How To Care For Your Area Rug

A Guide To Area Rug Care

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How to care for your area rugs, especially if they are antique

Owning an area rug, especially a fine antique, is not just a pleasure but also a responsibility. Owners of antique and Persian rugs should think of themselves as “the current owner,” one in a series that spans from the distant past and well into the future. How to care for your area rug and maintain it is perhaps the most important and simplest aspect of owning a rug.

Maintaining your rugs and carpets is vital to protecting the condition and, as a result – the value of your rugs.

What types of damage is an area rug susceptible to

Area rugs, especially handmade rugs, and even more so, the finer woven area rugs, tend to be resilient and withstand quiet. But just like Superman had his weaknesses, so did all the varied and different area rug types.

The six main rug damages tend to be related to the following

Wear – due to foot traffic, constant furniture moving back and forth, and/or rough vacuuming.

Damage from bugs – due to moths and other insects that get into the rug pile and can eat your carpet pit of existence.

Stains – from spills, animals, people, kids, food, and/or beverages.

Burns – from smoking, fireplaces, or god forbid – an actual house fire.

Water Damage – water leaks from plumbing / potted plants and large spills.

Sun fading – the sun can bleach and cause some colors in rugs and textiles, and even art to fade.

Why should you attend to rug damages quickly

If left unattended, what starts as a relatively small and insignificant carpet and rug damage can become a major problem.

Examples of why you should be vigilant about caring for your rug’s damages

Wear and unraveling – You must be vigilant of a carpet if it begins or wears, especially if the wear has gone down to the rug foundation. If damage is left unattended, the carpet will continue to deteriorate further. As time goes on, worn low, pile areas will become actual holes or tears, and this will require much more time and money to restore than if you had taken care of the issue right away. That said, unfortunately, some rugs may not be salvageable at some point.

Unraveling – Unraveling generally occurs at the ends of the rug. It will unravel and “eat” away at the rug if left unattended. As time goes by, the loss will become more and more significant, which will require far more time and money to correct (if that is at all possible).

Water damages – Water damage can affect the rug differently, but the biggest issue is rot. If the rug foundation begins to rot, there is no real way to “save it.” That area will need to get removed and recreated/resorted. The more time the rug is left unattended, the worse the rot can become and even spread throughout larger and different areas/parts of the rug.

Moths/larvae – If you see moths or larvae, you must attend to the rug as soon as possible. These critters may be small but can eat your rug out of exitance. In addition, the longer you wait, the greater the chance the moth will spread to other areas of the house and closets, and before you know it, not your bedding and half your clothes have moth damage.

Sun-fading – Better and more high-end rugs should take longer than cheap area rugs to fade. But sun fading is gradual; it does not happen overnight. Usually, when you notice it, the damage is probably quite significant. Adjusting colors is not easy, and sometimes it is impossible to match the colors. This can result in rug repairs that will be obvious and noticeable – something no one wants!

One of the biggest factors in establishing the value of a rug is the condition of the rug. As the condition deteriorates, the value will inevitably diminish quite quickly as there are more areas of restoration and damage. So knowing how to care for your area rug may be a wise financial decision.

How to minimize the risks of damage to your rug

Caring for rugs is kind of like caring for loved ones. Just like we take precautionary measures to mitigate the chances of damage or injury to those we love, we can also do for “those things” we cherish.

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