Carpet Cleaning Traffic Patterns

Traffic Patterns

Have you ever noticed how your carpet appears dirtier in common
walkways of your home? What causes those ugly traffic patterns and
how can you prevent them? To understand the problem, we first need to
understand what carpet is made of and how it can be damaged over time.
90% of carpet in homes today is created from synthetic fibers. Although there
are different types of synthetic fibers (nylon, olefin, polyester, etc.), they are all plastic
based materials. These plastic based fibers can become dull and damaged if not taken care of properly.

The Problem

Imagine a smooth, clear plastic surface such as plexiglass. If you were to take sandpaper to the surface, the plastic would no longer be smooth and clear. The plastic would become rough and cloudy. The same thing happens to your carpet. Dirt, dust and soil get in your carpet and with a little friction (walking), begin to break down and damage the fibers of your carpet. As you can see below, this results in scratched carpet fibers that begin to appear dull and faded and form traffic patterns.

While carpet cleaning cannot repair damaged carpet fibers, the good news is that it can dramatically improve the appearance of the traffic patterns and can prevent future damage. We also suggest following the steps below to keep premature damage from happening in the first place.

The Solution

Several things can be done to help keep dirt out of your carpet and prevent the formation of traffic patterns:

1. One of the most effective ways to keep dirt out of your carpet is to remove your shoes when entering your home. This can greatly reduce the amount of soil in your carpet. However, this may not be practical or suitable solution for everyone.

2. Typically, traffic patterns will be the most prominent in areas where hard surfaces meet your carpet. Keeping the hard surfaces clean in your home will prevent dust from collecting on your feet and being deposited in your carpet.

3. No matter how hard you try; dirt, dust, and soil are still going to collect in your carpet. This makes regular vacuuming one of the most important steps to preventing traffic patterns. Regular vacuuming can remove more than half of the soil that collects in your carpet. Below is a recommended schedule for vacuuming.

4. Soil that isn't removed through vacuuming can be removed through professional carpet cleaning. Regular carpet cleaning is much more effective when combined with the preventative care listed above. It is essential to have your carpet cleaned every 6-18 months (depending on usage) to remove soil that regular vacuuming cannot eliminate and to prevent wear and tear on your carpet. Oily solids, which include grease and food, cannot be vacuumed away. They attract and hold dry soil to carpet fibers as shown in the image below. No matter how much vacuuming is performed, these soils will build up and need to be professionally removed.

5. After carpet cleaning, a carpet protector should be applied to your carpet. Carpet protector encapsulates your carpet fibers, resulting in a deep down protective shield that prevents dirt from scratching the fibers in your carpet and keeps your carpet looking new for longer by preventing premature wear and traffic patterns.

With time and use, all carpet will begin to develop traffic patterns. However, proper care can improve the look and life of your carpet for many years. If your carpet is beginning to develop traffic patterns, give us a call and we can help!

Carpet Cleaning
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