Carpet Professor

How Often Should I Vacuum My Carpet?

Vacuuming Your Carpet frequently and thoroughly is an absolute must if you want your carpet to retain its like-new appearance and last as long as possible.

You can easily cut your carpet’s life span in half if you don’t vacuum regularly. You need to maintain your new carpet according to the manufacturer’s new carpet warranty requirements.

Carpet Vacuum

Periodic Cleaning and Vacuuming Is Required

According to virtually every new carpet manufacturer, homeowners are required to have their carpet professionally cleaned periodically, usually every 18 months.

This will keep your new carpet warranty in force. Read your new carpet warranty very carefully to see what carpet care and maintenance is required by the carpet manufacturer.

This is important, even if your new carpet is installed in a seasonal home, your are still required to clean the carpet on a regular basis. This is regardless of the amount of time you spend in the home.

For example: if you only inhabit the home 6 months of the year, and it is vacant for 6 months, you can’t forgo the cleaning requirement as required by the carpet manufacturer.

  • If you fail to clean your carpet according to the required cleaning schedule, your warranty can and likely will be voided.
  • Retain all your professional carpet cleaning receipts for proof of scheduled cleanings!

Learn more: Read a typical new carpet stain warranty here

Most Homeowners Don’t Vacuum Often Enough. 

Improper carpet care and maintenance is a common reason why your carpet will wear out prematurely. Abrasion from ground-in dirt and grit can quickly cause your carpet to lose its like-new shine and quickly make your carpet appear worn-out, look dull and dingy.

Once damage from abrasion is done, there is rarely anything that can be done to reverse the damage. This also voids your new-carpet warranty due to improperly caring for and maintaining your new carpet according to the requirements, as stated in your new carpet warranty.

Most Carpets Don’t Wear Out, They ‘Ugly-Out!’

The common phrase ‘Ugly-Out’ is a common expression used for any carpet that loses its shine, or when the surface pile mats down prematurely.

This event is most common in medium to heavy traffic areas such as hallways, stairs, in front of couches and main traffic to and from the front door!

How can I reduce damage from abrasion?

Abrasion caused by ground-in dirt and grime is the main reason why carpet will show signs of wear and tear before its time.

Dirt and grime is mainly tracked-in from the outside via shoes, pets and many other sources. This is the major cause of carpet abrasion.

“Frequent vacuuming is an effective way to reduce the damage caused by abrasion and can help your new carpet last years longer!  Sadly, most homeowners do not vacuum enough, and most folks do not have their carpet cleaned on a regular basis.”  – Alan aka The Carpet Professor

How Much Does Carpet Cleaning Cost?

Once your new carpet starts to look dull and dingy, you have already ruined your carpet to some degree.

Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do reverse the damage already done and make your carpet regain its original shiny like-new appearance.

Ground-in dirt and grime is the main reason why your surface carpet fibers will lose its shine.  Carpet Cleaning Cost and Prices

The Carpet manufacturer will deny your warranty claim if you have not properly maintained you carpet according to their warranty requirements.

How to Prevent Abrasive Carpet Damage?

It’s the sand-like dirt, grit and grime that is tracked into your home and deposited into the carpet pile over time that causes of the loss of carpet fiber shine.

There are some easy ways to help prevent the damage from happening, or at least slow down the amount of damage you experience over time.

First, a walk off mat is a great place to start. Simply wiping off your shoes before entering the home will help considerably. Some entry mats are better than others.

Next, some homeowners ask visitors remove their shoes and even provide “house” slippers to wear when entering their home. This will surely help reduce the amount of grit that causes damage to your carpet to some degree.

Vacuum! Vacuum! and Vacuum some more!

Frequent vacuuming is a smart way to help reduce the amount of dirt and grit that causes abrasion to your carpet.

Frequent vacuuming and regular professional cleanings is an important key to help keep your carpet looking like new. However, selecting the right grade of carpet is equally important.

Call a professional carpet cleaning company and have them do a thorough carpet cleaning on a regular basis according to your new carpet warranty requirements. This will help stop the abrasion to your carpet pile from getting worse.

Need to buy new carpet? I have created my own special Carpet Foot-Traffic Test to help homeowners determine what grade of carpet to consider buying, based on several key variables.

Choosing the Right Carpet Vacuum

There are many reasons why you should be vacuuming almost everyday, but vacuuming everyday won’t help much if you don’t have a good quality vacuum or if your vacuum is not operating at it’s peak efficiency.

If your vacuum is not doing a good enough job, the dirt that penetrates the nap of your carpet will begin grinding away at the fibers removing the shine and the like-new appearance. This leads to dulling of the color and matting and crushing of the pile. Abrasion can quickly make your new carpet look worn-out. Once your carpet starts looking dull and dingy, nothing can be done to make it regain it’s original like-new appearance.

There’s more to maintaining your carpet than just dealing with the problem of dirt and dust penetrating the nap of your carpet, small children and active teens and pets can significantly increase the daily wear and tear on your carpets. Running, jumping, sliding, and other common playful activities are very hard on carpet. Rigorous activities force dirt and debris down deep into the nap, often too deep for some older or less-powerful vacuums to remove effectively.

Never Slide Your Furniture on the Carpet

This can also be very damaging to your carpet. It’s better to lift furniture or other heavy objects into place. Just like the skin on your knees, your carpet can get a “rug-burn” which can actually melt the carpet fibers causing permanent damage.

Read your new carpet warranty carefully. You have certain obligations to properly maintain your new carpet. If you fail to follow the manufacturers care and maintenance requirements, your warranty will be null and void.

Here is your chance to take a good look at your new carpet warranty to see what you need to do to keep your warranty in force. It is also a great resource to learn the best way to care for and maintain your new carpet so it will last as long as possible. Here is a link to the Mohawk website and warranty information:

Learn More About New Carpet Stain Warranties

Which Carpet Vacuum Should I Buy?

Depending on the carpet style you buy, some carpet manufacturers might suggest that you use a vacuum without a beater bar or roller brush. They fear that carpet will become damaged by the revolving brushes. This is true with some Berbers and other looped style carpets. The carpet warranty will be void if you do not follow their carpet care instructions to the letter.

Some carpet manufacturers warn against using a vacuum with too much suction and will not cover any carpet damage if this should happen. I think that if a carpet can be sucked apart with a vacuum, the carpet is not made very well and should be avoided. Who wants to buy a carpet that will fall apart just from using a good quality vacuum? Not me!

There are many good quality vacuums available today and while I don’t personally recommend any one model or brand in particular, I have a friend in the business who can help you make a wise and informed choice. You have to decide which vacuum will meet your needs and goals (and pocketbook!) Do you want professional help choosing the right vacuum for you?

I Purchased a Dyson Carpet Vacuum for My Home

The Dyson was the first vacuum I saw with the cyclonic feature and that is why I bought one. It is a very useful and powerful vacuum and it never loses suction power. It has easy to use attachments and my wife just loves it too. With four teens and two cats in the house, we needed a super-duper powerful vacuum to deal with all the pet hair and tracked in dirt.

This is the Dyson DC14 Animal model. They don’t make this model anymore, it was replaced with the Dyson Ball.

Dyson DC14 Animal Vacuum Cleaner Dyson has several models to choose from, including models designed for homes with pets, that’s the one I purchased for my family.  It has a HEPA filter too. Be prepared to spend several hundred on a good quality vacuum because it’s a wise investment.

You have to consider the cost compared to the increased lifespan of your carpet. How much does new carpet cost? A good vacuum can literally help your carpet last years longer. Using a bad vacuum or not vacuuming enough can cause your carpet to lose half of it’s intended life span. Ouch!

The New High-Tech Carpet Vacuums

Gone are the days where all a vacuum had to do was suck up loose dirt. Today’s new technology allows the vacuum to help clean the air, remove pollutants, pollen, mites, and even kill bacteria with the new UV light feature. Still, there are two main features that your vacuum must be able to perform well:

One: To beat and/or brush the carpet to help loosen dirt, dust and debris.  This is why it is important to have a beater bar / roller brush on your vacuum. Many canister type vacuums do not have a beater bar and therefore do not do a sufficient job of removing dirt.

Two:  To have sufficient suction to remove all the dirt and debris trapped in the carpet pile. The suction power of vacuums is determined by the motor amperage or amps. Older model vacuums used to get plugged up and lose suction power when the bag became full. New models now have a cyclonic effect that prevents the vacuum from losing it’s suction power.

Vacuum Features, Options, Benefits and More… 

Beyond these two basic functions, every other added feature you may opt to have on your vacuum just makes using your vacuum more fun, easier to use, and makes you feel better about what it cost you. You don’t have to spend more for features you don’t need so consider your situation carefully. It’s like buying a car, you can pay extra to get air conditioning if you want, but you may not need to if you live in Alaska.

Here are some of the options you may want to consider having on your next vacuum:

  • HEPA filter
  • Cyclonic or wind-tunnel design
  • Extra powerful motor (measured in amps)
  • Bag-less design
  • Light-weight design
  • Extra Attachments
  • Self- propelled or power assist
  • Pet or animal-hair models
  • Fold-down models
  • Ergonomic designs
  • Re-Chargeable ION Battery Powered

Carpet Vacuum Maintenance and Repair

No matter what the vacuum maker says in their ads, all Vacuums require regular care and maintenance.  Unless you can do this yourself, you need to have your vacuum serviced on a regular basis. In my home, my daughters all have long hair and it gets wrapped up around the roller brush / beater bar. I have to remove the hair several times a year.

Finding the right vacuum cleaner is very important. The best vacuum will have features that suit your needs as well as have the capability to do a good job of cleaning you carpets, furniture and other household duties.

You need to have a vacuum that is simple and easy to operate and has the features you need to help you get the job done properly and efficiently. I have found that if a vacuum is too complicated to use or too heavy, no one will enjoy using it. And if everyone in your household dislikes using it, your carpet will not get the deep-cleaning it requires.

Your Carpet Vacuum, Carpet Care and Your Carpet Warranty!

You must follow your carpet manufacturer’s carpet cleaning guidelines to the letter if you want to keep you carpet warranty in force. You can clean your carpets yourself if you keep all the receipts for cleaning solutions and detailed records.

Before and after photos would be nice to have too. Otherwise, you should hire a professional to clean your carpets every 12 to 18 months. Keep the sales receipts! Read your carpet warranty and follow the carpet maintenance suggestions to the letter.

Visit my Carpet Cleaning Care Guide to learn how to make your new Carpet last years longer.

Should I have my Carpets Cleaned or Buy New?

Some Carpets are designed to last for only 3 years and some are designed to last for over for 30 years. Sooner or later your Carpet will have outlived its usefulness and should be replaced.

Below is Alan’s Quick Carpet Replacement Guide to help you determine if your old Carpet is still worthy of another professional cleaning or if it’s finally Time to Choose a New Carpet!

Learn more: Alan’s Carpet Replacement Quiz

Visit my free Carpet Care Guide to learn smart ways about how to make your carpet last years longer. My best advice? Read your new carpet warranty carefully.

You have certain warranty obligations to properly maintain your new carpet. If you fail to follow the manufacturer’s care and maintenance requirements, your warranty will be null and void.

How Often Should I Vacuum my Carpet? 

Abrasion is the main cause of carpet wear and tear. How many people live in your home? That’s how many times you should vacuum each week, especially in high traffic areas, stairs, and hallways.

  • Do you have 3 people living in your home? Then you should vacuum your carpet about 3 times per week! 5 people = Vacuum 5 times per week
  • Use a good quality, well-maintained vacuum with enough suction power.
  • You will first see the effects of abrasion on stairs and down hallways or any heavy foot-traffic lanes.
  • Carpet fibers can only tolerate a certain amount of abrasion before they begin to show signs of permanent damage.
  • Abrasion from dust, dirt and grit and grime is what causes carpet to look dull and dingy. Once the fiber loses it’s shine, the damage is done.

Professional Carpet Cleaning is Required!

According to virtually every new carpet manufacturer’s warranty requirements, homeowners are required to have their carpet professionally cleaned (18 months on average) every 12 to 24 months to maintain their new carpet warranty.

Read your new carpet warranty very carefully to see what carpet care and maintenance is required by the carpet manufacturer. Otherwise, your warranty could be null and void!

The Size of Your Home Matters…

The more people living you have living in your home means more vacuuming may be necessary. If you have a smaller home, vacuuming is more critical than if you have a larger home.

For example: Five people living in a 5000 square foot home usually requires less vacuuming then does five people living in a 1000 square foot home.

Take my free Carpet Foot-Traffic Test to help determine what grade of carpet you need to buy.  It’s a simple non-scientific test based on several key factors that I think are very important to consider.

More frequent vacuuming or professional carpet cleanings may be necessary if you have any of the following circumstances in your home:

    • Have active teenagers, or have several young children.
    • Have active indoor cats, dogs or other pets.
    • Entertain often, or have several grandchildren that visit frequently.
    • Live in a dusty or rural area, or live on or near a farm.
    • Have Serious Allergies, COPD or Asthma.
    • Live in a hot, moist or humid climate.
    • Live in a small home with moderate to heavy foot-traffic.
    • Read Your New Carpet Warranty to learn more about possible carpet cleaning scenarios you might need to consider!

Carpet Dealer DirectoryIt’s hard to find an honest and reputable carpet store these days! That’s why I created my own special hand-picked list of locally-owned carpet and flooring stores. They give free estimates, offer fair prices, have knowledgeable staff, provide honest measuring and use qualified installers. Are there any recommended Carpet Stores Near Me?

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The Carpet Professor

Alan Fletcher - aka The Carpet Professor, a 30+year veteran of the carpet and flooring business and trusted consumer advocate since 1998. Alan provides free unbiased carpet buying information to consumers. Visit http://www.CarpetProfessor.com to learn how to save time and money; how to select new Carpet or Flooring wisely; and learn how to recognize and avoid common retail Carpet scams! Free! Visit http://www.floorprofessor.com to learn more about selecting natural or engineered wood flooring, waterproof vinyl tile or vinyl plank flooring for your home, office or rental property. Free!

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