Protecting your Carpet Warranty may be more challenging than you think.  

Imagine calling your carpet manufacturer to place a Carpet Warranty claim – but getting denied because you didn’t do your part.  It’s a very real situation for many.

Carpet manufacturers will often ask for receipts from a professional carpet cleaning service, and if you are unable to produce those – perhaps because you did the cleaning yourself with a home or rental cleaning unit – they might very well deny your claim.

But not to worry: We have some suggestions for you, a few things you can do to protect your carpet warranty and maintain your investment to ensure you get the most life out of your carpeting.  

Keep the soil out of the house and off the carpet

Use walk-off mats at every exterior door, outside the entrances, and inside, too!  Encourage everyone in the home to wipe their feet on the mats before coming into the home.  Use indoor-only shoes or slippers. Post a “Shoes off, please!” sign to remind family members and guests… It may take a while to train everyone, but you will be amazed how much cleaner your carpets will be!  Another good idea:  Have a regular schedule to change the air filters in your furnace, and schedule an appointment with Disaster Recovery for a Duct Cleaning to get your HVAC duct work system professionally cleaned at least every 1-2 years.  A clean HVAC system will trap soil and dust more effectively and result in less soil and dust in your carpet.

Vacuum on a regular basis

Most carpets don’t wear out–They UGLY-out! Dirt and other particles will grind into your carpet fibers, causing them to lose their shine, and then the damage is done.  You can keep your carpets looking great much longer simply by VACUUMING.  How often should you vacuum?  A simple rule:  How many people live in your home?  That’s how many times you should vacuum each week, especially in your high-traffic areas. If you have pets, or small children (or messy adults!) you will need to vacuum even more often. Be sure you choose a good vacuum cleaner; don’t cheap out on the single-most important step for extending the life of your carpet.  Be sure to empty it often to ensure good vacuum pressure every time you use it.

Treat spills and spots immediately

Generally, the quicker a spill or spot is cleaned, the more successfully it can be removed. But there’s a right way and a wrong way to do this. Using the proper techniques and cleaners to clean spills will minimize the chances of the spot becoming a permanent stain.  

The best way to get out most carpet spots before they become a stain?  Act fast, and start with plain water!  Most carpets today come with a stain-resistant treatment, so spills can be removed easily if you get to them right away. But the longer you delay, the more difficult removing the spot becomes.

This is when your home carpet-cleaning machine, or a simple wet-dry vacuum is perfect.  For most food and beverage spills, simply spray the spot with water, then extract using your machine or wet-dry vac. But be sure to extract as much water out of the carpet as you can before spraying the area again.

If you had some success, but did not remove all of the spot, try this:  Put 1 teaspoon of liquid dish soap in your 1-quart spray bottle full of water, spray the area again, and follow it up with a rinse with the wet-dry vac.  Always try to leave the carpet as dry as possible either through extraction or the use of white terry cloth towels.  (NEVER use a stronger concentration of liquid detergent than 1 teaspoon to 1 quart of water.  Never use a laundry detergent of any type – they contain optical brighteners that could dye the carpet fibers. Do not use an automatic dishwashing detergent as many contain bleaching agents.)

Using spot removers can cause many problems if used improperly. Don’t spray it directly on the spot and then rub it with a cloth. Rubbing will abrade and distort the carpet fibers, and when dry this area will not look like the rest of the carpet.  Instead, put the spot remover on a rag, gently blot the spot (no rubbing), or extract with your machine or wet-dry vac, then rinse with clear water.  If you don’t rinse the spot thoroughly, however, the residue from the spot remover will cause rapid re-soiling of the area.  Be sure to blot the wet area with dry towels to remove as much moisture as possible.  A small household fan directed at the area will also help it to dry quickly.

There’s a lot of do-it-yourself household remedies for spot removal, but many of them will actually damage your carpet.  Do not use bleach, acne medicine, toilet bowl cleaners, etc. These types of products can cause permanent color loss.

Caution: As a professional carpet cleaner, it is difficult to remove “red” spills and spots when not properly prepared beforehand. Typically, we arrive on a job and find a spot that is now pink,  the fibers have been distorted by scrubbing, and we find lots of detergent still in the carpet.  The best advice for red spills is to call a professional immediately and have it removed properly.

Hire professional cleaners regularly to protect your carpet warranty

Routine cleaning is essential in maintaining your carpets. A general rule:  Schedule a deep, professional carpet cleaning at least once a year – more often if you smoke, have pets, have allergies, or have children.  If you wait too long, the build-up of dirt and grime will damage your carpet fibers and shorten the life and beauty of your carpets.

“Yes, but I bought my own home carpet-cleaning machine.”  Great!  This is perfect for cleaning up spots and spills and touching up traffic areas between professional cleanings, but you run the risk of over-wetting your carpet.  It it gets too wet, it will take longer to dry and increases the risk of developing mold and mildew and ruining your carpet, thus voiding your carpet warranty.  Another common problem occurs when your cleaning solution is not thoroughly rinsed out, which leaves your carpet sticky and will cause it to re-soil quickly.

To keep from voiding your carpet warranty , be sure that the carpet cleaning company you hire is a CERTIFIED Carpet Cleaner.  Not all cleaning companies are created equal. Some are definitely more reputable than others. Costs can vary greatly. Hiring the company with the lowest price may not be the smartest way to go. Watch out for low-cost specials that sound too good to be true.

An inexperienced carpet cleaner will do more damage than good. Inefficient rinsing, or excessive soaking of the carpet and padding can ruin any carpet, causing mold and mildew to form if it takes too long to dry.

Reputable cleaners receive ongoing education and training, earn certification, agree to follow honest business practices, and use top-quality cleaning products and equipment.  Ask your cleaning technician to show you his certification cards – and make sure they are current!  In the Gillette, Wyoming area, call Disaster Recovery at (307) 686-0078.  Their technicians are certified by both the IICRC and WoolSafe Institutes.

New carpeting is a big investment.  We all hope that the life of our carpet can extend well beyond the warranty, and it can if you follow these suggestions:  (1) Use walk-off mats and keep your HVAC system cleaned; (2) Vacuum regulary; (3)  Treat spills and spots immediately the correct way; (4) Have your carpeting cleaned professionally at least once a year.  Make sure your carpet warranty remains in effect and not voided because of any shortcuts you may have taken along the way.  Don’t wait until your carpets are a disaster… call Disaster Recovery at (307) 686-0078 today!