How does good carpet padding extend the life of carpet?

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Most people pay more attention to carpet than they do to the carpet padding underneath. But did you know that padding can play an integral part in the appearance and life expectancy of your carpet?

What’s wrong with cheap padding?

Carpet padding acts as a shock absorber — and not just for your feet. It eases stress from foot traffic on the carpet’s fibers and backing, helping protect them from premature wear. Cheap padding works like a charm when it is first installed, but it quickly becomes compressed or breaks apart, resulting in premature wear of the carpet. Poorly-manufactured padding can also cause a carpet to wrinkle, buckle, and even void the carpet manufacturer’s warranty.

How to Select Quality Carpet Padding

Check your carpet manufacturers’ warranties, which come with specific recommendations for padding, because the most appropriate padding for one carpet may not be suitable for another type of carpet. For example, the industry standard for padding thickness is 1/2 inch for residential carpet padding, but low-pile carpets, such as Berber, or commercial carpeting for high-traffic should be no more than 3/8 of an inch.

It is also best to look for padding with a moisture barrier and anti-microbial protection to inhibit mold, mildew, and bacteria.

The Key to Long-Lasting Carpet and Padding

Regular vacuuming and periodic professional carpet cleaning will help preserve the life of your carpet and padding. When spills or pet accidents occur, use paper towels or a white absorbent cloth towel to soak up the moisture from carpeting before it has a chance to move into the padding. Otherwise, that portion of the padding may need to be replaced.

A consistent maintenance routine will not only keep your carpet looking its best for a longer period of time, but it will help protect your investment and save you money in the long run.

Reasons to Eschew the Shoe

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Have you ever considered how much easier it would be to keep your carpets clean if family, friends, and guests removed their shoes before entering your home? Once thought to be the purview of people suffering from severe germophobia, indoor shoe bans are becoming a more socially acceptable practice — and for good reason.

In addition to prolonging the life of your carpet, removing your shoes indoors can prevent exposure to many pathogens. This is particularly important if you have babies and children playing on the carpets because germs and toxins are easily transferred from their hands to their mouths. People who do yoga and pilates on their floors also have reasons to eschew the shoe. According to a scientific study at the University of Arizona, the soles of shoes may contain numerous pathogens sourced from fecal colioform bacteria (derived from human and animal feces) that can cause meningitis, pneumonia, urinary tract infections, and gastrointestinal illnesses.

Walking barefoot on carpets is not recommended either due to the sweat glands on the soles of the feet transferring skin oils and sweat into carpet fibers. Many families choose to keep socks or slippers by the front door for this purpose, including some for guests.

Even with a no-shoe rule, regular vacuuming and spot cleaning, augmented by periodic professional deep-cleaning will be necessary to remove your dust and other contaminants that naturally occur in any living space. If your guests are uncomfortable with a no-shoe rule, you’ll just have to vacuum, spot clean, and schedule professional services more often.