Most of us are aware of the basic do's and don'ts of carpet cleaning, but when an emergency arises, we tend to forget everything we knew. By saving a copy of this article to refer to when you decide your carpet could use some special attention, you'll have a handy reference any time you need it.

Keeping your carpets clean starts from the day they are installed. It's important to vacuum carpets at least once every week, especially in areas that see a lot of traffic. Cleaning a carpet isn't just about stains. It's about sucking out all the dirt, dust, and debris that gets on the carpet and works its way down between the fibers. If and when a stain does happen, it's much easier to deal with it if the carpet isn't clogged with dirt and dust.

Frequent vacuuming has the effect of increasing carpet life. Removing the grit and chunks of debris from the carpet fibers will keep them from building up and damaging the carpet.

Most Americans live in homes that are at least partially carpeted. Even so, the majority of people have no clue about the best way to care for their carpets. Dirty carpets can have a devastating effect on having a healthy environment within your home. Not only do dirty carpets look terrible, they also provide a place where germs and bacteria can grow and multiply. It's important for you to learn how to best take care of your carpet in order to maintain a healthy place for your family to live.

Many Different Kinds of Carpeting

Carpet is a general term that encompasses a whole range of floor coverings. Carpets can be made of cotton, silk, wool, or other plant fibers. The cleaning your carpet will need is determined by the material it is made of. For example, don't use heat when cleaning wool carpets, and any product which contains bleach will remove color from them. You have to know what material your carpets are made of before you can determine the best products to use on them and the optimum methods for keeping them clean. If you move into a home which already has carpets, make it your business to find out the fibers they were made from if possible.

An Array of Different Cleaning Products

Just like there are many different fibers used to make carpets, there are also numerous different products on the market designed to clean them. There's more to cleaning a carpet than just getting the carpet wet and then sucking the water back out of it. Carpets have dirt embedded deep down inside them, and in order to effectively clean them, you need to gently and thoroughly remove this dirt. Therein lies the problem.

Hot Water Cleaning Methods

Hot water extraction has been used effectively for many years now. As mentioned above, this is not a good method to use on wool carpets, but it's a good option for other types of carpeting. High temperatures are used to turn water into steam, and the steam dissolves dirt deep down inside the carpet. There are specially-formulated products designed for use with steam cleaning, and they do a good job. After cleaning, heat and fans can be used to dry the carpet, but check with your service provider prior to hiring it to make sure that drying is included in the price you were quoted. Otherwise you may have to pay extra for drying or wait a couple of days for the carpet to dry on its own.

Methods for Dry Cleaning Carpets

People who don't like the idea of having so much water used on their carpets or those who have wool carpeting may find the method of dry cleaning carpets more to their liking. In this type of cleaning, chemicals are applied to the carpet in the form of a foam or powder. These types of cleaners are formulated to dissolve the dirt in the carpet. After the foam dries or the powder sets, it and the dirt are vacuumed out of the carpet with a special vacuum that has extra powerful suction.

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Wool Carpets

Wool carpets are great to use and have a widespread history as well. Almost 8000 years ago, people learnt the art of shearing goats and sheep and creating wool and fantastic weaving techniques. Soon, people realized the need for insulation and warmth and that's how carpets came into existence eventually. Wool carpets are the best products to be used for keeping your homes warm. This indeed has become a timeless product, as every household needs a carpet to enhance the d├ęcor and they preferably demand carpets made from 100% wool. Though these carpets, made from the most natural sources of fiber, are expensive, yet people prefer using these carpets for various reasons.

These wool carpets as well as the wool rugs have innumerable incarnation as well. You would find traditional carpets of Persian or oriental styles that are made up of 100% woolen fibers and you would be offered a wide range of colors and hues to suit your taste and the walls of your home. Wool carpets are also used for wall-to-wall carpeting.

You would also come across wool carpets in blends; such carpets are made from natural and synthetic fibers to enhance the look. These are less expensive as compared to the original wool carpets. But there are some people who prefer not to use these blended carpets as it seems to reduce the numerous benefits of the carpets made from 100% wool.

The synthetic fibers, such as polyester and nylon came into existence during the middle of the 20th century. As the price of these materials was comparatively lesser than wool, the carpets made form these synthetic fibers captured the market of the wool carpet. The synthetic carpets were not only cheap; but could also be used for making tufted carpets and rugs. But the wool carpets still existed due to its glamour and richness and decorated many households.

People still choose wool carpets to the synthetic ones because they want to avoid the synthetic fibers used. As the synthetic carpets are created with the use of certain chemicals, there have been some issues of concern regarding the chemicals. It is often believed that these carpets tend to release the chemicals continuously and it gets mixed to the air which we breathe. Arguments also state that these synthetic carpets contribute in making the household toxic and polluted and must be strictly avoided.

As this is a serious concern, there has been a constant growth in demand for wool carpets that uses natural fiber. However, there are some wool carpets that are often treated with chemicals for stain resistance. But the natural carpets do not receive any such treatments.

Wool carpets have several benefits as well. These carpets do not house dust mites and is not a pollutant as such. Wool fibers have their own natural property for resisting stain and are known as lanolin. Wool carpets are biodegradable as well and are made from renewable resources; it is often regarded as "green carpeting".

There are innumerable benefits of using wool carpets; it is not only beneficial for the dwelling, but for the environment as well. Wool is a natural product which is renewable as well. If you buy woolen carpets, it would accelerate the production of wool, which would in turn be beneficial for the local farmers.

Wool carpet can actually retain its appearance for a longer period of time, unlike other carpets as it has proper bounce and bulk that can very well withstand the pressure exerted and the repeated footfall as well. Wool carpets are naturally resilient. Scientists have also acknowledged this fact and have further added that as such hair of wool has three-dimensional spiraling crimp, which acts almost like that of miniature spring. These springs can increase the elasticity of each fiber and can enable the hair to bounce back after repeated pressure. This is a unique feature of wool carpets and gives it an extra edge over the synthetic ones.

Wool carpets also have natural abilities to resist stains as the fibers are covered by thin membrane, which acts like as repellant and help in preventing the penetration of water into the woolen fiber. This is another contributing factor that enables these wool carpets to retain its appearance.

Wool also has natural dirt resisting properties, which is unique. If wool carpets are to be observed under a microscope, it can be seen that the surface of the fiber is made from overlapping scales that represents a roof structure. These scales can help in trapping all the dirt and soil at the very top, quite close to the carpet's surface. It can then be removed quickly and very easily with the help of a vacuum cleaner.

Wool carpets are flame-retardants as well and it is one of the natural properties of wool. As wool fibers contain protein and moisture in abundance, it can actually act as a self-extinguishable product.

Apart from all these benefits, wool carpets can provide several health benefits to us as well:

* Wool carpets are non-toxic. They are non-allergic as well, but some people are allergic to wool by nature, they cannot use the same.
* Wool doesn't support the growth of bacteria.
* As wool contains moisture in abundance, it minimizes static electricity and reduced the risk of certain shocks as well.
* Wool carpets also act as purifiers and can prevent the contamination caused due to nitrogen dioxide, formaldehyde and sulfur oxide. It helps in trapping these contaminants in the fiber.
* Wool carpets have too many air pockets and the credit for this goes to the shape of the carpets. This enables the carpets to provide proper insulation to the room and can also regulate the temperature in the room.

All these factors actually prove that wool carpets are the best till date and will always be. It not only complements the decor of your home, but also helps in maintaining some of the essential properties that a healthy dwelling must have. It is environment friendly, health friendly and can be used for every household. Cleaning these carpets is even easier and can be done at home itself.

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Carpet Repair: An Introduction

Let's start with the basics: It is possible to do your own repair. If you would rather repair than spend hundreds or maybe thousands of dollars replacing then a carpet repair may be for you.

Although the average homeowner may be able to repair their carpet themselves, it's not necessarily the best choice.

A professional can help you in a small fraction of the time it would take an untrained person, all while making a hard job look easy.

If you are a homeowner and want to try to fix it yourself, I caution you that if quality really matters, then hire a pro.

For now I'll just skim the surface and describe the most common types of repairs. Later, I'll go in depth and explain in more detail about each type.

Here are some different types of carpet repair:

• Stretching

• Patching

• Transitions

• Berber

• Seam Repair

• Pet Damaged (Including Removing Pet Urine)

• Repairing Flood Damage

• Reinstalling After Remodeling

• Removing

• Repair Stairs

• Stain Removal

When an original installation is done properly, you should never need to re-stretch loose carpet. Proper installation requires a tool called a stretcher or a power stretcher. (Not a kicker, kickers aren't nearly enough.) When you see ripples, wrinkles, or bunched-up carpet, that's when you know you need to have it stretched.

Most of the time, a loose carpet can be re-stretched without needing to take apart seams. If seams do need to be taken apart, it opens up a whole other can of worms.

If there's some furniture in the room, we can often use our carpet stretcher without having to clear the room entirely. Often we can move the furniture from one side of the room to the other and stretch one side of the room at a time.

If you have a stain that you can't get out or you have damaged carpet due to a burn (not the good kind), or your bad dog or cat thinks that carpet is a food group, then a patch may be the only solution.

Patching isn't as easy as it looks. The patch needs to be exactly perfect. If there's any overlap or gap at the seam (at all), you'll be sorry.

You can use a leftover piece of carpet from the original installation or steal a piece of carpet from a closet to do your carpet patching. One thing you probably can't do is go to the carpet store and buy a piece to match.

A carpet to floor transition is anyplace where the carpet ends and the floor begins. If it's at a tile floor we call it a carpet to tile transition.

Many people install their own tile but don't know how to finish the job with the carpet to tile transition. Often professional tile installers don't know how to finish their job with a proper carpet to tile transition. There are several good ways to do a carpet to floor transition that I will explain in the carpet to tile transition article.

When people refer to a Berber carpet, they're referring to a looped carpet with rows. It's not really a Berber carpet but for our purposes here it's okay to call it Berber. For an interesting read on the history of Berber carpet click here.

Berber carpet repair is often needed due to a snag in a Berber carpet or a pull in a Berber carpet. A pull in a Berber carpet happens when one or more threads get caught, either in a vacuum or some other way. Often times it's the family pet or a child that pulls Berber carpet and creates the snag or run.

If there is just one Berber carpet row that has been pulled, it can be re-burled (glued back into place). If the Berber carpet run is more serious, say for example a dog was trapped in a room and tried to dig her way out, then a patch is in order.
If your Berber carpet is loose then it will need to be stretched. Stretching Berber carpet isn't really any different than stretching carpet of any other type.

If a carpet comes apart at the seam it can be repaired in several different ways. One way is to glue it back together, another way would be to remove the old seam tape and do the entire seam over. If the seam that came apart is on a Berber carpet then it becomes a bit more challenging.

A seam needs to withstand a lot of use, and do so for many years. This is one place where it really makes sense to use the best products available. One thing you definitely should not use is the cheap two-sided carpet tape that some web sites sell. It won't last.

Repairing carpet that's been damaged by a dog or a cat may be as simple as using a solution to remove the stain and odor. Or it may require much more, such as removing carpet and replacing it with a patch, or even going deeper by removing and replacing the carpet padding and cleaning and deodorizing the floor below the carpet, the tack strip, and even the baseboard.

When a room becomes flooded, most often we will remove the padding, dry out the carpet and then replace the padding with new carpet pad. In most cases the tack strip does not need to be replaced. A flood damaged carpet can mildew quite quickly so it's important to take quick action.

Removing, replacing, or installing new built-in furniture, walls, floor heaters, toilets, cabinets, and other fixtures are just a few reasons that a carpet installer will need install the carpet properly into the room. This will require some new tack strip and possibly some new carpet and pad to add to the area. Many times the customer will have some carpet left over from the installation. If not, we can often take carpet from the closet.

Removing carpet and carpet pad is simple but sometimes strenuous. If we are trying to save the carpet to use in a different room or to re-carpet the hallway or stairway, we will want to try to keep it in one piece. If the objective is just to remove old carpet and old carpet pad, we will make it easy on ourselves by cutting the carpet into strips approximately two feet wide.

Sometimes we charge to haul the carpet and pad away but most often we leave it in garbage bags for the customer to feed into their garbage can over a period of a few weeks (no charge).

The first stair always wears out first. One way to save a LOT of money is to use a scrap of leftover carpet from the installation or from a closet to replace just a stair or two.

If more stairs need to be re-carpeted, and if the stairway carpet matches the carpet in the hall and the rest of the house, you can save a LOT of money by replacing the stairway carpet with carpet removed from a different room. It's far less expensive to replace just one room of carpet than to re-carpet your entire house, and the stairway carpet continues to match the carpet in the hall and the rest of the house.

There are literally hundreds if not thousands of products that you can use to remove stains from your carpet. If you want some great tips on how to remove carpet stains click here.

In conclusion

The preceding information only scratches the surface of what's possible with carpet repair. In the future we do plan on writing additional articles describing in further detail every category that was listed.

We here at Creative Carpet Repair hope this helps you in your quest to learn about how to repair carpet and we are available during normal business hours to answer any question you may have. Good luck!

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