We clean a lot of carpets, and there are a few questions we get asked regularly. One is: How often should I vacuum? Another is: How often should I have my carpet cleaned? And finally: What can I do to protect my carpet?
To try and help you gauge the answers for yourself, we decided to write a three-part series on these topics. This post, Part 1, will deal with vacuuming frequency, and Part 2 will deal with professional carpet cleaning frequency. Part 3 will detail some steps you can take aside from vacuuming and professional cleaning to protect your carpet and prolong its life.
We install carpet in our homes and businesses in order to enhance our quality of life and improve our aesthetic surroundings. There are other benefits to the carpet as a floor-covering, however; namely, it reduces noise and vibration and helps insulate against cold air rising up from beneath the floor. These are especially popular reasons for installing carpet in office and retail businesses.
But the carpet is also an absorber of matter. It attracts and traps unwanted substances over time, whether these substances are visible or not. In other words, even though your carpet may not be visibly stained or dirty, it can still hold pollutants as a result of normal use. These pollutants can include soils, fibers, and atmospheric dust, as well as allergens such as pollen, fungi, mycotoxins, microscopic mites. If you have pets, you can add pet hair and dander to the list as well. Happily, regular vacuuming is moderately to highly effective at removing these pollutants. (Bacteria and viruses can also hide in your carpet, but these are more difficult to extract with just vacuuming. We’ll deal with them in our next post.)
So, how often should you vacuum? Well, it depends. Not only is the answer going to vary from home to home and office to office, but it can also vary from room to room and season to season.
Once a week will probably be sufficient for a moderate-traffic room with no extra considerations such as pets, children or high humidity. Light traffic rooms may need less, and high traffic rooms may need more. You can determine your carpet care maintenance program by evaluating the list below.
Some factors to keep in mind when deciding how often to vacuum are:
- Frequency of use: is the room a high traffic area, like a family room, waiting room or hallway? These sorts of rooms will need more frequent vacuuming than low traffic areas like guest bedrooms and conference rooms.
- Children: Do you have children living in your home, or does your business cater to a lot of children, like a daycare or an indoor entertainment facility? If so, you will want to vacuum more often, not just because children tend to be greater vectors for dust and debris, but also because they are more susceptible to illness than adults.
- Sick and Elderly: Does your business serve the elderly and/or infirm? If you are operating a medical facility or a nursing home, you will want to vacuum more often as well in order to protect the health of your vulnerable patients.
- Temperature, Humidity and Time of Year: Does the area get more traffic during the summer than the winter? Often, the carpet in homes will need more vacuuming in the warmer months because people spend more time outdoors and therefore bring in more dust and debris from outside. Humidity is also a factor: the moisture in the air can collect pollutants and then condense on the carpet.
- Pets: Have cats and dogs? You should probably double the frequency of vacuuming in the rooms where they spend the most time.
- Smoking, cooking, and woodstoves: Smoke and ash can easily get trapped in your carpet, as can oils and other cooking residues.
- What floor is the room on? Ground level floors tend to absorb more matter from outside than upstairs floors.
We hope you found this post informative and helpful! Check out Part 2 in our series, “How Often Should I Have My Carpet Cleaned”, which will be published in two weeks. For other information on cleaning your carpet check out this page.