Many people get their carpets cleaned and suddenly they see their carpet through new eyes, saying, “My carpets look like new!” It’s true, cleaning your carpets can make them look so much better that it almost feels like you have new carpet all over again. But, like everything else, carpet ages.
Color is usually the most important factor in how a carpet looks. As long as the color looks vibrant and there are no major spots or stains, most of us are quite happy with the look of our carpet. But why does the color start to look tired after a few years even after our best efforts at cleaning? Why can’t we make it look new again? Isn’t that dull lifeless appearance in the traffic areas just dirt? No doubt, dirt is a contributing factor, but there are three other factors that cause carpet to look old: abrasion, crushing and pile distortion.
ABRASION – Dirt is loose particulate soil tracked in from outside, including mud, pollution, pollen and gritty minerals that scratch and dull the surface of carpet fibers. This abrasion changes the way light reflects off of the scratched fibers so colors are muted. We call this permanent condition loss of luster. This is the primary reason that colors lose vibrancy. No amount of cleaning can bring back the luster.
PILE CRUSH – Areas that are subject to a lot of foot traffic will crush down and lose some pile height. The carpet loses its soft, fluffy appearance and feel. How severely depends on the fiber type and yarn density, pile depth and quality of carpet pad.
PILE DISTORTION – When pile yarns lose their twist or the yarns are aligned in different directions, high traffic areas can appear dull and dingy. Once the carpet pile has become distorted it cannot be corrected. Some carpets are more prone to this type of appearance change than others.