cleaning company, anyway.
Take a close look at the picture that accompanies this article- it may be hard to believe, but this carpeting is well over 15 years old! It still looks very good. Why does it still look great? The answer is simple- it’s been cleaned annually since the day it was installed! Regular, planned cleaning will help maintain your carpet’s warranty, as well as help keep up its appearance. All too often, we may take a “clean it when it LOOKS dirty” approach. However, your carpeting is designed to hide a lot of soil before it becomes very noticeable. This soil can be very abrasive, and can start to degrade the carpet fibers prematurely. Therefore, a regular, scheduled maintenance approach will benefit your carpets greatly.
Most carpets will improve drastically after only one effective hot-water extraction cleaning. In addition to frequent vacuuming, it’s important to clean your carpet on a regular basis. Cleaning systems will remove the oily, sticky soil that vacuums can’t take out, and will help keep your carpet looking great over time. Cleaning systems target the soils that result from cooking vapors, air pollution, and tracked-in dirt. The particles of oily soil deposited on carpet fibers can cause gradual but significant dulling of colors. The color isn’t lost, but is hidden under the film. If this type of soil is allowed to accumulate, it begins to attract and hold the dry soil. Changing seasons, pets, light traffic, all of these add up to soil and odor getting packed down into your carpet, affecting its appearance and texture as well as the freshness of your room and even home.