One of the most important factors of effective carpet care is to minimise the amount of soil that reaches the carpet in the first place, reducing cleaning requirements and wear, and increasing the life of the carpet. There are a number of practical things that can be done, the first being to consider the types and source of the likely soil that will reach the carpet.
This table will help you to think about a type of barrier matting that will help reduce soil reaching the carpet, and to think carefully about choosing a suitable carpet colour for the location.
Often when you enter a building onto a carpeted area you will find a dirty area of carpet in the main traffic lane or, if a mat is present, it is so heavily soiled it is useless. An essential, although often overlooked part of any carpet care programme, is the installation and correct maintenance of barrier matting.
There are many types of barrier matting available today, and the correct choice, positioning and maintenance are of real importance to the effectiveness of any carpet care programme. The choice of matting type will depend on the usage, whether light or heavy, whether it is for commercial or domestic use and the location of the floor in the building, and what type of surface is immediately outside the building.
Having chosen the most appropriate barrier matting for the premises, it is important to give some consideration to ensuring the matting will be the most effective size for the location. As a minimum, entry mats should be large enough for you to be able to stand on with both feet side by side, preferably significantly larger, as the larger the mat, the less soil will be deposited on the carpet.
Once installed, appropriate maintenance of barrier matting is important, and cleaning mats with a suitable cleaner on a regular basis will ensure the effectiveness of the matting and help decrease overall carpet maintenance costs.
Carpet colour is the next step in developing an effective carpet care system. All too often, carpet colour is chosen solely for aesthetic reasons, with little or no thought given to maintenance. An extremely attractive colour can quickly lose its appeal once it becomes soiled, believe us!
Two key issues need to be considered when choosing the carpet colour - type of typical soiling and the location of the carpet. The colour of the soil being tracked onto the carpet can vary and you will find that the more contrast between the soil and the carpet, the quicker the carpet will looked soiled, and the more often it will need professional carpet cleaning.
The location of the carpet will determine the types of soils that are likely to be brought into contact with the carpet. Oils and grease are typical soils tracked into entry areas from car parks or possibly from your driveway, especially those constructed of asphalt, which produces yellow-black soilage from sulphur and tar residues. Similarly, specific soils may be attributed to specific areas such as kitchen/dining areas and pavements. Atmospheric soils are the only soils that are uniform throughout a building and may cause black soiling marks around the edges of carpeting called filtration marks. These are very difficult to remove, even by professional carpet cleaners.
If soiling is going to be a real struggle then you may wish to consider a multicolour tweed designs as these do not show the soiling as obviously as solid colours which are very prone to show soiling quicker.