The Cost of Replacing Carpets Vs. Regular Professional Cleaning
Replacing carpets is a major expense for most homeowners.
On average, carpet replacement costs range from $1-6 per square foot for installation and materials. This can add up quickly for larger rooms. For example, replacing carpet in a 12×12 bedroom could cost $1,200 or more. Living rooms are often larger, with costs ranging from $1,500-4,000 to recarpet a typical sized space. Replacing carpeting for an entire house is a significant investment, with prices averaging $4,000 to $12,000 or more depending on square footage.
Rather than enduring these replacement costs every 5-10 years, investing in professional cleaning extends the life of your carpets. With proper care and regular cleaning, carpets can last 12-15 years or longer before needing to be replaced. The savings from avoiding premature replacement costs will quickly offset the reasonable fees for professional carpet cleaning services. Protect your investment and prolong the life of your carpets with regular professional cleanings.
How Dirt Damages Carpets
Carpets endure a lot of abuse in the average home. From foot traffic to spills and pet accidents, carpets are subjected to all manner of dirt and grime. While carpet is designed to hide dirt and withstand a certain amount of soiling, allow dirt to build up for too long and it can cause costly damage.
Dirt and debris tracked in from outdoors have an abrasive quality that can literally wear away carpet fibers with enough exposure. The tiny particles act like sandpaper, slowly but surely severing the carpet fibers with each step. In high foot traffic areas such as hallways and entryways, the abrasion can be accelerated. Even soft, fluffy dust that seems harmless can damage carpet over time. The dust and dirt work their way down into the base of the carpet, rubbing and grinding away at the fibers near the backing. Pet dander and debris also have sharp edges under magnification that abrade carpet.
In addition to physical abrasion, soiling causes carpets to appear dull, matted and worn out long before their time. Dingy carpet detracts from the beauty of a home and depresses home values. Letting carpets become overly soiled is a surefire way to shorten their lifespan and necessitate costly replacement sooner than should be required with proper care and maintenance.
Professional Cleaning Extends Carpet Life
Carpets are a major investment for most homeowners, and professional cleaning services are critical for protecting that investment and extending a carpet’s lifespan. According to industry experts, carpets should be professionally cleaned every 12 to 18 months to maintain appearance and performance.
Research shows that professional hot water extraction cleaning can extend the life of a carpet by as much as 50% over do-it-yourself shampooing. The Carpet and Rug Institute recommends professional cleaning every 12-18 months using hot water extraction, which provides a deeper clean by flushing away dirt, allergens, and pollutants. Studies by leading carpet manufacturers have found that hot water extraction adds years to a carpet’s life.
Regular professional cleanings remove the oily, sticky soil that acts as an abrasive and causes fibers to wear out more quickly. Thorough deep cleaning keeps carpets looking fresh, while removing the damaging gritty dirt that embeds deep in the fibers. Allowing dirt to accumulate tends to matt and crush carpet fibers through constant foot traffic. Professional cleanings revitalize pile and leave carpets plush and healthy.
By ensuring carpets stay cleaner over time, professional cleaning services dramatically extend the usable life of carpets. The small periodic investment is well worth it, considering the high costs of full carpet replacement. Properly maintaining carpets through regular professional cleaning is one of the best ways homeowners can protect the value of their flooring investment.
Cleaning Methods for Different Carpets
There are a variety of professional carpet cleaning methods that use different techniques and solutions to clean different types of carpets. Understanding the options can help you choose the right method for your specific carpets.
Steam cleaning, also known as hot water extraction, is one of the most effective and commonly used methods. The carpet cleaner applies a cleaning solution to the carpet and uses a powerful wand to inject hot water deep into the carpet fibers. The wand then extracts the dirty solution back out. Steam cleaning removes embedded dirt, allergens, and stains from carpets. It works well for most standard carpets.
Dry carpet cleaning uses a powder-based solvent without water. The cleaner sprinkles an absorbent compound on the carpet and works it in with a brush. The compound dissolves dirt and stains, which can then be vacuumed up along with the cleaner. Dry cleaning leaves little moisture, so carpets dry quickly. It works well for quick cleanups on delicate carpets that should not get wet.
Bonnet cleaning uses absorbent cotton or microfiber pads to scrub carpets. The pads are soaked in a cleaning solution, then rotated across the carpet. Dirt and stains transfer to the pads, which must be changed frequently. Bonnet cleaning is lighter than other methods and good for surface maintenance between deeper cleanings. It may not remove deep stains.
Variations of steam, dry, and bonnet cleaning exist. Some use green solutions for people concerned about chemicals. Low-moisture encapsulation cleaning crystals dissolve dirt then are removed. It’s important to discuss your particular carpet material, stain issues, and preferences to determine the ideal cleaning method. A professional cleaner can recommend the best approach.
Warning Signs Your Carpet Needs Cleaning
While vacuuming helps keep carpets clean on the surface, it does not deep clean carpets or remove embedded dirt and grime. There are several signs that indicate your carpets are dirty and in need of professional cleaning.
- Traffic patterns where the carpet is smashed down are a sign of compacted dirt in high traffic areas. Over time, this leads to permanent damage if not properly cleaned.
- A dull, worn appearance in certain areas is a sign that dirt has broken down the carpet fibers. Thorough cleaning will help restore vibrancy.
- Stains that reappear after spot cleaning means there is a deeper residue still trapped in the carpet that needs to be extracted.
- A musty or unpleasant odor is a sign that dirt, dust mites, or spills have built up over time. Cleaning will sanitize carpets and refresh indoor air quality.
- If your vacuum kicks up a lot of dirt and dust, it means your carpets have a deeper buildup that requires professional equipment to remove.
Keeping a lookout for these warning signs will help you know when it’s time to call for a deep carpet cleaning. Addressing problems early prevents permanent damage and extends your carpet’s life.
Hiring a Reputable Carpet Cleaning Company
With the wide range of carpet cleaning companies to choose from, how can you ensure you find a reputable provider? Here are some tips for finding an experienced carpet cleaner with a proven track record:
- Check reviews. Look for companies with consistently positive reviews on sites like Google, Yelp and the Better Business Bureau. This indicates their past customers have been satisfied. Pay attention to how professional and thorough their responses to any negative reviews are.
- Ask about experience. Find out how long the company has been in business. Look for cleaners with at least 5 years of experience cleaning carpets. This shows they have proven methods and the skills to properly deep clean all types of carpets.
- Verify licensing and insurance. Make sure the company is properly licensed for carpet cleaning services in your state. They should carry liability insurance as well, to cover any potential damages. This protects you in case any issues arise.
- Get details on process. A quality carpet cleaner should explain their whole process in detail. This includes an inspection, vacuum, pre-treatment, steam cleaning, stain treatment if needed, and drying. Avoid companies that seem disorganized or vague about their process.
- Request a consultation. Many carpet cleaners will provide a free inspection and quote. This is a great opportunity to assess their knowledge, equipment quality, and professionalism first-hand. Be wary of lowball quotes that seem too good to be true.
Taking the time to vet potential carpet cleaning companies helps ensure you hire a reliable provider that delivers quality results. Investing in a reputable professional extends your carpet’s life and maintains its value over time.
Questions to Ask Potential Carpet Cleaners
Choosing a professional carpet cleaning company is an important decision to help protect your investment in your carpets and rugs. Before hiring a company, be sure to ask the following key questions:
- Are you licensed and insured? Reputable companies should have licenses required in your state and region. They should also carry liability insurance to cover any potential damages.
- What methods and equipment do you use? The carpet cleaning method should match the specific fibers and construction of your carpets. Ask about the types of equipment they use and why they are recommended.
- Are your technicians trained and certified? Well-trained technicians are important for proper use of equipment and cleaning agents as well as identifying problems. Ask about their training and any industry certifications.
- Do you offer any guarantees? Many companies offer guarantees promising that if you are not satisfied with the cleaning, they will come back and re-clean for free. Some also have damage replacement guarantees.
- Can you provide references from past clients? Reputable companies should be able to provide references from satisfied customers. Contact a few references to ask about their experiences.
- Do you have any specializations or certifications? Some companies specialize in specific types of rugs or carpeting. Look for specializations that match your carpet or certification from the IICRC.
- How much will it cost and what is included? Get a detailed written quote upfront that specifies pricing and exactly what is included before agreeing to have your carpets cleaned.
Asking the right questions upfront will help you choose a reliable, professional carpet cleaner that uses proper methods and equipment to deliver the best results and protect your investment in your carpets.
Aftercare to Prolong Carpet Cleaning
Carpet cleaning professionals do an excellent job of deep cleaning your carpets, but there are things you can do yourself to keep them cleaner longer:
- Vacuum frequently – Target high-traffic areas daily and the entire home 2-3 times per week. Use a vacuum with a rotating brush head to lift and remove dirt from carpet fibers.
- Spot clean spills immediately – Don’t let stains set. Blot liquids gently with a clean white cloth. For solids, scrape off any excess gently with a spoon. Use carpet cleaner or mild soap and water applied gently with a damp cloth. Blot dry with clean white towels.
- Limit shoes worn inside – Wear slippers or socks indoors to prevent tracking in dirt and grit that can cut carpet fibers. Use door mats outside and inside entrances.
- Restrict pets from soiled areas – Block access to any areas pets have soiled until they can be professionally cleaned. The longer the area is soiled, the harder it will be to remove stains and odors.
- Rotate high-traffic areas – Rearrange furniture periodically to let heavily used areas rest and recover. Vacuum before and after moving furniture.
- Act quickly at signs of resoiling – Don’t wait until carpets look dirty again. Call professional cleaners at the first signs of resoiling for spot cleaning or overall refreshing.
With frequent vacuuming, spot cleaning, and regular professional deep cleaning, you’ll protect your investment in beautiful carpets. They’ll retain their appearance, extend their life, and boost your home’s value.
The Value of Regular Professional Cleanings
Investing in professional carpet cleaning on a regular basis helps extend the life and appearance of your carpets. Most carpet manufacturers recommend having carpets professionally cleaned every 12-18 months. However, high traffic areas may require more frequent cleanings, such as every 6-12 months.
Over time, dirt, dust, oils, and other contaminants become embedded in carpet fibers. Walking on the carpet grinds these particles down further. This abrasive action damages the fibers, causing them to weaken and break over time. Professional cleaning lifts and removes these particles before they can cause excessive wear. The cleaner the carpet, the less friction and damage occurs.
Having carpets cleaned by a reputable professional company is advisable over do-it-yourself methods. Professional cleaners have industrial equipment, like truck mounts, to thoroughly clean carpets and extract more moisture. The high-powered suction lifts dirt from deep in the carpet pile, rather than just cleaning the surface. Professionals also know the optimal cleaning agents and procedures for different carpet materials.
Regular professional cleanings enhance your carpets’ appearance too. Over time, traffic patterns and soiling become visible. A deep clean helps restore vibrancy and uniform color. Freshly cleaned carpets are healthier too, as the thorough cleaning removes most dust mites, allergens, and other irritants. By investing in regular professional care, you’ll get more years of great performance from your carpets.
Invest in Your Carpets Today
Carpets are a major investment for many homeowners, with hundreds or even thousands of dollars spent on high quality flooring to furnish rooms in your home. But without proper care and maintenance, that investment can be quickly worn down by dirt, debris and heavy foot traffic grinding away at carpet fibers. Professional carpet cleaning provides the deep cleaning needed to extend the life of carpets and protect your initial investment.
Unlike vacuuming and DIY cleaners that only reach the surface, professional carpet cleaners use powerful truck-mounted equipment and cleaning solutions to penetrate into the carpet padding and thoroughly remove embedded dirt particles. This prevents premature matting and wear, restoring a refreshed, fluffy feel to carpets. Pro carpet cleaners also have the skills and tools to address tough set-in stains that homeowners struggle to remove.
By scheduling regular deep cleanings every 12-18 months, you can keep carpets looking newer and cleaner between replacement cycles. For only a fraction of the cost of fully replacing carpets, you can add years of usable life. Protect your investment – don’t wait until carpets are drab and worn to call for a professional cleaning. Well-maintained carpets retain their value and keep your home looking its best for less. Invest in your carpets today with a thorough professional cleaning.