In most cases, prevention is better and easier than fixing and restoring, and area rugs are no exception. General awareness on how you treat your rugs, along with regular maintenance and care will help extend life and reduce the chance of having to have your rugs repaired.
Picking the Right Rug
When choosing a rug, it is important to be aware of the location and use of the rug, as this should influence the material of the rug. If you are looking to purchase a rug for a high volume area such as your kitchen, entryway, dining room or mudroom you want to think of practicality. Rugs in these high traffic areas are going to have the most wear and tear and the widest variety of people using them. Due to this, you want to consider a short pile length, dark color and a rug with easy cleaning convenience. Less frequented areas of your house, such as the living room and bedrooms, can be adorned with rugs with longer pile length and lighter colors.
General cleaning and care is a huge part of maintaining your rug. Frequent cleaning and diligent stain removal can go a long way to keeping your rug in good repair. It is also suggested to remove shoes as often as possible before walking on area rugs, teach your pets not to scratch at or chew on any part of rugs and take care when storing by having rugs professionally cleaned, wrapped, and stored in a climate controlled area.
In addition to the general care and cleaning recommendations provided in our ‘Tips for Maintaining your Area Rugs’ post, there are a variety of things that can be done to extend life, depending on rug material.
Wool rugs are known to naturally shed, this can be diminished with routine and proper care. For the first year of your wool rugs life, vacuum once or twice a week to help remove surface fuzz. After their first year, wool rugs are one of the exceptions to weekly vacuuming, as too much can cause excess shedding, stray loops, and matting. If you do experience stray loops after vacuuming or from fibers being caught and pulled, make sure to cut these back with scissors instead of pulling. Pulling or yanking can cause pulls to grow in size which in turn damages the pile. Last, but not least, quality rug pads will help with extending the life of your wool rug by reducing friction that can cause damage to fibers and backing.
Viscose rugs are made of man-made rayon filaments and tend to break down faster and easier then most hand-woven rugs made of natural fibers. That being said, it is best to use extra caution when maintaining. To get as much life out of them as possible, use a carpet sweeper instead of vacuum for general maintenance and make sure when cleaning up stains to use the mildest detergent and not too wet of a cloth, as viscose rugs tend to absorb more than natural fibers resulting in fiber breakdown. Lastly, purchase these rugs for cool and dry locations, as excessive moisture can cause yellowing and bleeding of dyes and heat can cause shrinkage.
Natural fiber rugs are often chosen for their durability and ease of cleaning. When cleaning, natural fiber rugs can handle scrubbing with a soft brush, however, excess water can cause fibers to weaken overtime so make sure to limit the amount of water and solution used.
Seal and Protect Your Rugs
An important part of preventative rug care is sealing with protectants. It is important to hire a highly skilled professional to seal your rugs properly. At Alexander’s, we use sealants that are not only safe, hypoallergenic, and nontoxic but will seal and protect while allowing your rug to breathe and preserve its original feel. This simple preventative measure will help extend the life of your rugs and reduce the amount of cleaning needed.
Naturally, over time, even with conscious thought and care, damage is likely to happen to your area rugs. In case of this, professional cleaning and repairs are essential to preserve life. For a proper repair, no matter the issue, the first step is professional cleaning to remove any germs, bacteria, moth larvae and pet urine that has contaminated the rug.
At Alexanders’ we offer cleaning and repair services, making it simple and convenient to get repairs done when any damage is still minor. If left unrepaired, even small damage can build up and destroy a rug. Alexander’s provides a variety of repair services such as:
- Fringe repair or removal
- Repairs to side warp area
- Reweave damaged areas
- Reinforce weak areas of rug
- Improve or fix repairs done by others
- Color matching
Quality rugs are an investment and with proper cleaning, maintenance and repair should provide you with a full life of purpose and enjoyment!