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Planning Retirement Online

Wall to wall perfection                                            October 2009 


Wall to wall perfection

carpet stainWe recently had a new carpet fitted and I couldn’t believe the expense. How can something we walk on cost so much!!! Some friends are saying why didn’t we go for a lovely fashionable wooden floor or another type of floor covering, but carpets can add so much to a room – sound insulation, energy savings, underfoot comfort, a safe, non-slip surface plus they look terrific.

No, I was pleased I had invested in a lovely carpet, but the next step was to work out how I should look after it.

Looking after carpets is fairly straightforward. It is a good idea to take advice from where you purchased your carpet to choose the best underlay as having the correct underlay plays an important part in ensuring long life for a new carpet. The underlay shouldn’t be made from rubber, synthetic foam or anything containing adhesive; and natural fibres such as wool and hair attract insect pests – polyester or polyester mix can be preferable in many circumstances.

Generally carpets can be bought already treated with a carpet protector; otherwise there are a variety of brands such as the famous Scotchgard on the market that you can buy to treat the carpet yourself. Needless to say, follow the instructions very carefully!

Once the carpet is down, asking everyone to remove their outdoor shoes before walking on it can go a long way to keeping a new carpet spick and span, but of course this isn’t always possible. Certainly, placing castor cups under the legs or castors of furniture will help protect the pile.

Strong sunlight can fade carpets, so although this seems irrelevant after the current UK summer, it can be worth pulling the curtains or blinds if a particular patch of carpet is in direct light all day.

One thing that most of us don’t think about with regards to carpet care is temperature and humidity. Textiles absorb moisture from the air so a balanced atmosphere is important. An over dry atmosphere, which often occurs in winter when the heating is on, can cause the fibres to shrink; while a very damp atmosphere will cause them to swell; both creating stress on the carpet. If the relative humidity rises over 65%, you need to look out for mould growth; this can cause irreversible staining and damage.

Wool and wool mix carpets are especially susceptible to damage from moth and carpet beetles. These little pests thrive in dark and dusty areas, so it is worth checking every so often under the edges of carpets where undetected larvae can cause real damage.
A good vacuum cleaner is essential of course, and keeping a carpet clean is important.

Everyday dust and dirt is unavoidable but when it becomes embedded in the carpet pile it can become a problem and can attract insects. Gritty dirt can also damage a carpet.

Of course the biggest problems to carpets are accidental spills – especially that notorious red wine! The longer a stain is left the more difficult it is to remove, so quick action is imperative. Keep some clean absorbent white cloths somewhere where you can find them quickly and easily. Then, in the case of a spill, mop up as much of the spill as you can with the clean cloth. Don’t press down too hard or try and rub the area, this will just make the stain worse. Mop up as much as you can and then call in a professional carpet cleaner. If you try and clean the carpet with detergents such as dish washing liquids or soaps, you will find that a small ring of stain will remain or there may be rapid resoiling or colour bleeding.

Professional cleaning of a carpet on a regular basis will extend its life considerably plus of course keep it looking terrific.

It is easy to find carpet cleaners these days, but it is worth noting there is a professional trade association, the National Carpet Cleaners Association, which ensures high standards. Its members are all fully trained and offer a number of services; some also offer water damage restoration and fire and smoke damage restoration services. The best thing about professional cleaners is their equipment, with the latest cleaning tools and methods, it is surprising how they can restore a stained carpet to pristine condition.



Nutricentre Discount for laterlife visitors If in any doubt about any of the information covered in health and nutrition related articles and it's relevance for you, consult your GP.




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