If your home has carpet, then you know the battle to keeping it clean. I am so thankful for our steam cleaner as our light-colored carpet needs more care the older my children get.
Bringing us tips for maintaining and replacing our carpets, Thomas Greeley identifies quality upgrades to consider. Thank you, Thomas, for helping us stretch our dollars by choosing the best carpet options within our budgets.
Though I do allow shoes on our carpet, I love Thomas’ point about wearing socks. Gaining a few tips for caring for our carpet, I know the reason our flooring has held up over 10 years is because of the upgrades we chose. We did not go cheap which has helped us maintain for so long.
As you care for your carpet, I hope you will find Thomas’ tips helpful on your journey to using time wisely. ~ Tracy
Saving Money on Maintaining and Replacing Carpet
Photograph Credit: Flickr (Laura D’Alessandro)
If you’re a parent and you own carpet, you might feel some days like you’re fighting an uphill battle.
You want to keep your carpet clean so that it lasts longer, but the kids (and pets, if you have them!) seem dead set against making that an easy task.
Between spills, trampling, and clawing, even a brand new carpet can start looking ratty fast.
Since you can’t afford to replace your carpet every year, and it’s not worth doing so, here are some tips for making your carpet last and saving money when it comes time to replace it.
Prevention is cheaper than repair, and there is a lot you can do to keep your carpet in good shape. Here are some of the most popular methods of preserving carpet’s integrity:
Don’t allow shoes in carpeted rooms.
Make it habit to have your family and guests remove shoes upon entering the house. Even having a doormat doesn’t adequately prevent dirt, snow, and other outside materials from being tracked onto and embedded in your carpet
Little known fact: Oils from feet can also damage carpet after a long period of time. And if you have sandal fans in your household, their feet can still bring a lot of foreign matter inside. Encourage your family to wear socks or slippers when moving around the house.
Move your furniture.
There are lots of reasons to rearrange your furniture every once in a while. It prevents your carpet from getting permanent furniture dents in it. It also changes the traffic pattern through your home, meaning that wear on the carpet is more evenly spread out, not centered in certain places.
It also is good for your state of mind to move things around and change décor so that you don’t get stuck in a rut. A change in surroundings can spark a change in how you view other things as well.
Of course, even when you minimize the outside matter that comes into contact with your carpet, you’re still going to get dirt, spills, and more. You might not think some dust will hurt your carpet, but it actually does contribute to the fibers breaking down at a faster rate.
When it comes to cleaning your carpet, your main everyday strategies will be regular vacuuming and immediate spot removal. Make sure your kids notify you immediately after spills or accidents occur so that you can prevent stains from setting. Remember to gently blot out stains, not to rub hard or soak the area.
Online, you can find lots of homemade stain removal solutions, most involving vinegar and other low-cost items. Keeping a clean carpet doesn’t mean you have to spend lots of money or introduce a bunch of chemicals into your home.
Every 6-12 months, you’ll want to do a deeper cleaning. This comes in the form of shampooing and steam cleaning. This removes particles that set deeper in your carpet.
If not done correctly, power cleaning can actually damage your carpet, so it’s worth getting a professional machine and learning how to use it right or hiring a professional. Both of these things cost more money in the short term, but you’ll save by not having to replace your carpet as soon.
If kids or pets have torn up bits of your carpet and threads start to unravel, cut off the offending threads. Pulling them will just cause surrounding threads to unravel as well. So cut off loose ends and quickly train your pets (and children) to stop agitating the floor.
As much as you care for your carpet, it will eventually need to be replaced. Depending on what material you have and how much traffic and abuse the carpet gets, it could last anywhere from 7-12 years. Some carpets last 20, but at that point, it becomes painfully obvious that replacement is needed.
When it comes time to get new carpet, don’t let the desire to save money cause you to buy a cheap fabric. You’ll probably end up having to replace the carpet in a third of the time than if you chose a quality material. Research what kind of carpet is best for your needs and get an idea of what you want before you price out different options.
When you’re ready to actually shop, compare your options. Some places will try to charge you for an estimate of how much coverage and installation will cost, but that is completely unnecessary. Get a free estimate from installers near you. This will allow you to quickly and easily compare prices and find the best deal. You could even use an offer from one company to negotiate with another.
Once your new carpet is installed, you get to start the game of preserving it all over again. Oh, the circle of life.
Thomas Greeley offers home advice for families looking to save money. He writes particularly about home and floor care. Check out another of his articles here.