Tag Archives: carpet protection

Winter’s Toll on the Health of Your Home

winter_health_homeIt’s almost time to break out the winter weather shoes. Some are stylish, some are rugged, but all good winter weather shoes have a heavier tread on the bottom compared to off-season shoes. These treads and deep groves make foot travel safer and easier, but are also perfect for collecting soil and debris. With freezing temperatures and snow, salt and extra sand is added to the mix of fiber damaging substances collected in these great treads.  With cleanliness and health in mind, winter months may require a little more effort to maintain interior spaces.

First off, what is soil exactly? Soil is unwanted substances that lodge themselves within fibers, carried into spaces with traffic.  Typically, analysis on general soil samples show that it is comprised of abrasive particles, dander, and vegetable fiber. Add in oily or sticky substances and you’ve added a binder, allowing the soil to glue itself to fibers.

Keeping a building clean and healthy during the winter months all starts within the first 5-6ft of the entry way. This is where most of the damaging soil accumulates. Lay down a matting system that will be resistant enough to the soil that it will be easier to clean than carpet, but heavy enough that it will keep the soil from spreading past that point. You’ll want to cover the first 10 feet around the entry way (five feet on either side of the door).

Next, make sure you have your carpets sprayed with a protective coating after each cleaning. This is actually suggested as a year round maintenance item to keep your carpets looking their best and staying their healthiest. Original factory protectors eventually wear off or are cleaned off.  We have a lot more detail on why this is so important in our article How can I keep my carpets, area rugs, and upholstery looking their best.

Make more time to put extra effort into keeping the exterior travel routes clear. Sweep, rake, or blow outside walkways more often. Depending on how much traffic you experience, think about adding exterior matting or grates to collect more soil before the door mat.

Last but not least, have your carpets cleaned and vacuum often. Clean them a little more frequently than you do in the other seasons. Not only do you have the extra soil from winter shoes, there’s also holidays, decorating, and more time spent indoors to track it all around. By adding mats, keeping the exterior walkways to entrances clean, and making sure your carpet is protected, you’ll have a healthier cozy winter.



Traffic areas and your carpeting

After having your carpets cleaned, have you ever noticed areas that look as if a stain still remains? Perhaps they didn’t clean up as well as you hoped. It may not be that the cleaner didn’t do a great job, or that the product is not very effective, but that the area that remains dark is not simply soiled; it’s a traffic area. The fibers in that spot have been permanently damaged by carpet sanding. Just like a cloudy piece of Plexiglas that has been weathered and scratched, light is not being reflected the same off the carpet fibers, making the area appear dirty. This happens when debris and soil settles between the carpet fibers and grinds them down with each step they endure. There may not be much you can do about it now, but you can learn how to prevent it from worsening, happening in other areas, and prevent it on new carpeting.

My first suggestion in preventing these traffic areas is to make sure you vacuum regularly. Although you may not see very much sand or soil, it is still easily tracked in and settles right into the carpet pile. The less soil you allow to remain in the carpet, the easier it is for your vacuum to be more effective in removing it. Focus most on the areas that you walk through or enter in each room, along with the areas you may sit the most. Without the buildup, your steps won’t have much to grind against your carpet fibers. It also never hurts to enforce the old “no shoes in the house” rule, especially if the main gathering areas are carpeted.


Along with regular vacuuming you should be having your carpets routinely cleaned with a non-detergent based solution. Cleaning the carpets will get most of the soil that your vacuum just can’t touch. Not only will your carpets last longer, but your home will be healthier. More than just dirt, sand, and soil settle into carpet fibers. Cleaning also reduces allergens like pollen, dust, and dust mites. I suggest a non-detergent based cleaning solution because soaps and detergents may remain on the fibers after being “cleaned”. They can actually attract more dirt, leaving your carpets looking dirty much quicker than before.

While you’re at it, have the carpet cleaners apply a coat of protection immediately after cleaning. This will help avoid those traffic areas immensely. Imagine it as a clear shield that will take the wear from soiling before allowing it to start grinding down the carpet fibers. Protection is also fantastic defense against stains as the fine waterproof coat delays liquid from being absorbed, allowing you ample time to easily blot the spill with a rag. Even if your carpeting came with a protection already on it, the factory supplied protector is only temporary and a new one will need to be applied. Read more on this available protection HERE on a previous article.

So if you have your carpets cleaned and an area doesn’t look as clean as the rest of the carpeting, consider the placement. If it’s in a highly traveled area, or an area of great use, it’s probably a traffic lane caused by soiling that ground the carpet fibers with the help of your feet.  Vacuum and have your carpets cleaned routinely to avoid them, and apply a barrier of protection for best results.