Carpet is an investment, so it makes sense that you want to keep it looking good for as long as possible. Unfortunately, most carpet is prone to traffic wear. These are the compressed, dark colored lanes that appear where people tend to walk most. These areas can look shabby while the rest of the carpet still looks like new, so it makes sense to try and minimize traffic wear. The following tips can help.
Tip #1: Invest in a quality pad
Much of the visible wear is due to compression, and the easiest way to minimize carpet compression is to invest in a quality carpet pad. The thicker and denser the pad, the less it will show compression. Thin, cheap pads tend to get pressed down relatively quickly. So, invest in a quality pad and expect your carpet to last longer as a result.
Tip #2: Keep hard surfaces clean
The most obvious traffic areas are at the transition zones at doorways, where one walks from a hard surface, such as tile, onto the carpet. The dirt from the tile is tracked onto the carpet, where it works into the fibers and darkens them. Daily sweeping of hard surfaces can help minimize this issue. For exterior transition zones, have a rule that the shoes come off before someone can walk on the carpet.
Tip #3: Change the traffic flow
Sometimes it's possible to minimize overall wear patterns by changing up the room's arrangement. Move furniture periodically so that the traffic patterns also change. This can help even out the wear on the carpet so there are no obvious compression patterns. This won't work for every room, but it can be a major help in areas where the furniture can be rearranged.
Tip #4: Vacuum regularly
One way to help prevent dark lanes is to keep the dirt from working too deeply into the carpet fibers. Vacuuming over the main traffic lanes every day or two, along with a weekly deep vacuuming, can work wonders. Even a quick sweep with a non-electric carpet sweeper can remove the worst of the soil before it gets too deeply into the carpet.
Tip #5: Schedule regular cleanings
Finally, don't overlook the power of a professional carpet cleaning. Unlike home carpet shampooers, the industrial-style machines can pull more dirt out of the carpet. The extraction process also helps bring loft back to the pad and carpet fibers, which helps prevent compression. Plan to have cleanings at least twice a year – to remove the mud of winter and again to remove the dirt tracked in over summer.
For more help, talk to a carpet care professional in your area like the ones at Conscientious Carpet Care.