Welcome to Summer - Keeping Carpets Clean in the Summer Months
By: Heather Jordan
Cleaning carpet in the summer months or in generally warm, humid climates presents unique challenges that we do not see the rest of the year. Heat and humidity can create conditions conducive to mold and mildew growth and longer dry time, while carpets in beach towns creates the added nuisance of sand in carpeted areas. Poor ventilation and lack of proper air conditioning can add to these problems. So, what methods can be used to combat these issues and keep our customers’ carpets just as clean in the summer as we do in the winter (which presents a different set of challenges)? Do low moisture carpet cleaning methods aid in this endeavor?
Mold and mildew problems can be greatly reduced, if not eliminated, by keeping carpets clean and dry. Proper ventilation and climate control methods such as air conditioning are a must when trying to prevent mold and mildew growth. In especially humid environments, or those where water is frequently tracked onto the carpet (think areas with heavy rain or homes and hotels with pools), use of fans or even dehumidifiers would be especially helpful in preventing mold and mildew growth. Additionally, those using more traditional methods of extraction should be especially careful to make sure that carpet is not flooded with too much water and is dried properly and in the shortest time possible. Here is an area where low moisture carpet cleaning methods could be of service – use of reduced levels of water will not add additional moisture to an environment that may already be wet, damp, etc. and provides less opportunity for user error in leaving too much water in carpet or not ensuring that proper drying methods are used.
Another challenge faced in beach locales is the tracking of sand onto the carpet. While sand sometimes can’t be seen in the carpet, it must be removed or it could damage the carpet backing and fibers. As people walk on carpet, embedded sand can cut or scratch the backing and fibers, altering the appearance of the carpet in a less than desirable way and in cases of repeated exposure to sand, shortening the life-span of the carpet. Of course, the first step in keeping sand from damaging carpet is prevention – usually in the form of walk-off mats. Once sand has already made its way into the carpet, though, vacuum regularly and thoroughly with an effective vacuum, one with good filtration, high airflow, and proper agitation. If wet extraction is needed, vacuuming thoroughly becomes all the more important – wet sand becomes mud when water is introduced to an improperly vacuumed carpet, a much more difficult beast to contend with. Again, here is a place where low moisture carpet cleaning methods could help. In the event that the user does not vacuum thoroughly, little water is used, thereby minimizing the potential build-up of impacted dirt and maximizing the potential for damaging sand being removed.
All in all, traditional carpet cleaning methods, when used properly, can combat the challenges faced in warmer climates and beach towns. Low moisture carpet cleaning methods, however, may gain better results because less water is used and therefore, errors in applying too much water, lack of proper ventilation and drying, and lack of proper vacuuming will not significantly impact the appearance and quality of the carpet.