Simple prevention and protection strategies to keep large area rugs looking as good as new for as long possible.
Busy, happy homes means plenty of foot traffic throughout the house. Unlike hard surface flooring that makes for quick and easy clean up, area rugs and carpets will suffer the most damage by absorbing normal every day dirt and spills. Keep area rugs looking new with these simple tips.
Important Area Rug Treatment
If the area rug is a new purchase, the first line of defense is to have the rug professionally treated with a professional grade sealer/protectant. These sealers literally bond with the rug fibers to not only protect but seal the rug from unwanted stain soiling elements.
This process can be done at home but it is difficult to maintain a steady, even spray. The better option is to bring in a professional to guarantee proper application. These protectants are fabric specific as well, so if you choose to tackle this yourself, discuss with a flooring professional to determine the best product for the fabric of the area rug to be treated.
Start With An Area Rug Underlay
Before placing the area rug into the room, position a protective layer between the rug and the hard surface floor with an underlay. Underlays are similar to padding that is installed under a conventional wall to wall carpet but is designed specifically for area rug applications. An underlay will dramatically keep area rugs looking new by increasing its performance by:
1. Slowing the process of flattening fibers-flat fibers will weaken the rug’s ability to resist stains and soiling
2. Provides a non slip layer between the area rug and floor
3. Adding additional insulation for thermal comfort
4. Giving the area rug an extra cushioning boost
Once again, discuss plans with a flooring professional to determine the best type of underlay (or rug liner) to work with your area rug since there are density, non slip properties, and moisture resistant underlay variations.
Regular Rug Maintenance
As mentioned earlier, heavy traffic means flattened weave patterns being worn into the rug. The steady flow of traffic will begin to break down the strong fibers within the area rug which will weaken it’s ability to not only resist stains but will look tired and worn.
Rotate the rug on a regular basis to keep the area rug looking new. This protects the rug by not allowing a foot path to form. This strategy will also prevent areas that are exposed to regular sunlight from fading. Schedule a rotation to be done 4 times a year, at the beginning of each season.
Regular vacuuming will prevent the normal residual dirt from foot traffic to be impeded too deeply into the area rug. Shampooing is a good bi-annual maintenance step, however, choose a dry chemical shampoo treatment over a wet steam method, to prevent damage to the finer fabric area rugs or accidental over soaking that will cause future damage.