Why You Should Rearrange Your Furniture

There is a Lot to Be Said for Rearranging Your Furniture

[This article was originally published in October 2018]

Furniture arrangement sets a tone for how a space is used. Once you’ve settled on a layout that works for you, why change it? Well, it turns out that there are actually quite a few benefits associated with changing your furniture layout. Here are the details.

Psychological Benefits

Did you know there may actually be psychological benefits to rearranging furniture? For creative people, rearranging furniture is an opportunity for creative expression. For people who want to hit an emotional reset button, rearranging furniture provides physical and visual evidence of change. If the urge for a fresh decorating scheme hits you, rearranging furniture can create a sense of newness without the expense of replacing your current furniture. And last but not least, it certainly can’t hurt to take the focus off of the TV and establish a space that is more conducive to social interaction.

It’s Good for Carpets and Rugs

Carpets and rugs are subject to damage from foot traffic, heavy furniture, and sun fading. Rearranging your furniture is a great way to combat all three problems. The more you are able to alter traffic patterns and create new walkways in a space, the less likely your carpets and rugs are to develop uneven wear, tracking, and footpaths. Moving heavy furniture also helps prevent excessive compression of the fibers, because it gives the fibers a chance to recuperate and bounce back. When you rotate the position of furniture, solar damage is spread more evenly and is less noticeable.

Better Health and Fatter Pocketbook

Dust and dander tend to collect under and behind furniture. Every time you rearrange your furniture, it creates a convenient opportunity for some quick spring cleaning. If you have carpeting or rugs, they act as giant air filters, reducing the allergens in the air you breathe, and consequently, they should be professionally cleaned on a regular basis. Many of our clients time their furniture rearranging with our services twice per year. Their most used furniture is placed according to the season, maximizing warmth coming in from a sunny window or near a fireplace in the fall or winter and taking advantage of coolness near an air conditioner vent or open window in the spring or summer.

Overcoming Limitations

If the room size limits your ability to rearrange furniture, consider reducing how much furniture you have or replacing large pieces with smaller ones. An overcrowded room feels oppressive. The more walking space there is, as well as the more space there is between walls and furniture, the less confining a room will feel. Having less furniture or smaller size furniture can really help.

If, for whatever reason, you can’t rearrange your room entirely, consider adjusting the furniture by a few inches every few months to avoid excessive compression of the carpet and rug fibers.

By Sharon Koehler. This article is one of a series of articles written and published on behalf of SurpHaces PRO Partners.

Central Vacuum Systems

Should You Invest in a Central Vacuum System?

As we know, vacuuming our home’s floor surfaces is the first line of defense against dirt and grime building up. This buildup can make floors look dirty and dingy or it can cause the floors and carpet fibers to be damaged. Vacuuming is essential to floor surface care.

Today’s homes often have mixed floor surfaces such as: hardwood, area rugs, tile, and wall-to-wall carpet. Not all vacuum cleaners are meant to clean all surfaces. You may end up having to buy more than one type of vacuum cleaner to take care of your surfaces. Plus, if you have a multi-level home with stairs, you either have to buy multiple vacuums for each level or you have to lug vacuums up and down the stairs to get all your surfaces clean. What a drag. If this does not appeal to you, think about installing a central vacuum system in your home. Let’s take a look at some the pros and cons of central vacuum systems.


  • Warranties: Most systems come with multiyear warranties, some up to 10 years. Whereas, most portable vacuums, even the high-end ones come with a one-year warranty.
    Suction: Since the motors on central vacuum systems are so much larger, they have much more powerful suction, enabling you to pick up more dirt and debris.
  • Convenience: Instead of lugging a heavy, portable vacuum around, with a central vacuum system, you only need to carry the hose AND if you get a retractable hose option at your ports, you won’t even need to carry that.
  • Options: There are tool options for all your flooring needs and there are options for the systems such as wet/dry to help with spills, HEPA filters, retractable hoses, and baseboard dust slots to eliminate the need for dustpans. You can sweep directly into the slot.
  • Noise: Regular, mobile vacuums have a noise rating of 70-85 decibels, approximately the sound level of a lawn mower. It annoys kids and pets alike. A central vac system goes to roughly 60 decibels or about the same as a window air conditioner. Quieter and much less annoying.
  • Air Quality: Since the suction is superior to that of a standard vacuum cleaner, it eliminates more allergens and dust. Plus, it sucks these things out of your immediate living area, and you only have to empty the dust container a few times a year reducing your exposure to these irritants.


  • Expense: The initial outlay for a system, depending on options, location, and brand can be upwards of several thousand dollars.
  • Energy: Central vacuum systems have larger motors and more suction power, so they require more energy than smaller, portable vacuum cleaners.
  • Storage: If you don’t get retractable hose ports, hoses can be up to thirty feet long, taking up much more space in a closet than a regular vacuum cleaner.
  • Suction: While a central vacuum system has more powerful suction than a standard vacuum, that can be a problem. If you are not careful, the extra power can accidentally suck things up you wanted to keep. Or it can suck up items too big for the system causing clogs or other malfunctions.
  • Potential Damages: Hoses can reach up to thirty feet enabling multi- room cleaning. However, unless you are careful, hoses can rub on walls and furniture causing wear, scuffs, and other damage.
  • Repairs: If something does go wrong, repairs can be costly, especially if the issue is behind the walls of your home. Some brands require that only certified, licensed technicians work on your system, or the warranty may be voided.

Whether you decide to invest in a central vacuum system or not, vacuuming alone should only be considered the first line of defense against carpet wear. While vacuuming does help prevent premature wear and damage, it does not replace the routine, deep cleaning performed by professionals. The three-pronged approach of: taking care of spills and stains immediately, proper vacuuming and routine deep cleaning is the best way to keep your carpets and rugs looking their best for years to come.

By Sharon Koehler. This article is one of a series of articles written and published on behalf of SurpHaces PRO Partners.

Cleaning Synthetic Carpets and Rugs

How to Keep Your Synthetic Carpets and Rugs Clean, Fresh, and Inviting

No matter what type of synthetic fiber your carpets and rugs are, proper cleaning and care not only enhances the look of your carpet but can help prevent premature wear. All synthetic fiber is not created the same, and each material requires its own unique cleaning methods, even when it comes to vacuuming. Let’s look at how to keep your synthetic carpets and rugs clean and looking good.

Nylon Carpets and Rugs

Nylon is the most popular fiber for synthetic carpets and rugs. It is estimated that two thirds of synthetic carpets sold are nylon. It is stain resistant, static free, and retains its pile height extremely well. However, you need to use proper care to help it maintain these qualities.

General Care:
  • Vacuum at a minimum, weekly, and more often in high traffic areas.
  • Use a soft bristle beater bar in the vacuum. Hard bristles can cause fuzzing.
  • For area rugs, flip them over and vacuum the underside as well.

It is recommended that you get your nylon carpet professionally cleaned at least every year.

Spill and Stain Care:
  • Immediately blot up or remove as much of the stain or spill as possible, using a clean white cloth. You can also use a wet dry vac.
  • Wet but do not saturate the area with warm, not hot water.
  • Blot up excess moisture until the stain is removed.
  • If the stain persists or reappears, use a mixture of ¼ teaspoon dish detergent and 1 cup warm water. Rinse with warm water and blot. Repeat until all the detergent is gone.
  • Area rugs can be machine washed on the gentle cycle at home or in a large commercial machine at your local laundry mat.

Polyester Carpets and Rugs

Polyester rugs are affordable, stain resistant and great in high-spill areas. However, dirt and debris can damage the carpet fibers, so routine carpet maintenance is a must.

General Care:
  • If the rug is small enough, shake it outside before you vacuum.
  • Vacuum at a minimum, weekly, and 3-4 times a week in high-traffic areas.
  • If possible, vacuum both sides of the rug.
  • For shag rugs, disable or remove the beater bar and vacuum with suction only.
  • It is recommended that you get your polyester carpet deep cleaned by professionals yearly.
Spill and Stain Care:
  • Immediately blot up or remove as much of the spot or spill as possible with a white towel or paper towels.
  • Put a few drops of dish detergent in a cup of cool water and blot on the spot with a clean sponge. Don’t rub.
  • Clean the sponge and repeat until the stain is gone.
  • Rinse the area with cool water until the soap is all gone.
  • Let dry completely before you use it again.
  • Area rugs can be machine washed on the cold water cycle at home or in a large commercial machine at your local laundry mat.

Olefin Carpets and Rugs

Olefin carpets are fade and moisture resistant. They also dry very quickly after cleaning due to their moisture and stain resistance. One thing to keep in mind is olefin fiber has a low melting point starting at 225 degrees, so be careful with heat treatments.

General Care:
  • Vacuum at a minimum, weekly, but more frequently is preferred.
  • If possible, vacuum both sides of the rug.
  • Steam cleaning is not recommended for Olefin rugs. It can discolor or damage the fibers.
  • Dry cleaning is fine for these types of rugs. There are DIY kits on the market, or you can contact us.
Spill and Stain Care:
  • Immediately blot up or remove as much of the spot or spill as possible, using a clean white cloth.
  • Spray the area with a commercial carpet cleaner and let it dry. Then vacuum the area.
  • Always blot with a clean, white cloth and allow the rug to dry completely before walking on it or brushing up the pile.
  • Olefin area rugs can be machine washed on the cool water cycle at home or in a large commercial machine at your local laundry mat.
  • If the spot or spill is oil based, you may need the help of a professional, as oil-based material is very difficult to remove from Olefin fiber.

Triexta Carpets and Rugs

Triexta is still a rather new material for carpets and rugs. When seeking a carpet cleaning professional, be sure to ask if they are knowledgeable about Triexta.

General Care:
  • Vacuum weekly, but in high traffic areas, more frequently.
  • Set the beater bar at high height to help prevent fuzzing of the fiber.
  • Get the carpet professionally cleaned every 12-18 months.
Spill and Stain care:
  • Blot immediately with white paper towels.
  • Do not scrub, as this may cause fuzzing.
  • Spray with cold water and blot from the outside to the middle of the stain or spill.
  • Repeat until the stain is gone.
  • Press dry by layering white paper towels over the area and pressing in place with a flat weight until dry.
  • If the spill area is large, you can use a wet/dry vac.

Wall-to-wall carpets and area rugs can add so much to the décor and warmth of your home.

By Sharon Koehler. This article is one of a series of articles written and published on behalf of SurpHaces PRO Partners.

Synthetic Fibers for Carpets and Area Rugs

Synthetic Carpet Fibers

Carpet and area rugs can enhance the décor of any space, but not all floor covering is made the same. Carpet and area rug materials generally fall into 2 different categories: natural fiber and synthetic fiber. They each have their pros and cons. Make sure you get the one that is right for your needs. Here we will explore synthetic floor covering.

What is synthetic carpet fiber?

Synthetic carpet fiber is created in a man-made manufacturing process. It is not as eco-friendly as natural fiber in either its creation or the manufacturing process. Synthetic carpet makes up the biggest percentage of wall-to-wall carpeting. It is much more stain and mold resistant than natural fiber carpet, making it great for both offices and homes.

What types of synthetic fiber are used in carpet?

There are 4 main types of synthetic fiber for carpets and rugs: Nylon, Polyester, Olefin and Triexta.


Nylon is the most well known of the synthetic fiber carpets. It’s strong and resists “crushing,” making it great for high traffic areas. Nylon does have staining issues, but that can be minimized by making sure it is protected with a stain treatment. Most nylon carpeting is pretreated with stain protection, but it never hurts to double check. Nylon is great for wall-to-wall projects.


Polyester has gotten a bad reputation in the past for not being as durable or strong as nylon, but with the advent of new technology, polyester is making great strides in that area. Polyester also has better stain resistance than nylon. Some polyester carpeting is now made with recycled material, making it a bit more eco-friendly to make, but the actual carpet itself is not recyclable. Polyester tends to have a lower price point than nylon. It does resist fading and is softer than its nylon counterpart. It is great for wall-to-wall applications.


Olefin has a look that is similar to wool, in a manmade sort of way. As synthetics go, Olefin is considered to be inferior, as far as strength and durability are concerned. Consequently, it is considered by many to be a contractor- grade item. Before you decide against it, it should be mentioned that Olefin is good in low-traffic areas, and it is very fade and stain resistant. Olefin does not absorb liquid, making spill cleanup much easier. Possible uses would be a guest room, outdoor carpet, or basements. It is generally not recommended for wall-to-wall projects in high traffic rooms.


Triexta has been around for just a little over a decade. It is a relative newcomer to an industry that has been around for eons. Although similar to polyester, it is softer and resists crushing better than polyester. Triexta is resistant to staining, and most water-based spills can be taken care of with cold water. Even though it is a synthetic fiber, part of the manufacturing process uses corn glucose (sugar), making it just a bit more on the eco-friendly side. The biggest drawback to Triexta is that it is relatively new on the market, and its longevity, while looking promising, is unknown at this time.


All synthetic carpet off-gasses when first installed, which means that your new carpet may smell when you first get it. The smell will go away in a few days to a week. (Triexta gives off less smell due to being partially made with corn glucose.) Off-gassing shouldn’t be a reason to not get synthetic carpet. Lots of other things off-gas such as: cabinets, new furniture, cleaners, cosmetics, and a host of other items.

Carpets and area rugs can be a big investment. If you are interested in a particular material, make sure you are clear on the pros and cons of each type so that you find the floor covering that is perfect for you, your budget, and your home.


By Sharon Koehler. This article is one of a series of articles written and published on behalf of SurpHaces PRO Partners.

How To Take Care of Natural Fiber Floor Coverings

Cleaning Natural Fiber Rugs and Carpets

Even though natural fiber rugs and carpets are “natural,” they are made from different materials. While they do have some similarities, they need to be cleaned differently. In this article, you will learn some tips on how to take care of your natural fiber floor coverings.

There are several things you can do to all natural fiber rugs to help keep them clean:
  • Vacuum regularly. This keeps dirt from getting ground into the carpet.
  • Treat spills and stains at once. This helps to keep the stain from setting. Never rub or scrub spills. Blot only.
  • Try not to use store-bought stain removers. They may leave a film on your rug that can make it appear dull.
Before treating any spills or stains…

Always test any substance in an inconspicuous area first. If you see any problem, contact us and do not proceed.

Determine if the rug is colorfast, meaning that the dye will not run or fade when wet. If the carpet is wall to wall, find an inconspicuous spot like a closet and put a few drops of the cleaning solution on the carpet. Wait 5-10 seconds and then blot with a clean, white cloth, using a bit of pressure. If the cloth is clean, then the carpet is colorfast. If the cloth turns the color of the carpet, then the carpet is not colorfast, and you will need to call a professional. If you have an area rug, test a small spot on the edge the same way.

NOTE: Baking soda is a mildly abrasive alkaline substance. Baking soda’s abrasive properties can result in fiber damage and breakage with foot traffic if it is not completely removed from carpet, so, if you choose to use baking soda, be sure to thoroughly vacuum once the area is dry.

Wool Carpeting

Wool tends to be stain resistant, so it is fairly easy to keep clean. Vacuum weekly, and get it professionally cleaned yearly.

Treating stains and spills:
  • Identify the stain.
  • Spray the stain with warm water, but do not saturate.
  • Blot with a clean, white rag.
  • Start from the outside and work your way in.
  • If needed, use a soft bristle brush in a circular motion.
  • For a pet stain, use a 50/50 mix of white vinegar and water.
  • For a makeup stain, use a 50/50 mix of rubbing alcohol and water.
  • For wine spills, make a paste the consistency of peanut butter with baking soda and water, spread it on the stain, and vacuum thoroughly when dry.
  • For a crayon stain, you will need to call a professional.

Silk Rugs

To keep silk rugs looking good, vacuum weekly, and have them professionally cleaned every 6 months.

Treating stains and spills:
  • If possible, use a silk rug shampoo to treat stains or…
  • Make a white vinegar and baking soda paste the consistency of peanut butter, and let it sit on the stain for 30 minutes, then remove with a clean white cloth.
  • Let the rug air dry and then vacuum.

Cotton Rugs

Cotton rugs need to be vacuumed weekly, but occasionally, the rug needs to be turned over and vacuumed on the underside. Plus, the floor needs to be swept underneath.

Treating stains and spills:

If the rug is not colorfast, you can take it to be dry cleaned.

If the rug is colorfast:

  • Blot the stain with a clean, white cloth.
  • Dip another clean, white cloth in a mixture of mild soap and cool water, wringing out the excess.
  • Place the cloth on the stain for 10 minutes.
  • Blot with a clean, dry white cloth, and let the rug air dry.
  • If the stain is still visible, try again, but use a 50/50 mix of white vinegar and water.
  • If the stain is large, you can put the rug in the washing machine. If the rug is too big, you can take it to the laundromat and use a commercial washer.
  • Do not put a cotton rug in the dryer. Always let the rug air dry.

Jute, Sisal, Seagrass and Coir Rugs

These rugs need to be vacuumed weekly. An extra step, if possible, is to shake the rug outside first to loosen dirt, so the rug can be more easily vacuumed up.

Treating stains and spills:
  • Blot the stain with a clean, white rag.
  • Use a clean white microfiber cloth to sparingly apply a cleaner specifically made for natural carpet fibers or use a 50/50 mixture of white vinegar and water.
  • Blow dry with a hair dryer to prevent mold or mildew.
To clean the whole rug:
  • Shake the rug outside, and then vacuum.
  • Sprinkle dry carpet shampoo or baking soda on the whole rug.
  • Let sit for 2 – 3 hours, then vacuum.
  • Turn the rug over and repeat the process.
  • DO NOT steam clean or wet shampoo. This can cause mold and mildew, plus it can damage the fibers.

Carpets and area rugs can add style and warmth to any home. But, just like anything else, they need proper care to look their best and to keep your home warm and inviting. Download our free Carpet and Interior Textiles Care Guide under the Resources tab of this site for more information. Contact us if you have any specific questions about these tips on how to take care of your natural fiber floor coverings.

By Sharon Koehler. This article is one of a series of articles written and published on behalf of SurpHaces PRO Partners.

Natural Carpet Fibers

Natural Carpet Fibers

Carpet and area rug materials generally fall into two different categories: natural fiber and synthetic fiber. For people who want to steer clear of synthetic fibers, there are many options. Here, we will explore natural fiber floor covering, including both animal-based materials and the most popular plant-based natural fiber materials. Learn more about possible uses in your home, so you can make an informed decision on your carpet or rug purchase.

What are natural carpet fibers?

Natural carpet fibers are carpet/rug materials that can be obtained from natural sources, such as plants or animals. Natural fiber carpets are considered more eco-friendly, because they come from natural, sustainable materials that can be regrown or harvested multiple times. Natural carpet fibers include, but are not limited to: jute, silk, cotton, wool, sisal, seagrass, and coir.

What natural fibers come from animals?

Most animal-based carpets and rugs are made from wool, but silk is also a luxurious option.

  • Wool is sheared from sheep and is considered the best natural carpet fiber. Any natural fiber wall-to-wall carpet is made almost exclusively out of wool. While wool is on the more expensive end, it does have several properties that make it a good fit for most homes. It is naturally insulating, keeping your winter heat out of your crawl space and in the room where it belongs. This will help reduce your heating costs. Wool has a natural elastic quality, which means it doesn’t “crush” like some other carpets. This makes wool great for high traffic areas. Wool also holds color dyes well, so they don’t fade easily.
  • Silk comes from the cocoon of the silkworm, and rugs created with silk are very highly prized and expensive. Those beautiful, vibrant, colorful Oriental or Persian rugs you see hanging on walls or laying under expensive furniture are silk. They are delicate and require maintenance and professional cleaning.

What natural carpet fibers come from plants?

If you are looking for plant-based carpeting or rugs, here are the most popular options.

  • Jute comes from the stem of the jute plant and is a very soft material. It is not good for wall-to-wall projects, but its softness does make good area rugs. It cleans up well with just a vacuum. Jute should not be cleaned with water. It can mildew. So, while it may be good for a playroom, it is not suited for bathrooms. Jute also does not generate static electricity, so you may experience fewer winter shocks. Jute rugs are generally tan/brown in color, but they can be dyed successfully.
  • Cotton grows in protective cases on cotton shrubs and, like jute, is considered to be a very soft material. Cotton rugs are great for people on a budget or for those who like to change out their look often. For the most part, they are relatively inexpensive, plus they come in a wide variety of colors and patterns. They are reversable and washable. The downside to cotton rugs is that they do stain rather easily (so it’s a good thing they are reversable and washable). The other thing is that they are light in weight, so they tend to slide or not lay flat creating a trip or fall hazard. These two drawbacks can be minimized by using a good rug pad underneath.
  • Sisal comes from the agave plant and is VERY durable, so it holds up well in high traffic areas. Sisal is a low pile rug, so it doesn’t hold on to dust particles, pet dander, or other allergens, making it a good choice for allergy sufferers. Like jute, it does not hold static electricity. Sisal is very absorbent, but the absorbency does make it prone to staining. Sisal should not be steam cleaned or put in the washing machine. Vacuuming should be all that is needed for cleaning. If you are looking for a soft, rub-your-feet-on-the-fibers rug, sisal is not for you. Sisal is rather rough to the touch.
  • Seagrass is the only flowering plant that grows completely underwater. Like sisal, it is also good for homes with allergy sufferers. It is a low pile rug, so it doesn’t hold onto dust particles, or pet dander. Seagrass cleans up with a vacuum and should never be steam cleaned. It is not a good outdoor or bathroom floor covering as it can get mildewy in humid conditions. It can be installed wall to wall BUT needs to acclimate first for at least twenty-four hours, as it does shrink once it gets unrolled. Seagrass has a natural, nonporous, waxy coating making it stain resistant. Seagrass rugs should only be dry cleaned. Excessive or prolonged moisture can lead to mold.
  • Coir carpets are made from coconut husks. These carpets are rough to the touch and shouldn’t be placed in barefoot areas like the bedroom or bathroom. They are very durable and good for high traffic areas. Coir rugs are mold and mildew resistant, but they can shed. If your coir rug has a PVC backing, then you shouldn’t get it wet.

Carpets and area rugs can be a big investment. If you are interested in a particular material, make sure you research the do’s and don’ts so that you find the floor covering that is perfect for you, your budget, and your home.

By Sharon Koehler. This article is one of a series of articles written and published on behalf of SurpHaces PRO Partners.

Carpets vs Area Rugs

Carpets vs Area Rugs

We tend to use the words carpet and rug interchangeably. Even though they may be made of the same material, they are not necessarily the same thing. Carpet is a thick, fabric floor covering that is installed in a room or rooms in a wall-to-wall manner. Once installed, it is generally not moveable or interchangeable. An area rug is a fabric floor covering that is not installed but laid loose in a room. It is moveable and interchangeable. Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of both types of floor coverings.

Carpet Pros

Carpeting offers a variety of favorable characteristics, but these ones stand out above the others when it comes to comparing carpets and rugs.

  • Hides flaws of the underfloor. If your hardwood or tile is old and in need of serious work, carpet may be the answer. Since it goes wall to wall it will cover every inch of the old, distressed existing floor.
  • Warmth. In the winter carpet acts as a heat loss barrier. It helps retain the heat in your home that might otherwise seep into your crawl space or basement, keeping your home warmer and your heating bills a little bit lower.
  • Safety. Trip and fall accidents are greatly reduced on carpet compared to hard flooring. Wall-to-wall carpet adds traction to floors and there are no unevenly laid tiles to trip over.

3 Carpet Cons

Every type of flooring material comes with disadvantages, and carpeting is no exception. Here are three factors to consider when comparing carpets and rugs.

  • Cleaning. Since you can’t roll wall-to-wall carpet up and take it somewhere to clean, you will need call your carpet cleaning technician to schedule periodic deep cleaning.
  • Uneven wear. Some areas in your home are high traffic and some are not. Unlike some types of hard flooring, when carpet gets worn in one area, that section cannot be restored or replaced. The whole carpet will need to be replaced.
  • You can’t take it with you. If you install wall-to-wall carpet and then need to move, the carpet stays with your house. On the plus side, with proper care and professional cleaning, carpeting can be an attractive selling point.

3 Area Rug Pros

We love area rugs for lots of reasons, but here are the top three reasons you might choose area rugs over wall-to-wall carpeting.

  • Easy, inexpensive redecorating. Like throw pillows and other accessories, area rugs are laid loose in a room. When redecorating, it is easy to swap out or move area rugs.
  • Cleaning. Since area rugs aren’t attached to the floor, they can be easily thrown in the washer or taken to the laundromat and put in a heavy-duty washing machine. If they aren’t washable, they can be easily transported by you or your carpet cleaning technician.
  • Cost. Compared to installed wall-to-wall carpeting, area rugs usually are less costly, so they are easier on your budget. You can also reposition area rugs to avoid uneven wear and the cost of replacement.

3 Area Rug Cons

Here are three disadvantages to area rugs compared to wall-to-wall carpeting.

  • Safety. Trip or slip and fall accidents tend to increase with area rugs, because people catch their feet on the edges. Since area rugs are not installed, they can slide, causing accidental falls. A rug pad underneath or anchoring the rug with furniture can help reduce the likelihood of a rug sliding.
  • They don’t generally cover the whole floor. Usually, area rugs are smaller than the room they are in, so if there are issues with the original floor such as stains, scratches or cracked tile, area rugs may not cover all the imperfections.
  • Limited availability of sizes. Unless you are willing to pay top dollar for a custom rug, you will need to choose from preset sizes, such as 4 x 6, 8 x 10, and 10 x 12. If you are unable to find the ones you want in the sizes you need, you’ll have to wait, shop around, or pick something else.

The words “carpet” and “rug” may be used interchangeably, but they each have their own advantages and disadvantages. Once you make a decision about your flooring materials, you can count on us to help you keep your fine surfaces clean, fresh, and inviting.

This article is one of a series of articles written and published on behalf of SurpHaces PRO Partners.

Is There Mold in My Carpet?

Mold in Carpet

Carpet can add so much cozy comfort to a home. Unfortunately, like almost any surface, it is susceptible to mold. In dark, damp environments, such as underneath sinks, in appliance drip pans, inside walls near plumbing, under or around house plants, and under carpet, mold problems can develop. To keep your carpet fresh, clean, and mold-free, it is important to keep it properly maintained, occasionally inspect it for mold, and take preventative measures to fend off mold problems.

How Does Mold Happen?

Mold can develop in a lot of different ways. Maybe your child spilled something and didn’t tell you. Maybe one day when you were out, your dog or cat had an accident, and you didn’t know. Perhaps you are not aware there is a small plumbing leak somewhere. Mold is everywhere and once moisture is introduced, the process of mold can begin on many different types of surfaces. It only takes 24 hours for the mold to start growing once an area gets wet. Carpets are not exempt from this process.

Is There Mold in My Carpet?

You may be wondering how you can tell whether mold is in your carpet. First, carefully inspect your entire carpet. For expansive areas, it might be helpful to imagine a grid going from the front of the room to the back and from the left side of the room to the right side, and then inspect each point along the grid. If you notice any off-color areas (black, green or maybe red) on your carpet, this may be an indication of mold.

WARNING: The only truly “safe” way to identify mold in carpet is to hire a mold removal company. If you decide to investigate yourself, try not to disturb the area too much, because doing so can send mold spores into the air. Don’t touch the stain without gloves. Mold spores can cause health issues, especially for people with asthma and allergies.

If the discoloration has a sour, musty, or moldy smell, then it may be mold. If possible, pull the rug and pad up where you suspect mold. Check the layers to see if there is mold underneath, and if so, how far down the mold has gone.

What You Should Know About DIY Mold Testing Kits

There are two types of mold testing kits: air and surface. For testing mold in carpet, we recommend a surface test, which requires you collect a sample using a swab or tape. Be sure to closely follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

What Should I Do if I Have Mold in My Carpet?

The simple answer is call your carpet cleaning professional. You may be tempted to go online and try to resolve the problem using DIY methods, but why risk it? Mold can be hazardous to your health and damaging to your home, and there are many DIY methods that can cause permanent damage to your carpeting. Your carpet cleaning technician can examine the area, and as long as the problem is not widespread or excessive, they can use special equipment and solutions to thoroughly clean and sanitize the area. For more severe mold damage, they may recommend a mold remediation company.

There is no guarantee that any company, even one that specializes in mold remediation, can completely remove 100% of mold spores from carpeting. However, there are preventative measures you can take.

How Can I Prevent Carpet Mold in My Home?

    • Keep your carpet dry. When humidity is high, run a dehumidifier or your HVAC system (which dehumidifies the air).
    • Soak up spills right away.
    • If possible, open windows or use a fan to dry the spills as soon as possible.
    • Vacuum carpets regularly.
    • Use a vacuum equipped with a HEPA filter bags. Ask your technician to make specific recommendations for how often you should vacuum your carpets, based on how much traffic your carpet gets.
    • Change your vacuum bags regularly, according to manufacturer instructions.
    • Inspect your carpet regularly for spills and stains.
    • Place high quality, heavy-duty mats at entrances to reduce the amount of water or moisture tracked in from outside.
    • Get your carpets professionally cleaned on a regular basis. Like vacuuming, ask your technician to make specific recommendations for how often you should have your carpets cleaned, based on how much traffic your carpet gets.
    • If you are purchasing new carpet, consider synthetic material instead of natural material like wool. Synthetic material is resistant to mold.

Your health, and that of your family and guests, as well as your home itself, are your biggest assets. Protect them both by contacting your carpet cleaning professional in this situation. Follow their lead. They know best.

This article is one of a series of articles written and published on behalf of SurpHaces PRO Partners.

Top Three Reasons to Have Your Carpets Cleaned

People who love carpeting will attest to its cozy elegance. Although most carpet lovers understand that carpets need extra attention from time to time, many underestimate the value of periodic services from a professional carpet cleaner. Here are the top three reasons professional carpet cleaning should be a part of every homeowner’s regular deep cleaning list or building manager’s maintenance schedule.

1. Better Indoor Air Quality

Indoor air pollutants have been ranked among the top five environmental risks to public health, according to the EPA, and there has been an increase in the number of children with severe allergies and asthma. An EPA report to Congress on indoor air quality reports that the average American spends about 90 percent of their time inside. Carpets act like a giant air filter, collecting dust and dander, allergens, and germs. One might reason that having carpets is a bad idea. In reality, the bad idea is having dirty carpets. Carpets that are regularly vacuumed and professionally cleaned provide both better indoor air quality and clean, fresh, welcoming flooring.

TIPS: To maintain optimal air quality between professional carpet cleanings, vacuum regularly with a vacuum cleaner equipped with a HEPA filter to stop the spread of allergens. Change your HVAC filter regularly, as well.

2. Fresh, Clean, Welcoming Carpets

You want your family and guests or patrons and employees to feel comfortable in your home or business. Professional deep cleaning removes more deeply embedded contaminants than vacuuming ever will and leaves your carpets not only clean and fresh, but sanitized. To keep your carpet at its best through chips and dip, red wine and soda, and standard every-day traffic, you may also want to consider having a protective treatment applied. Some carpets will not require it, others may. Your carpet cleaning professional can advise you.

TIPS: Daily vacuuming is advisable in homes with pets or businesses with a lot of foot traffic. Otherwise vacuum twice or more per week. Treats spills and spots right away, and consult with your carpet cleaning professional for any spill or spot you are unable to remove.

3. Prevent Premature Wear

Having your carpets professionally cleaned on a regular basis can help prevent premature wear. Here’s why. Dirt, grit, and other substances get deeply embedded in the fibers and backing of your carpet where vacuums can’t reach. When people walk on the carpet, these contaminants act like tiny shards of glass cutting and damaging your carpet. You may not notice the damage right away. It happens little by little over the course of time. If you are diligent about keeping your carpet clean, you prevent the damage, and your carpet lasts as long as it was designed to last.

TIPS: Vacuum often. Do not wait until your carpet looks dirty to vacuum. Place high quality rugs and mats at all entryways to trap some of the grit and dirt before it ends up on your carpeting. If appropriate, ask visitors to remove their shoes before they enter.

If you have not already done so, create a schedule with your carpet cleaning professional to keep you on track with proper carpet care. Life is busy! We can send you reminders when it’s time. If you have questions about the carpeting in your home or business, contact us today.

This article is one of a series of articles written and published on behalf of SurpHaces PRO Partners.

How to Protect Carpet During Renovation

How to Protect Carpet During Renovation

There are many potential ways your carpet can get badly soiled or damaged during an interior renovation project. Contractors with steel-toed boots go in and out to retrieve supplies, tools, and equipment, remove demolished materials, and bring in new materials, which may include paint, adhesives, and chemicals. Although reputable contractors will protect the surfaces surrounding their work area, property owners should take extra precautions to avoid costly repair or replacement of carpeting. Here are some tips to safeguard your carpets during interior renovation projects.

Moving Furniture

Your renovation project may require moving furniture. Do not slide furniture across carpeting, because this can increase the odds of a snag, tear, friction damage, or other damage to your carpet. In many cases, you can move furniture with the help of a few able-bodied friends and the proper tools, such as furniture straps, stair rollers, moving blankets, a dolly, slides or ramps, and furniture glides. The easiest way to avoid injuring yourself or damaging your carpet, furniture, or other surfaces while moving very heavy or large furniture is to leave the job to professionals who are fully equipped to efficiently and effectively get your belongings from one room to another without incident. Just make sure your movers are properly licensed and insured.

Dust Containment

Airborne dust particles can create a health hazard, especially for people with respiratory issues. Dust particles can be abrasive, and if dust becomes embedded in carpeting, the particles can act like thousands of tiny shards of glass that tear and break carpet fibers every time someone takes a step. Hang plastic sheeting to contain dust within the work area and help maintain proper air quality throughout the rest of the home or building.

Carpet Coverings

The following protective products shield your carpeting against spills, construction dust, and soiling. Some products work better than others, depending on the design and quality of the product and what type of carpet and padding you are covering.

  • Carpet film is the most convenient and best option to protect against spills and soiling on synthetic carpeting. Spills will not penetrate, provided there are no holes in the material caused by foot traffic. Carpet film is designed to be tough and does not tear or puncture easily. DO NOT use carpet film on wool or other natural fibers.
  • Canvas painter’s drop cloths serve as a barrier between your carpet and soiling agents. They provide some protection against spills, but liquids can seep through if a large amount is spilled at once. Canvas will hold up well against foot traffic, because it doesn’t tear or puncture easily.
  • Plastic painter’s drop cloths also protect against soiling and provide better protection than canvas against spills. It does not hold up as well to tears or punctures as canvas. Plastic painter’s drop cloths should be properly secured with tape to avoid trip and fall accidents.
  • Protective floor coverings made with both absorbent fabric and plastic backing have all the combined benefits of canvas and plastic drop cloths.
  • Thick flooring paper may be appropriate to use on thin carpeting with limited padding. Do not use tinted flooring paper, because if it gets wet, the color can bleed onto your carpeting. Paper should be properly secured with tape to avoid trip and fall accidents. Paper can offer protection against soiling and splatters, but significant spills can seep through.

Remove and Reinstall Carpeting?

For major renovation projects involving walls or ceilings near carpeted areas, you might consider having a professional carpet installer remove your carpet and then reinstall it once the project is complete. Although this approach might seem extreme, there may be certain projects where this extra precautious approach to carpet protection might be worthwhile.

After Renovation

Thoroughly vacuuming carpets each time floor coverings are replaced and after the project is complete is highly recommended. However, even the most thorough vacuuming may not be enough to remove particles that have become lodged in the fibers and backing of your carpet, as well as residual odors left behind by chemicals and other construction products. Your best bet to protect against premature wear following a renovation project is to have your carpets professionally cleaned. Professional cleaning flushes out deeply embedded contaminants, leaving your carpets fresh, clean, and inviting.

Follow these tips to protect your carpets during interior renovation. You’ll worry less, possibly avoid costly repair or replacement, and increase the likelihood that you’ll get the full lifespan out of your carpeting.

This article is one of a series of articles written and published on behalf of SurpHaces PRO Partners.