Vacuuming is a “chore” for most consumers. We know that there are probably a thousand other things you would rather be doing. Because of this, most don’t vacuum nearly as often or as well as they should. That’s why the first step in our carpet or rug cleaning process is vacuuming with heavy duty commercial equipment and dusting of rugs.
Vacuuming is more than just getting the carpet or rugs cleaned for appearance sake. Vacuuming is an essential part of maintaining your carpet and rugs as well as keeping your home clean and healthy. Despite the fact that the air in your house may smell fresh and feel clean there are a plethora of teeny-tiny microscopic particles always floating around. These tend to contribute to a considerable number of breathing-related health issues and maladies. People who suffer from allergies and asthma tend to be particularly prone to these nuisances.
The good news is your carpet and rugs are good multi-taskers. Not only do they bring an aesthetic charm to your home’s decor they also work as a filter that captures and traps these types of airborne particles. Unfortunately, your soft floor coverings don’t have any means of eliminating these particles after they’ve been captured. They must be physically removed. Experts recommend that you vacuum your carpet and rugs at least twice a week and more often in high traffic areas or if you have pets. Regular vacuuming not only removes the dry dirt, dander, hair and soil that is visible, it also helps eliminate all the microscopic allergens that you can’t see. The first step of professional cleaning, that is vacuuming, is skipped by most carpet and fabric cleaning companies to save time, which lessens the effectiveness of the cleaning process.
Here are some useful guidelines to help you vacuum more effectively.
· If possible, use a HEPA-type filter or bag. These help contain the real fine particles. Empty your bag or canister when it’s 2/3 full.
· Take your time. 80% of vacuuming effectiveness comes when pulling back, not pushing forward. Check your brush bars and belts regularly. Remove hairs and check bristles on brush bars.
· Make sure the belt is not frayed or damaged.
· Vacuum in multiple directions. This will keep your carpet and rugs from getting worn and will also help loosen dirt and soil.
· Frequent vacuuming cannot be stressed enough. Your carpet has been doing its job through collecting and capturing all the airborne particulates and dirt that find their way into your house. Your (or a professional's) job is to remove them from your carpet and rugs and dispose of them correctly. Your carpet and your family with appreciate it.
If you’re looking for a new vacuum, check the Carpet and Rug Institute’s list of Seal of Approval/Green Label certified vacuums @ www.carpet-rug.org. They are tested for three criteria: Soil removal, dust containment, and surface appearance change.
Many of you are replacing your carpet with hard surface flooring and area rugs. Area rugs offer the most variety in floor coverings. But before you buy, you need to know just a couple more things about them - other than that they can define a space and elevate your décor. Whether you choose handmade or machine made, antique or thoroughly modern, you need to consider these questions:
Size And Shape? Area rugs are made in standard and non-standard sizes and they can be rectangular (most common), round, square, oval, octagonal or long and narrow for runners. The most common sizes are 2’x3’, 4’x6’, 5’x8’, 6’x9’, 8’x10’, 9’x12’ and up. Choosing the correct size area rug depends on the dimensions of the space you want to cover. Here are some hints on how to figure out what size rug you need.
Thinking square or rectangle? Place a piece of copy paper where each of the corners will fall in the area you wish to cover. Measure the space and adjust the “corners” as needed to make the space larger or smaller given the standard rug sizes. If you’re considering a round rug, you can run a piece of tape from the center of the space you want to cover to the outside edge. Measure it. This gives you the radius of the circle. Double it and you have the diameter.
If you choose to cover the whole room with your area rug, it is best to leave a 12-inch to 15-inch border of flooring exposed to frame your rug. Rugs in the dining room table should be large enough so that when seated at the table, the back legs of your guests’ chairs are on the rug with enough space to push back and stand up. One more thing. When you go to buy, be sure to take along a tape measure. Like textile clothing sizes, they need to be “tried-on”, or at least measured so you know what true size you are actually buying, particularly if it is a handmade rug. Many hand-knotted rugs are not perfectly square!
Color is at least as important for an area rug as how it’s made. The combination of color, design and setting (your room) all come together to create your own personal artistic statement. Area rugs don’t have to match the colors of the room precisely. Great interior design often features combinations of colors that either contrast or compliment a room’s primary color scheme. But a good rule of thumb is to stick to one primary shade and two additional colors.
Fiber is another consideration. Most hand-made rugs are made of natural fibers, with wool being the most common face fiber and cotton the most common foundation fiber. Natural fibers require a little extra care and cleaning to keep the rug looking great for years to come. If you’re in the market for a silk rug be ready to make a considerable investment. Also be aware that there are some “faux” (false,fake) silk rugs in the market place. Don’t get fooled into buying one just because the price is “too good to be true.” It probably is!
Pattern is divided into three categories in the rug industry:
· Curvilinear literally means curved lines. It refers to patterns with swirl, arc, and bows.
· Geometric refers to patterns based on simple geometric shapes such as lines, triangles, squares and rectangles.
· Pictorial, the smallest group, refers to patterns that portray people, animals, and scenes.
Style is such an ambiguous idea. It simply means a distinctive manner of expression. Over time, names get attached to the word style: Traditional. Contemporary. Classical. Art Deco. Transitional. Your distinctive style can draw on bits and pieces of all of these and more. It is a personal expression of the way you want to live your life and decorate your home or office.
Rugs styles are also based on their origin: Navajo, Persian, Chinese, Turkoman, Turkey, Caucasian, Tibetan and Indian just to name just a few. No one expects you to know all or even some of these. You need to know what you like. If you do some research on-line and find an image of an area rug you find attractive, take it to a reputable retailer. It’s another way of beginning the search.
What Now? Know and trust your rug retailer. If you are shopping for antique rugs, this is fundamentally important. All investments should be made with the help of a knowledgeable counselor. If this, not an investment, then what you have learned here will guide you to buying the best area rug in the right style for the right price.
Finally, Be Calculating! Figure the total cost of rug ownership as including rug pad and on-going maintenance. The price on the tag you’re buying is just one component of your cost. Proper rug cleaning and maintenance is a smart investment.